Super Poke Pets is Closing?! – UPDATED
Though no announcements have been made in the forum at http://superpokpets.com, an article on techcrunch.com says that we can all expect to see Superpoke Pets, and all other slide applications, disappear in “the coming months”.
Coming months? That’s specific!
P layers are already scrambling on the forum, looking for verification, but as of this posting, all we have are a handful of articles – which isn’t surprising. According to All Things D .com, the Slide teams were only notified this afternoon that everything they’ve worked on – including an application that was only launched 8 days ago – will end. The article goes on to say that Max Levchin, the founder of Paypal and head of Slide, as well as the second in command Jared Fliesler are leaving Google.
Can’t say I blame them.
This comes only three months after Slide announced massive changes to the Superpoke Pets platform, including the end of “gold” items, as well as many other paid features and even ended new releases in the virtual coin shop. Those changes took place through July, and by August first players were settling in to the new landscape, forming new clubs and even inventing contests and games to keep the forums and the site active. Now Google has pulled the rug out from under players once again, with no warning. A repeat of the last changes.
Though the SPP website has no news on it, Slide.com has updated their website with a message to users, announcing the end of their applications.
We wanted to give you all advance notice that in the coming months, a number of Slide’s products and applications will be retired. This includes Slide’s products such as Slideshow and SuperPoke! Pets, as well as more recent products such as Photovine, Video Inbox and Pool Party. We created products with the goal of providing a fun way for people to connect, communicate and share. While we are incredibly grateful to our users and for all of the wonderful feedback over the years, many of these products are no longer as active or haven’t caught on as we originally hoped.
Most importantly, we wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you that we’re committed to helping our users preserve their data as easily as possible. We recognize that many of you have stored valuable content with us and want to assure you that, wherever possible, you will have ample time to download that information or transfer it to another service.
Despite the last paragraph, it’s pretty doubtful that Superpoke Pets users will be able to “save” any “data”. How can they? The game is structured through databases that, to my knowledge, users can’t legally access (think the same kind of databases that hold passwords). Or am I wrong? Is there a way to download your pet and your items so that you can keep poking and decorating in private? Or will our virtual pets really be “dead”?
Slide asks that users send “questions or feedback” to firstname.lastname@example.org, but really, what is contacting them going to accomplish? Superpoke Pets, and the other Slide applications, are not compatible with the mobile Android system, which has apparently becomes Google’s new focus. Oh the horror if you can’t surf the web and play your games while driving, eating, drinking, walking, camping, and shopping.
This appeared on the forum shortly after 1 AM:
Earlier today we announced that in the coming months we will begin to shut down many of our products, including SPP. We know all of you love your pet, and we wanted to provide you with plenty of advanced warning. SPP won’t be retired for about six months. We hope this will provide you with time to play with your pet, capture snapshots of your favorite habis and connect with the friends you’ve made on SPP.
We know this is a sad day for many of you, and it is sad for us, too. SPP has been a major part of many of our lives for the past three years. Thank you for taking care of your pet and for creating such an incredible community.
The SuperPoke!Pets Team
So, there’s the answer. In January or February of 2012 Superpoke Pets will be no more, just in time to ring in the new year.
UPDATE 2: Here’s the link to the petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/SPPersUnitedtoKeepSPP
UPDATE 3: I received this in my SPP inbox:
For those who may be interested, here is a link that provides info (phone/fax/address) to every google office in the world. Check it out & if you’re interested, feel free to let them know how you feel about them KILLING our game.
I have already contacted the office nearest me. I actually spoke to a real person too. She was really nice, she listened to what I had to say, transferred me to the voice mail of who I needed to speak too, and told me that google has been getting calls/letters/faxes by the THOUSANDS everyday about spp!
Remember, every single person who contacts google is helping the cause.
UPDATE 4: After contacting community support and asking if there would be any way for us to save our pets and inventories to our computers, this was the reply I got:
Thank you for contacting the Community Support Team!
We know that many people’s favorite thing about SPP is the items and habitats they have gotten for their Pet, and we are currently researching options for allowing you to export some of this content. While we don’t have any details at the moment, we will be updating the Playground forum as soon as we do, so please continue to watch there for further announcements. As we have announced, SPP will not be shutting down for
about another 6 months, and we hope you’re able to use these next few months to have fun with your items and with all of your friends.
Finally, if you didn’t see our recent announcement, it addresses several of the common questions we have seen about the shut down:
UPDATE 5: There is a movement to try to get CNN interested in doing a story :
(from my inbox)
“…Here’s the number to CNN that I called… I had to wait for about 5 min for a live person to answer… . The person who came on pointed me to the right area where I had to leave a detailed message with my number & email… Then, about 15 minutes later I received a call from a Tip Manager… The more people who do this, the more chance we have… It seems to have sparked a serious interest w/ CNN… & REMEMBER this isn’t the 1st time CNN has covered Super Poke Pets…Please give them a call too… CNN- 404-827-1500”
You can also send an email to: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/show/?s=storyidea
UPDATE 6: For SPP Players – Tonya has created a series of images that can be used for your profile pictures. There is a choice of both girl and boy pets for each animal and say either “Shame on Google” or “Why us, Google?” Check the thread here.
OF NOTE: Interestingly enough, on Wednesday it was announced that Google had to pay the government $500 million for knowingly showing ads for illegal Canadian pharmacies on American pages. On Thursday they announce they are closing all Slide product to “trim the fat”. Connection, perhaps?