The developer of Terraria, Andrew Spinks, has been banned from the Stadia platform and from other Google services. The developer retaliated by declaring the bridge burned by Google themselves, and decided to no longer develop for the platform.
If you’re wondering what Stadia is, it’s like a streaming service for video games. There’s no need to download the games, they are just streamed, and you play them on your device. I can justify digital download games, and that’s primarily what I’ve been doing on Nintendo Switch. But the dealie where you don’t even store the game digitally comes off as some creepy Great Reset mushugganah where you’re expected to own nothing and somehow be happy.
The news of Spinks’ decision to withdraw from the platform (after apparently being unfairly banned from it) comes days after Google decided to pull the plug on its own internal game development studio.
I’ve never had to interact directly with Google personally, but from what I’ve heard, it’s just about impossible to get a human being at Google to actually see your complaint. Therefore, it’s a challenge to get an account reinstated if it got a strike, or worse, a ban.
This is ironic considering that Google is enormous, and rich enough to easily buy their own country, if they so wished. Certainly, they could afford to pay the wages of a few more staffers who would interact with customers. You know, customer service? But as companies get bigger, they can upset more of their own customers, and not see much in the way of backlash. It’s a way large companies become too “big-picture” for their own good.
Here is what Andrew Spinks has to say about the matter on Twitter:
This wasn’t just a simple banning, thousands of dollars in content associated with the account has been lost, and his associated material linked with Google (Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive) has been lost. And, to make it all worse, Spinks hasn’t even gotten an explanation.
What I’d be pointing out here may be obvious, but perhaps his business should not have leaned so heavily on Google, or any external company, for that matter. While having a YouTube account is understandable, even small businesses have gotten custom email accounts. Then there’s the decision to store sensitive company information on the cloud; why would a person do that? If you have your own personal data storage, why wouldn’t you use it? To go to Best Buy and get an external hard drive would be trivial, and it would certainly be far more secure than storing files on the cloud.
But now, Google messed with the wrong guy. Terraria is one of those games that’s ubiquitous, available to play on smartphones, game consoles, PCs, and even graphing calculators.
But now, not through Stadia. Stadia has become one of the few platforms that the developer of Terraria won’t support.
It’s a matter of personal philosophy, but I suspect that Google could use this idea to solve their own problems: When making a product or offering a service, you make sure that the customer is getting a quality product or service. You don’t take the risk of upsetting the customer, whether it’s someone big, or an apparent nobody. While this may rub some people the wrong way, efforts to offer a quality product is of greater priority than most company policy. Managers usually have this understanding when resolving customer disputes.
If you take risks where it becomes more likely that you lose the customer, you don’t just risk losing the sale, you also risk losing future business. Not just from that customer, but from potential or current customers that that customer may interact with.
Your company policy is not more important than your customers, or the quality of the product that you offer. Google is likely to learn this lesson the hard way, soon.
“Those who sit up high have the farthest to fall.”