The Death of Superpoke Pets?

Superpoke Pets may be gone but Habi Makeover let’s us decorate and play with our pets

Check here for the newest developments.
click here to see spp player’s message to google – over 200 protest habitats
And just what’s the big deal with SPP anyway?

Computer Games used to be the realm of kids and teenagers, but social networks brought simple, easy games to the masses Soon everyone from grandmothers to small children could raise crops, fight rival mobs or adopt pets. Superpoke Pets is one of the latter games. Players adopt a virtual pet and decorate habitats for it. They play with friends’ pets and complete quests to earn virtual coins to buy more stuff to decorate more habitats with. Some players (myself included) even drop real money for “gold” items, all for the sake of decorating even more habitats. It’s a never ending cycle that keeps players busy and, generally, happy.

Or it was.

The first sign that something was wrong came on June 1st when a banner at the top of http://spp.com told players that there would be no monthly “passport” quest for June, though the previously created quest items would still be available in the shop. An announcement quickly followed that the monthly plushie collection quest, where users collect a unique set of plushies themed for each month of the year,  was also cancelled.  Players were surprised, but assumed that the staff was busy working to correct bugs with some of the recently added features, such as the marketplace and friend’s ladder, and that the monthly quests would resume in July.

Clucky goes back to 1970’s

Then, on June 6th the Slide/SPP team announced in the Superpoke Pet’s forum that there were many “new” changes coming to Superpoke pets. The Thursday item releases, central to the game, will end in July. There will be no new items, whether gold or coin, no new seeds (to grow in the gardens), no feature updates, no spa treatments, free retro plushies, new quests, new free gifts, secret items or new bonus wheel items. After June 30th players will no longer be able to become VIP players – a “status” that users pay $5 a month for  to gain access to features such as resizing items int he habitat and visiting the “pet salon” – though all active VIP players will have VIP status for free “so long as the program continues”.  Even stranger, players will no longer be able to play on their social networks, but instead will be redirected to the SPP website to play. On a side note, the suggestion room of the forum will also close – not that there would be anything to make suggestions about. These changes will be made slowly through the month of June into July. With no new content, the game will essentially be “frozen in time” by August first.

Like robots with preprogrammed lines, Slide’s SPP team has assured players that the game will not close down for “the foreseeable future” – a quote that has become their mantra. They insist that with the new marketplace – a “shop” where users can “list” items in their inventory and sell them to other players for virtual coins – and all the previously created items the game will not only continue to be fun but will flourish. The Administration have been very prompt to tell players what will stay and what will go, but they haven’t been very straightforward when it comes to WHY.

With no definite reason given, players have been left to create their own theories. Does it have something to do with the Class Action Lawsuit Slide and Google face over another application, Disco?  Is it backlash from the thousands of dollars that many players incurred in overdraft fees when the credit system erroneously charged their accounts multiple times for VIP membership (One speculation is that they may have lost their merchant license)? Or maybe it’s because Google wants to break into the social networking business and only bought Slide for it’s designers and equipment, not for it’s games? Is it only a coincidence that items will no longer be for sale and that Facebook links to the game now redirect to the spp homepage when,  starting July 1st, Facebook requires all it’s games to accept “facebook credits” for in game goods?

Those who know aren’t telling, which leaves player unsure about SPP’s future, despite the Admins’ insistence that it will be available for the “foreseeable future”. The problem is, how long is the foreseeable future? Quotes such as “Select Coin Items will be given unlimited stocks, so that you can buy them for months to come” – don’t bode well to some players. Neither does the fact that Slide is doing the same thing to other games, including Superpoke Pet’s Ranch, who recently announced, in almost the exact same verbiage, that they would be open for the “foreseeable future” but would have no new updates, either. Superpocus and TopFish, two of Side’s other games, suffered this same fate a year ago. Though those games are still opened, the fact that Slide hasn’t even bothered to update the News section of their website since mid 2010 says something very sad. Perhaps Google’s purchase of Slide was really a death knell?

Is it the end ?

Player reactions have ranged from anger to sobbing depression and even, in some bizarre cases cheerful, acceptance. There’s not really much that players can do, though some are still trying. A discussion on Google Apps was started, but admin quickly assured posters that though “We have heard your feedback and have escalated it to the appropriate team… This forum is dedicated to Google Apps, one of Google’s many other products, and unfortunately it is not an appropriate place for a discussion about SPP.” Meanwhile a group of users who believe in the power of the people have started a “Save Superpoke Pets” Petition and have asked that all players sign it.

For an application that was so popular it even had it’s own youtube channel , Google/Slide’s decision came as a horrible shock, especially given all the recent improvements. In June 2010 the Quest feature was added to the game to give players something more to do, including monthly “passport” quests where players purchased and decorated themed habitats for their pets, and The Gallery, a place where users add “snapshots” of their habitats to collect votes, was also added. In December 2010 Slide rolled out new versions of their  popular pets; redesigns that made the animals more uniform in shape and size so that players could starts dressing them up in clothing items. Though controversial at first, many players had come to see the new, more animated pets as an improvement. With the new pets came the VIP status which included a salon to change your pet’s color and markings, the ability to move your pet in the habitat, decorate behind your pet and resize items in habitats, things decorators had long been asking for. In March the Slide team did a complete redesign of the site and made it more user friendly, as well as giving it a visual update. Other more recent changes included changes to the Spa,  the Friendship Bracelet program,  the new Friend’s Ladder and the Marketplace.

Why spend so much time and money on improvements to a game you plan to basically dump? Why create items for a puppy quest that you know isn’t going to happen? Questions like these leave many players suspicious that it was a very sudden decision made by Google, either in response to something legal or a finances. With no answers forthcoming, and the future of the game uncertain, the only thing left for users to do is either sell out and quit, or hang on for the ride and hope it last longer than “the foreseeable future”.

(You’ll be getting an ode to my SPP pets post tomorrow!)

http://pandora-6666.superpokepets.com/

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Joleene Naylor

An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

51 responses to “The Death of Superpoke Pets?”

  1. Sharon S. says :

    I had no idea this was so big . Sorry about your pets, I am sure something else will come along to fill this void. It does sound like legal problems since it was such an abrupt change.

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Well, so long as they leave it opened, I will keep playing it *crossing fingers* 🙂

    • Michelle Rustay Serrano says :

      This real BIG..I have been playing for almost 3 years,Some people have spent thousands of dollars..You interact with people all over the world…We were LIED to in JUNE when they sold Gold items and half price and offered a VIP option for 4.99 and said it will be for the foreseeable future.. Some people wee charge over 130 times within a 24 hour period..It was a mess…Google stinks!!

  2. Bonnie Mutchler says :

    well I’m hanging on to the end so guess we’ll see how it goes

  3. canarybird80 says :

    Wow, I wonder what the heck happened! It definitely sounds like something is going on in the legal department since it was so abrupt. I haven’t played Superpoke pets since early 2010 but I used to really enjoy it. I guess there’s no point in going back 😦

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Yeah, i am thinking so, too. I lean towards it having to do with all the VIP overcharges, myself.

      Well, if you officially quit feel free to gift me your stuff or put it up in the marketplace. with the shop closing the more items that stay in circulation the longer the game might stay running!

  4. Lydia says :

    I’m sticking with it. It’s the only game I play. Some people who are leaving are at least gifting items to some of the players who are sticking around. Or listing the items for very low prices in the Marketplace so those of us who want to continue to play can buy the if we are lucky enough to find them.
    I wonder if there is any chance someone or some company could buy SPP from Google or continue on with it?

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      That would be nice if someone else could buy it.

      My brother actually just joined yesterday and he has gotten some good deals in the marketplace on items since he has very little coins being a new pet. I think the problem is they disappear fast because it;s a good deal so then all that is left is the higher priced stuff, so it makes the marketplace look bad.

      I am staying, too, until they force me out 🙂 Three years is a long investment to just drop! I figure after the big exodus all of those who are left can start an “I’m still here” thread in the forums ad add new friends, LOL!

  5. hobbesmommy says :

    thanks for the well-written blog on the way things stand with SPP. i will be sticking around too “for the foreseeable future”. i have a lot invested in this game, both in the number of hours played and the friendships i’ve made because of it, and in actual dollars for virtual goods. i plan to at least keep rearranging my animated objects and staring at my completed habitats for quite some time.

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Yep! I admit, I’ve even bought a bunch of new stuff in people’s close out sales, including some things I’ve been after for years (Leaning Tower of Pisa habitat! yay!) I know a lot of people on the forum say it;s stupid, but I look at it as 1) they are enabling Easter gifts as unlimited (as per Keane’s post) so obviously they think we’re going to need Easter gifts, and SuperPocus and Top Fish are both still operational , and in fact players can still join, so I’m hoping to get at least another year (or more!) out of spp! 😀

      • Tori says :

        Joleene, well written assumptions and I am tending to agree with the VIP fiasco as being the straw that broke the camels back, I have been here since Late 08 and having started from facebook then migrating to forums I was such a newb back then lol and a bit shy but hey all that is changed now LOL, I love my pet Izzie I can’t let her go so I will stay and play but fear of the unknown looms over my head daily. 😦

        • Joleene Naylor says :

          ha ha! Yeah, i remember when they started the forums on the website! They’d had a semi-forum on MySpace before that that we played gifting games in – did they have something like that on facebook?

          Yeah, it’s like a dark cloud hanging over every purchase or plan. I finally collected all the floats to do the Thanksgiving/Christmas parade habitat and have been planning to do it next Thanksgiving, now there is a tiny part of me wondering if it will still be there come next Thanksgiving 😦 BUt, as I said earlier, I am hoping for at least one more year – more would be even better!

      • Sheldon S Hurd says :

        Why Not Close Super Pocus & Top Fish and Allow Superpoke Pets LIVE!!

  6. Rebecca DiMatteo says :

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. In early August of last year, Google purchases Slide for $182 million, plus they threw in an additional cool $46 million in employee retention bonuses – phew, that’s A LOT of dough to pay out. It is said Google is going to throw its hat into the social network arena by releasing its own fb competitor – “Google Me.” It is already late in launching, but I highly doubt Google will let SPP completely die after doling out so much money to acquire it. I suspect, instead, to see a familiar, yet revamped face to SPP. Virtual pets have a huge fan base, and I just can’t see Google not implementing the opportunity to develop its own cash cow, similar to SPP.

    The loss of SPP, as we know it now, is certainly an unfortunate blow to our own little virtual world, and my pet, along with my club, has become a significant part of my life. Should the day come that they shut down SPP in its entirety, it will most certainly be worthy of mourning the loss of our pets and our many interwoven friendships. But alas, I truly believe SPP will eventually resurrect into a new manifestation that we will eventually acclimate to and embrace.

    In the meantime, we should savor the memories we’ve acquired and enjoy what’ remains of our community – its been a blast. In the words of William Shakespeare: “What’s past is prologue”

    ~Rebecca

    • Rebecca DiMatteo says :

      P.S. Look at Google’s acquisitions in recent years – holy commerce Batman, now that’s what I call a voracious appetite!

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Yeah, i think you’re right that we will be seeing a Google only version of virtual pets, probably similar to SPP. So long as I get to keep my little pixelized chicken and his inventory I’ll be good. I really think that we can all soldier on even without new releases so long as they leave the site up 🙂

  7. Erik McDarby says :

    Just recently came across this blog post and recognized your name as a friend in SuperPoke Pets. I have been trying to figure out where to host a page regarding a story regarding my SPP pet while in regards to what is going on SPP side, as I feel that I want to get a discussion on it. This is the story as far as it goes from the beginning and might need corrections if something is different than already said or found.

    It started a long time ago, technically over a year ago when I first came to SPP through Facebook. When I first came onto SPP, I picked up my bunny pet named Jennie and got some bunny things while a friend gave me the Faerie Ring habitat and some colored mushrooms (green, blue, red, and yellow) to start with. Since there wasn’t much at the time, I ended up drifting away from there for a time getting busy with a number of other things. Then quite a few months ago, while I was going through e-mail in an e-mail account I haven’t checked in a while, I realized I have been away from SPP for far too long and went back into it and getting Jennie as many bunny and fairy items I can find because she appeared to be quite lonely for some time.

    After I have gotten Jennie a number of things, something led me to do a search for something which ended up with me finding a website called Carceral Nation and the article about how SPP and Slide stole 3,000 fake coins from the author there, in which I have been making some responses to it. Around that time, I have been reading a thread in the SPP forums with the complaints over the trainable kitty with people getting overcharged for it and it going out of stock so many times followed by it not getting restocked again. This is just after the beginning of where I was feeling they should do away with the stock count as I don’t understand why that is in place there. Then one night after I have gotten more bunny and fairy items and have decorated Jennie’s Faerie Ring habitat to the point where she had 60 to 70 different items in it even though I don’t hoard and bought only two to four of most items (many items just two of), I was going to sleep and either I was in a dream state or the hypnagogic state (not sure which), I could hear this giggling sound. Many people may be too skeptic to believe this, but I felt the giggling sound I heard is Jennie’s (like she was being tickled by someone using the feather on SPP) and that moment was the beginning of the real bond I believe I somehow was developing with Jennie. From that, I felt Jennie was beginning to become more than just a pixelated creature as she seemed she may be turning into eudaemon to me and the beginning of a eudaemonia.

    Now I am not sure how to explain those feelings of emotions correctly, but moving on for now. Sometime afterward, I have been reading more SPP forum threads and found out about complaints about multiple overcharges of the VIP Membership going on followed by the creation of the marketplace where you could by items from other users. Apparently, there was a lot going on there because many things were being listed with high prices up to the 999,999 coin price cap, and a number of users complaining about that. Then I find out the friends’ tab has disappeared and was being replaced by a friends’ ladder many users were complaining was very bugged. This resulted in what appears to be a new friends’ tab coming really soon.

    However, something very disappointing to me and thousands of over users has then appeared, which is the announcement of a number of things such as no longer selling gold, removing gold items from the shop, no more new item and secret item releases, no more quests, .etc. This seems to still be going on even though the SPP forums are getting flooded with thousands of users who don’t want to see SPP ending. That and plus this seemed to have spawned a Google Help Forum thread called “How do I contact Google to ask them to please NOT shut down spp?” as it appeared to be getting serious. I, myself, don’t want to see this happen because I could lose Jennie who I have a bond with that means a lot and would be very sad if lost. It is more valuable than any gold item (four room habitats included) you can find in the shop and is essentially priceless meaning you can’t put a price on it.

    Please understand this, there has to be a way to save SPP, save Jennie, and hope that someone understands this and has the heart to help. I can link to a petition I know is underway that may help which is SPPers United to Keep SPP, but I am afraid that link might get deleted as it has happened once already when I linked something to my own forums, and it got deleted probably for spam which I never did again. I hope that you understand and care enough to see if there is anyway you can help me even if this becomes a discussion page from a forum post.

    Thank you for your time and understanding here.

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      I think a lot of SLide’s problems have been too much , too fast. Between all the updates and the item releases (almost every day it seems like!) and all the seeds, VIP’s etc etc I don;t think any tech department had adequate time to work on one thing before they were thrown something else and a lot of the players were really nasty about that. I know I’ve read stuff in the forums that was insane. Now, on the VIP overcharge, etc I am with the players because that was something that should never have happened, but like the friend ladder some people called the slide programmers names etc because some of their friends did not show up. Really, what are they out of their friends don;t show up for a couple of days? Yeah, it was annoying, but geeze.

      There was a post in the forum about slide consistently losing money (i wish I’d saved the link to the article they quoted!) and I think a lot of that was due to it being a whirlwind of one thing after another; quests, etc. I’ve noticed that most of the core players tend to be those who like it because it is a slower paced “game” (I admit, I don;t think of it as a game, myself) without a lot of rush and hurry to it. But after all the changes/add ons things got fast paced – shopping day, for instance, was/is a heart pumping speed of light experience if you want to try to buy the rare items.

      No problem! post away! I also comment over on Carceral Nation (on the SPP post, even). being an SPP’er I like hearing other people’s SPP stories!

    • lauren says :

      Bravo!! Nicely stated. You put the words out there that I feel too. Thinking to myself (playing and laughing with friends on SPP) my pet has a personality. How did this happen?! Yes, you are right, you and your pet build a bond. No matter how I try and tell myself…it’s NOT real! Sure..then why is she so sad when I don’t return for a day..HUH??!!
      The creativity of habitats by players is remarkable..to say the least. I can’t imagine saying ‘good-bye’.

  8. cynthia says :

    great article here! thanks for sharing! I hadn’t put all those speculations together so this helps to get some ideas generating. it’s so creepy now- spp feels like a ghost town- it’s impossible to even file a ticket to get help for things.
    http://faustojr.spp.com/

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Yeah, I know it’s in trouble because I am getting way too many good deals on gold items from people’s sales…

      I’m waiting until after August first and then if no one has started a “who is staying” thread I’m going to and get all the friends who have left weeded out and add those who are still there 🙂

  9. Brian Yeager & Penjuan says :

    Weither you are a fan of this site or not, the people that played SuperPoke Pets; This was OUR thing…why does Google have to take it away from us?

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      yeah, I know a lot of non players don’t seem to get it, LOL!

      • melissa says :

        omg you guys! I had 10 habitats lol. i lost my internet around april or may and i just now got it turned back on yesterday. i rarely bought gold items, thank goodness but i am guilty of spending 25 bucks in real money on a gallery art picture. And it really was the best virtual pet game out there. the art was fantasic to begin with, then add all the talented fans that designed the most amazing things. I’m glad that other peaple can understand our love of SPP. I cant find another site like that but if u ever come across one, please contact me luckyrose2777@yahoo.com

  10. Buddy says :

    They promised us they would not close the site down. They told us over and over again that it would remain open but they would no longer make any changes. Then yesterday “BOOM” we are shutting the site down for good. They had a huge sale of gold items right after they stated to us they would keep the game open and we could go on playing without the updates. Many of us went ahead and bought the sale items and finished off all our gold in the account because they said they would not do a refund and not to worry we would still be able to play. We the players expect that you will keep the site open as stated forever with no updates or we expect to get our money returned to us that we spent to help this site. I don’t think it is an unfair request. I know myself I spent all my birthday money to purchase items so I could have them to use as I pleased. Had we been told the game would be shut down I would of never spent my money. What is Google going to do for us?

  11. Monica says :

    I can’t believe that now THEY WANT TO SHUT DOWN THE GAME…like forever!!!
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/25/slide-google-bloodbath/
    they’re giving us 6 fucking months to take pics of our pets and save our contacts and friends… bullshit!! I’m really pissed with google, I can’t believe they let die a fab comunity that SPP was!!!!

  12. Clarice Miller Deshalamar says :

    http://www.consumer-classactions.com/investigations/internet-scam/did-you-have-a-superpoke-pets-spp-account/

    An investigation is being conducted into the abrupt discontinuance of SuperPoke Pets.† Many consumers have complained that the cancellation of this game was unfair and will cause them to lose purchases they made within the game.

    If you had a SuperPoke Pets account and will lose money as a result of the shut down, you may be entitled to take part in a class action to recover money.

  13. Kay says :

    Please sign the petition to keep superpoke pets going we need all the signatures we can get Please, Thank you.

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thepetitionsite.com%2F1%2FSPPersUnitedtoKeepSPP%2F&h=lAQCsWlNaAQBEEM3cYLGH5-LON4BH5ua9n1tIAZa9jhtq7Q

  14. Glynis Sylvia says :

    Not a bad article. Would have been better if you had proofread it though. You have a particular problem know which “its” to use, among other things.

  15. Shiva Sharifi says :

    Why doesn’t google just transfer SPP over to their new Google + games and make everyone happy

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Yeah, I don;t understand that either except that it won’t work on their android platform 😦

      • Sheldon S Hurd says :

        I couldn’t play it on any platform anyways….that is just asking for a Monopoly with Cell phones who require you to purchase their Apps to play this game or that game.
        Even Nicole, an Admin on SPP, said that She doubted that it would work.
        “An android application was not planned for SPP. It has been stand alone as a PC application due to the code variations. Believe it or not there is a giant amount of code and database magic that keeps SPP running. That isn’t something that could be accomplished easily on a mobile application.”

  16. Sheldon S Hurd says :

    I joined SPP on Myspace about 2 yrs ago; but didn’t join SPP.com cause I was afraid of $$$, so I only played on MySpace sporadically. Then at end of Sept I joined SPP.com.
    My pet Snuggles will be 2 yrs. old Sept. 30th. I LOVE MY Pet Very, very much.
    IF Google and Slide succeed, and SPP Shuts down, I will be Very Heartbroken.
    Snuggles also has a sister, Rayna who Will Never see her 2nd Birthday. A year ago I met my Wife while playing on SPP. We met for first time in Dec 2009, and married Aug 2nd, 2010. SO, I have another emotional connection with Superpoke Pets. I own 2 pets, and adopted a 3rd. My wife owns one, and has adopted another. Between the two of us We care for 5 pets. I also own My Own 5 Star Club which does/did very well with 20 members.Losing Superpoke Pets will be devastating to US.

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      That’s awesome that you met your wife through SPP! 😀

      SPP has been a family activity for us, to. My hubby often helps me decorate my habitats, and my mom and brother both have pets, too. Thursday shopping used to be a weakly event – I would go to my Mom;s house and we would race through and try to get all the pets shopping done. It’s going to leave a hole in a lot of lives ;(

  17. Julian Lee Gore says :

    La verdad es que es algo triste que a algo a lo que le has puesto tanto empeño se deshaga tan asi de simple la verdad superpoke pets era algo en la vida de muchos y ahora que se destruya la verdad no se que se hara por que en mi caso estoy muy triste de que cosas asi pasen

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      it makes me sad, too! I don;t understand why Google is killing the game instead of trying to sell it. I know they want rid of it because it won;t play on android, but at least make some money and don’t make all the players miserable! 😦

  18. Sandra Clower says :

    If you have a Facebook account and are looking for a place where you can keep in contact with your SPP friends, come join our group. We also have up to date information posted about the changes we all are facing. Come join us, invite your friends, you club members and together we will work to keep SPP alive. Here’s the link, join a group that is 811 members strong and growing by the minute. http://www.facebook.com/groups/POKEHAPPYPEOPLE

  19. Scott S says :

    Why cant Google do a public service for the hadicapped, diabled, elderly, who cant get around and love this game, instead of worrying about the money?

  20. Willow Moon says :

    So, after two years of having a break from SPP, or maybe it’s one year, I don’t know, But I missed my pet. I have a TON of items on my little dragon and what not, I find out that SPP is closing? I used to play it all of the time, but due to the fact that I was working so much, I took a little break. I am very saddened by this announcement. Is there anything that we can do to keep it open?

  21. selena says :

    this is stupied i loved spp curse you whoever did this to me

  22. DM Yates says :

    I always cringe when an online website announces ‘major changes’. Google can be so great or such an a–

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Super Poke Pets is Closing?! « Joleene Naylor's - August 25, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: