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Superpoke Players Sue Google

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the that's-my-virtual-purse dept.

Google 160

mikejuk writes "SuperPoke Pets is another casualty of Google's aggressive spring cleanup... But unlike other users of Google's trashed software, Superpoke users have decided to fight back with a class action. The aim is to recover the money they spend on virtual gold used as a currency to buy clothes for their virtual pets. The total 'amount in controversy' exceeds $5,000,000 — a sum that is credible given that there were at least 7,000,000 users. So if you are considering adding a virtual currency to your app you might want to think of the future."

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5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (5, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968159)

I dont want to live on this planet anymore... But really, unless there was a 'we'll never shut down" clause in the user agreement I dont see the idiots winning this one.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (5, Insightful)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968171)

"5 mill on virtual pet cloths?"

averages out to less than a dollar per person.

what's the big deal?

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968293)

Every minute and every penny Kenja's ever spent has been on something indisputably worthwhile, so he's justified in looking down on these idiots (i.e., meaning everyone but him).

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968381)

Every minute and every penny Kenja's ever spent has been on something indisputably worthwhile, so he's justified in looking down on these idiots (i.e., meaning everyone but him).

Hey... history will vindicate me and my collection of porcelain unicorns.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968689)

Pfft. Porcelain. There's no future in that. Only pewter unicorns are worth collecting. I have a couple hundred now, and in a few years time they'll be worth millions.

Porcelain. LOL.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969623)

Pfft. Beanie Baby Unicorns is where the real money is. I'm rich, rich I tell you!

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970925)

Pfffft. Virtual pewter beanie baby unicorns with interchangeable virtual porcelain pet clothes is where it's at. Those things will never lose their value.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (2)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969993)

But the lead plaintiff spent $1000, apparently. That's a lot of fake clothes. I wonder what the numbers are like if you ignore all the users who didn't spend anything.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970909)

Christ on a cock, how bereft of meaning is this person's life? What, all their real pets kept committing suicide?

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970351)

averages out to less than a dollar per person.

what's the big deal?

If it's no big deal then why sue? If people are going to throw their money away and not care because they're doing it at less than a dollar per transaction, they should realize that they're still throwing their money away and not care.

Google should settle and pay out the Superpoke users in virtual pet clothes.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968287)

Yea, this lawsuit is a complete waste of time, which is not surprising considering all the plaintiffs obviously waste quite a bit of time on a regular basis. It was quite obvious that Superpoke was a service, not a product; there's not even the slightest bit of ambiguity about that in this case. When you subscribe to a service, there is never any guarantee that it will continue indefinitely.

The agreement ends when copyrights do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968403)

Since the only one able to implement this scheme are the copyright owners who do not wish to, they must bear the cost of their monopoly while they have it.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968553)

And this raises another question: How much were they spending to keep this stupid shit running? I know that 5 million is pocket change for Google, but I assume they wouldn't shut it down unless it was actually losing money.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969163)

Well it is a Facebook game. No point enriching your main competitor. I would have thought they'd try and shift it lock stock and barrel to Google+ though. That's assuming it weren't see as anti-competitive which it may well have been.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968589)

I dont want to live on this planet anymore... But really, unless there was a 'we'll never shut down" clause in the user agreement I dont see the idiots winning this one.

Problem is the expectations of users. Back a few years ago Google was Shiny, Fun, Friendly, doing good things, going neat places.

Now Google is yet-another corporation, swaggering and doing the things Corporations do, which is whitewash this, discard that, trample the disires of their customers on the way to where they think the next buck (of saved buck) is.

I find Google changing things in ways which I'm now finding, not just vexing, but utterly disruptive - it's like they don't want to leave well enough alone.

Somewhere in that big campus off Charleston Road, there's gotta be someone who asks the question, "Is it right for our users?"

and is listened to.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968731)

Somewhere in that big campus off Charleston Road, there's gotta be someone who asks the question, "Is it right for our users?"

and is listened to.

I'd say the evidence suggests otherwise. (Though I know you meant this as a recommendation rather than a statement of fact). ;-)

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970147)

Really? This surprised you?

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (2)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970673)

It surprised me. Google's early success came entirely from respecting its customers - no monkey punching, just text ads. They made a ton of money keeping to that theme. Departing from it seems stupid, and I fully expect them to depart from their successful track record as a result.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970709)

Really? This surprised you?

Nope. Not surprised. Disappointed, certainly. I had high hopes for Google after the craptacular experience I'd been going through with Yahoo. The reason Yahoo failed after such a brilliant start was creating horrible interfaces and saturating pages with ads. People left for Google because it was simple, uncluttered, pleasant to use. Now Google isn't so simple, uncluttered or pleasant to use, particularly when it directly affects your personal interests -- and personal interests are why people gravitate to where they are.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968833)

Real money spent on virtual clothes for virtual pets.
I just cannot make the mental leap to understanding that.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968905)

Real money spent on virtual clothes for virtual pets.
I just cannot make the mental leap to understanding that.

'Mental leap' - think Planck distance for these folks. Probably just stochastic noise triggering a couple of "I want" neurons.

Personally, I would blame water fluoridation. Flouride's pretty reactive, you know.

Re:5 mill on virtual pet cloths? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969065)

Why not? Most new games these days are just existing gameplay with shiny new graphics.

People pay lots of money for decent quality chess boards and the like, when really scraps of paper will do. Aesthetics matter to some people.

I don't mind paying for extra content in free to play games, but when full price games charge for extras, I simple say "fuck that".

oh, and BITCOIN, beeotches! AHAHAHAHAHAH! (0)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969285)

Real money spent on virtual clothes for virtual pets.
I just cannot make the mental leap to understanding that.

What's " real " about our " money "?!!!

Re:oh, and BITCOIN, beeotches! AHAHAHAHAHAH! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969347)

I can easily exchange it for beer.

I'm sorry, is there some other necessary criteria that I wasn't aware of?

Spelling slowly dies as the Internet strangles it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968161)

"Clothes" not "cloths"...

Re:Spelling slowly dies as the Internet strangles (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968177)

Perhaps it is cloths that the then tailor into clothes?

You can have the money back... (5, Funny)

asdbffg (1902686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968175)

but only if you promise to buy REAL clothes this time.

Re:You can have the money back... (1)

ajpuciat (2553090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968201)

As if that would happen. Next up, virtual McDonalds.

That way they can look at a Big Mac without getting it stuck in their neckbeards.

Re:You can have the money back... (4, Insightful)

kat_skan (5219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968679)

Please no. The only thing worse than people who buy virtual clothes for their virtual pets would have to be people who buy real clothes for their real pets.

Re:You can have the money back... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969219)

People aren't rational at all. You could have mouse pets for free, but no - those get trapped and killed while the dogs and cats roam the house. Bigger poops, too.

Re:You can have the money back... (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969619)

I'd rather have a pet that does bigger poop and can be house trained than have one that poops anywhere it walks

Re:You can have the money back... (0)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970609)

Yeah, 'cause dogs don't ever poop in the house.

Hell, just the hair and skin flakes from an animal the size of a dog or can dwarf the feces output of a mouse.

You can smell the long-term presence of a cat or dog as soon as you walk into a house - not sure I can say the same about a mouse.

But like I said, we're irrational. :)

Re:You can have the money back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969525)

Please no. The only thing worse than people who buy virtual clothes for their virtual pets would have to be people who buy real clothes for their real pets.

Or perhaps people who buy virtual clothes for their virtual pets being able to afford clothes for themselves (along with food and shelter for that matter).

Re:You can have the money back... (2)

ne0n (884282) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970521)

This settlement should be paid with pictures of real and/or virtual currency, and pictures of clothes for real or imagined pets.

Re:You can have the money back... (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969727)

What did their REAL pets do to you, that you want them to be subjected to wearing clothes?

Implications for EULAs? (4, Interesting)

Rone (46994) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968215)

I'm sure the SuperPoke EULA had provisions stating that all virtual currency purchased for use in-game was non-refundable, no matter what.

In light of that, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out in court. If Google doesn't settle, and loses, we could possibly see an EULA-affecting precedent come out of this.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968271)

I'm sure the SuperPoke EULA had provisions stating that all virtual currency purchased for use in-game was non-refundable, no matter what.

In light of that, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out in court. If Google doesn't settle, and loses, we could possibly see an EULA-affecting precedent come out of this.

Like a precedent that EULAs are unenforcable? That might actually make some sense.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

Rone (46994) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968437)

I've heard of some EULA-upholding precedents (no time to Google for citations at the moment, sorry), so I doubt that they would get nuked across the board.

However, a narrowly-focused precedent barring/limiting "no refund" clauses would be quite welcome.

Such a precedent could also be used to mandate refunds for DRM-protected materials in the event that the parent company shuts down / goes bankrupt, which is one of the biggest problems with our increasing use of digital media (books, movies, etc).

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968521)

used to mandate refunds for DRM-protected materials in the event that the parent company shuts down / goes bankrupt, which is one of the biggest problems with our increasing use of digital media (books, movies, etc).

Right because companies that are shutting down or filing for bankruptcy have money to pay their debts ...

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968671)

They generally have assets to liquidate. If we had actually enforced laws, we could keep the funds from that liquidation out of the executive hands and use them to cover things like this first.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968825)

Except things like this are last.
People who are owed money are first, and in bankruptcy, there really isn't even enough money to cover that.

It's like going after a bankrupt company to get your 20 bucks back for the gift card you bought the year before.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (2)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969103)

You also bought the Sharper Image gift card?

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969689)

There's no reason they HAVE to be last other than that the creditors are more likely to be one-percenters who golf with the judge and/or legislators.

Or, we insist that they remove all DRM before they shut down.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970083)

Before making any more stupid posts like this, why don't you look up what secured credit is. There most certainly IS a reason they are last.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969771)

Executives get their bonuses before bankruptcy. What is needed is laws that enable us to yank back any bonuses and dividends paid for X years before the company went bust.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969827)

used to mandate refunds for DRM-protected materials in the event that the parent company shuts down / goes bankrupt, which is one of the biggest problems with our increasing use of digital media (books, movies, etc).

Right because companies that are shutting down or filing for bankruptcy have money to pay their debts ...

They could keep the DRM keys in escrow, to be released to the world if the company shuts down and no one else steps in to keep the DRM servers running.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (4, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968571)

[citation needed]

Enforceability_of_EULAs_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

The enforceability of an EULA depends on several factors, one of them being the court in which the case is heard. Some courts that have addressed the validity of the shrinkwrap license agreements have found some EULAs to be invalid ... Other courts have determined that the shrinkwrap license agreement is valid and enforceable ... No court has ruled on the validity of EULAs generally; decisions are limited to particular provisions and terms.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (5, Interesting)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968335)

If Google loses, then every F2P MMO that has shut down and had cash shops will have to pay up to the users who bought items and game currency.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968767)

Makes sense to me... at the very least, the source and software should go public/free.

Re:Implications for EULAs? (5, Interesting)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968515)

It would seem to me digital items are provided as a SERVICE, not a PRODUCT. If I get a contract with a cell company, and then my contract runs out (or they go under or something), I am not entitled to get my money back because I was paying for a service and not a physical product (well I may have paid for my phone but I get to keep it if my contract included paying for it). Similarly when I buy a digital item, there is no physical product. I am buying the service of using this imaginary item. The only issue here is when I buy this service for unlimited usage, should I be compensated when the service is stopped? Even if the answer is yes I doubt the full amount will be refunded, because the users got usage out of the "service".

Re:Implications for EULAs? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968723)

If it is unlimited, the pro-rata portion used will be 0 since there's an infinity in the denominator.

I would go for a middle way .. (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970047)

Recompensate only those who got less than 3 months of service out of it. If you like interpolation or extrapolation or want to avoid the edge, recompensate those partially who got less than 6 months of service, too.

Re:I would go for a middle way .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38970277)

But the game was rigged and my virtual pooch shredded his beanie the first time I put it on him.

So keep it running and make $$$ (1)

dittbub (2425592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968277)

why would you shut something down that has 7 million users spending 5 million dollars?

Re:So keep it running and make $$$ (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968357)

Because it cost more than $5mil to run it for that time, and/or it didn't look like it would produce a profit in the future?

Re:So keep it running and make $$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968397)

That wasn't in a year, that's a total claim.
Google wanted a few of the techs, but bought the whole company and is trying to discard everything else. That's ticking off a bunch of people who enjoy cartoony pet-feeding simulators.

War is coming.

Re:So keep it running and make $$$ (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968957)

Because it costs more than or equal to 1$/person to run? Seems possible.

A great basis for a lawsuit (4, Funny)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968281)

We are suing Google because we have no life and are stupid. We can prove, in court, we have no life and are stupid. Pay up Google.

Re:A great basis for a lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968411)

You're doing the same thing, I hope you realize.
You are paying for the electricity in order to post your comments on here.
And being that it wasn't a very productive comment, just as stupid and lifelessness as their virtual worlds.

You'd think you would communicate much better things across a network designed for science.

Don't you love math applied to language?

Re:A great basis for a lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968423)

Just because you don't agree with what they're doing with their time doesn't mean they aren't entitled to a service they made for. I'm sure there are a lot of people in the world who think working for free (Like Open source projects) is the dumbest thing imaginable. These people may not fit your view of cool and awesome, but they still paid for something and Google took it away from them.

Re:A great basis for a lawsuit (1)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968483)

I think it's hilariously appropriate that your sig includes a double-your-money-back guarantee.

Wisdom from last year, and centuries ago (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968289)

Yea, one of my first thoughts was "Huh, so these women are no different from the usual angry, 14yo, console-shooter kids.". Which means Google has nothing to worry about since they're all talk and no action; and they'll have forgotten about it in a month or two anyway.

-- AC, http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2402118&cid=37239112 [slashdot.org]

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.

-- William Congreve

Dumb Idea to Begin With (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968295)

This is why I pay the rent instead of buying fake money with real money.

Re:Dumb Idea to Begin With (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968345)

This is why I pay the rent instead of buying fake money with real money.

Yes, but what makes real money "real" vs "fake" money fake? Maybe they are not so much different things in reality? The courts will decide.

But I'm with you, "get a life".

Re:Dumb Idea to Begin With (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968463)

As far as I'm concerned, if I can take it to the grocery store and buy coke & chips, it's "real". That would include the proper green paper, various sizes of coins, and plastic cards with magnetic strips. And exclude Bitcoins, Linden bucks, and whatever this "Poke" stuff uses for money.

Re:Dumb Idea to Begin With (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968707)

As far as I'm concerned, if I can take it to the grocery store and buy coke & chips, it's "real". That would include the proper green paper, various sizes of coins, and plastic cards with magnetic strips. And exclude Bitcoins, Linden bucks, and whatever this "Poke" stuff uses for money.

So what *YOU* use for money is money, but what *OTHER PEOPLE* use for money is not?

YOU can not take Korean Won or whatever they use in Kurdistan for money to the local 7/11. Does that mean it isn't money?

These morons trade pooka shells for fluffy goat sex options, thus pooka shells are demonstrably MONEY.

Re:Dumb Idea to Begin With (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968925)

So you have a dollar in your hand, and you buy a coke, that's real money.

But you use that same dollar to buy a digital item, and suddenly it's not money?
WTF?, over.

I mean, you DID read the article and understood they spend actual government backed green backs to buy the gold in the game, right? I mean, you wouldn't be one of those douche bags that spouts off without getting informed, correct?

check (-1, Troll)

WatersMonique (2570085) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968305)

Hello Future Associate! We are a big company that looks to hire some people for data entry tasks. Well payed job - up to 50$/hour - flexible schedule - More details here: http://www.lazycash4.com/ [lazycash4.com] :)

Only one thing I don't get (5, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968325)

The one thing I don't really get, superpoke had a rabbid insanely loyal fanbase... why didn't they just port it to G+, leave it in the games tab just like all of their other games that can't annoy people who don't use it, and basically have millions of people with a reason to sign into g+ on a regular basis? That being said, I also don't see a single way that the users can even expect to have a shot in a million at this, games with microtransactions shut down, it is a fact of life. That is what you get when you buy image files on someone else's server.

Re:Only one thing I don't get (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968379)

Maybe they were so rabidly insane that any change brought out the worst in all of them? There is such a thing as a customer that isn't worth having. Perhaps there were ~7 million of them on this game.

Re:Only one thing I don't get (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968473)

True, but G+'s design is rather on the nice side, things/people you like are easy to view, things/people you dislike are easy to filter out. 7 million people joining, and getting some of their friends/familly to join etc... even if the 7 million are all jerks, it sounds like they lack the one trait that people complain about on G+, inactivity.

Re:Only one thing I don't get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968581)

The thing here is that Google purchased slide specifically for Max and the rest of his crew. When Max took off, they shut all of his apps down. This was one of them.

Something else that isn't ever mentioned is that of those seven million "players," many of them were alternate accounts. These people were so crazy about this game that they created hundreds of alts for the purpose of having more "coins" for shopping and more "friends" to play with.

This whole suit is ridiculous. Especially if you read the complaint and see that their primary request isn't for the money they received back. No! It's for an injunction to keep the game from shutting down next month.

Re:Only one thing I don't get (1)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968641)

Google seems to be doing everything they can to tank G+ for some reason. The "accidental" deletion of email when closing a G+ account at the beginning, requiring real names and 18+ years old, censoring photos, and, as you mentioned, buying beloved companies every month just to shut them down (a la Microsoft?) rather than integrating... someone over there needs to be sacked.

Re:Only one thing I don't get (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969175)

Google seems to be doing everything they can to tank G+ for some reason. The "accidental" deletion of email when closing a G+ account at the beginning, requiring real names and 18+ years old, censoring photos, and, as you mentioned, buying beloved companies every month just to shut them down (a la Microsoft?) rather than integrating... someone over there needs to be sacked.

So, your virtual Chihuahua is running around naked, is it?

Re:Only one thing I don't get (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969237)

The one thing I don't really get, superpoke had a rabbid insanely loyal fanbase... why didn't they just port it to G+, leave it in the games tab just like all of their other games that can't annoy people who don't use it, and basically have millions of people with a reason to sign into g+ on a regular basis? That being said, I also don't see a single way that the users can even expect to have a shot in a million at this, games with microtransactions shut down, it is a fact of life. That is what you get when you buy image files on someone else's server.

They may be suing for virtual currency that they had bought, but not spent. If that is the case, then I hope they win. It would be very shady to sell people millions of dollars in in game currency, and then just cut the cord on the game and keep the money. If I paid for a year of WoW service and Blizzard shut that down before I used it, I'd want it back. I don't think this is terribly different (though admittedly they could have consumed the in-game currency at any time, and didn't have to hold on to it).

Only $5,000,000? (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968433)

Somewhere a TF2 player sporting a $1500 Unusual hat is chuckling about how cute this is.

Re:Only $5,000,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968503)

Maybe its a hat that levels up, that would be a cool hat. dreemernj's bowler is now sufficiently dangerous

Um... (1)

larys (2559815) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968509)

I can understand spending money on DVDs, CDs, or even actual pet clothes (and note here that I'm not a fan of clothing for pets), but virtual pet clothes? In this time wherein our economy has seemingly reached some form of heat death...spending anything on something that doesn't actually exist is just too much...

As a side note, if this behavior isn't unique, this does explain the state of our economy to some extent...

Re:Um... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968815)

Well, let's backtrack 10 years or so, maybe a little less, and entire businesses were being founded on the design of virtual clothing for avatars in Second Life. Didn't understand it then, still don't now.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969635)

some people are stupid. understand.

Google's reverse Midas touch -- or Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968611)

I'm not sure the SuperPoke! Pets are the user I can connect with best with, and as a lot of people this does sound like small peanuts to me... ... but on the other hand, I do understand the basic anger that people feel at having Google senselessly buy out companies and then closing their product down. Occasionally, they will reopen (for instance, GrandCentral became Google Voice), but it seems like more often than not, Google acquires companies and then just dilapidates and sinks whatever they created.

Is there a point to this?

I have some satisfaction that some people are finally taking them to task for this, as it does seem a bit like the Borg of Star Trek, who assimilate other cultures and just discard absolutely everything that doesn't fit within the Borg model (speaking of which, when is Google going to get Borg Icon on Slashdot, since it seems like it's been some time since it more accurately described Google than Microsoft?

Precedent (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968633)

If they win (which they probably won't) it would set a dangerous precedent that would effectively kill all future MMO's from ever existing...

Imagine this:

Blizzard, 3-4 years from now, decides it's time to finally shutdown World of Warcraft... It's remaining 6 Million users plus a couple Million former users decide to sue for damages for lost time and money from subscription fees and game time. The amount would be somewhere in the ridiculous amount of a couple hundred Billion dollars. "I lost my job to get my toon to level 150 first! Now they just want to take that achievement away from me?!? All those thousands of days of game-time... No, I will be compensated for lost time and money (from not going to work like boring people)."

It's bound to happen eventually...


(Disclaimer: I play WoW)

Re:Precedent (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968879)

On the bright side, SOE would almost certainly have imminent bankruptcy in their future.

But joking aside, you're absolutely right. I can't see this suit possibly winning, as the long-term implations are just too big.

Re:Precedent (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969665)

So if the implications are too big, people been wronged can't be compensated? (Generally, not this specific case)

Re:Precedent (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968959)

No. If you bought an item in the game using real money. i.e. a gold purchase through blizzard, then you would have an example. This isn't about time.

One Use Items Excluded (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968635)

I think the judge should first remove all money spent on one use items that were then used. The players got benifit from the item so there is no reason to get a refund. Next all items that were purchased prior to the last month of play whose value is less than $100 should be excluded. If you had a item for a month then you got your use out of it. Google should refund the rest.

The arcade where I bought tokens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968665)

closed. Refund? No.

The solution is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38968693)

Google should send them real life pets.

Let me see if I understand this correctly? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968711)

Superpoke Pets was a game that Google acquired when they acquired Slide. Users can purchase virtual items like clothes with real money. Google has decided to end the game (various reasons). Google has created an export tool but users complain it doesn't work quite right. So now a class action lawsuit to refund users' real money to the amount of $5M for all 7 M users. The main plaintiff personally spent thousands herself. Am I the only one that thinks there is no basis here?

Wear and Tear (1)

madbavarian (1316065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968725)

Google needs to add wear and tear to the clothes so that as time goes on they look rattier and rattier. After a few months the clothes finally develop holes and fall off on their own accord. After all the clothes have disintegrated they can shut down the servers. ;-) It is sure to be cheaper than paying out 5 megabucks.

Re:Wear and Tear (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969033)

If running the servers and implementing new code was cheaper, they wouldn't have shut down the service since they would be making money.

HOWEVER, you're idea does have merit. The more us 'wear' an item the more is fades. Of course,m it can be repaired for a small fee..say a quarter.

Until this is done, pretty much all comparison of economical models between VW and RW are nothing more then interesting factoid.

I think I've identified the problem (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38968759)

Some sad people have spent a lot of money on virtual goods, believe the service should be run in perpetuity and have failed to read the terms and conditions which doubtless say otherwise.

Logic, hang on with me here.. (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969305)

Right, so Google should now ask for money from businesses who have moved up in their rankings?

But what about the pets???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38969715)

Someone needs to call Superpoke PETA!!!

I hope Google lose this one (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38969745)

Then when I get kicked out of my flat, I can sue the landlord for all my rent back.

??? Profit? (1)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970531)

Wait, so Google managed to collect $5M in revenue in exchange for "virtual" goods (basically, nothing) and still couldn't manage to make Superpoke profitable? Hey Mit Romney, what was that you were saying about about how the Government is so inefficient but private enterprise does a better job?

Oh, the banality (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970737)

Spending thousands of dollars on a virtual pet? Please. That's more than a dog or cat costs to operate, and is getting into the range for horse owners. Arguably, though, if Google marketing materials encouraged people to invest money in virtual pets, they may have some responsibility for devaluing the asset.

(Social networking for people with no life is profoundly depressing. I'm currently doing some analysis of spam on Twitter. So I have to look at Twitter's feed of randomly selected public tweets. The typical content is so banal that the ones the spam filter selects as spam, based on domains in links, are more interesting than the non-spam. Spam is written by pros, while tweets are written by amateurs.)

Awesome (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38970885)

This will hopefully be a few more people that will learn the lesson not to buy imaginary shit.
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