If you get locked out of your Google account for any reason, the company has provided you with several ways to regain access. Recovery codes, backup codes that you can print, two-step verification, et cetera, et cetera. However, there are varying circumstances where most of those recovery options are meaningless and honest people get locked out of accounts they’ve owned for years for no good reason with no way of getting back in!
I can’t tell you how much I had this happen to my best customers when I worked as a Chromebook Expert in the retail space. The only thing I could tell them was to keep trying, and that there was no way to call Google and resolve the issue. Google has purposely set things up this way so that human engineering can’t be carried out.
Well, Terraria, the popular 2D, side-scrolling ‘Minecraft’ style game that has appeared on virtually every game console was slated to release on Google Stadia in the near future, but not anymore. After Andrew Spinks, the game’s co-creator was locked out of two of the company’s primary Gmail accounts which were used to house the game’s files, its Google Play apps, its Youtube videos, and more, he took to Twitter to inform Google that they had indefinitely burnt bridges with Re-Logic.
In a series of follow-up tweets, Andrew laid out the details of his inability to access said accounts for the past three weeks, claiming that he hadn’t done anything to his knowledge to violate Google’s rules for account holders. While it’s easy to immediately say that Google is just being Google (and they probably are), there has been no response from the company on why this occurred in the first place. Because these sorts of things usually never get resolved, it’s likely that this will remain a mystery.
Perhaps Google flipped a switch somewhere and screwed up, or perhaps Andrew truly did something to violate the terms and conditions unknowingly. Regardless, the best that Team Youtube could do was to send a generic, automated reply to his tweet storm to which several people replied that it was the worst way to handle the situation.
I absolutely have not done anything to violate your terms of service, so I can take this no other way than you deciding to burn this bridge. Consider it burned. #Terraria for @GoogleStadia is canceled. My company will no longer support any of your platforms moving forward.Andrew Spinks – Twitter
As of right now, Terraria is still available on the Google Play Store, but I’m sure that if Re-Logic gains access to its accounts they will be sure to remove it before long. All of this comes directly after Google decided to axe its internal Stadia Games and Entertainment studios. While these two events aren’t exactly related, they seem to be very good at stacking bad publicity on themselves in rapid succession. I think that gamers will agree that Google and Stadia need some massive adjustments in terms of how they interact and serve their users.
The past 12 months have been full of odd mistakes and decisions and one can’t help but wonder what the heck is going on behind the doors at Google. Besides this issue with Terraria’s developer, Google continues to take on projects they seemingly know they can’t sustain, can’t manage machine learning and AI automated systems to properly calculate storage quotas or properly bill customers, run experiments on user devices outside of the preview program, and remove popular app features without user feedback, all at the extreme cost of their public image. All of this points to the larger issue of the divide between a company’s vision of the future and its user’s desire for how that future looks, ultimately leading to poor customer service. Because Google relies so heavily on automation, the human aspect of customer service is all but missing in the most important places.
I’m careful to always give them the benefit of the doubt, even though some would say I’m too much of a fanboy, but at some point, something’s gotta give, right? When is Google going to change its approach and begin to effectively communicate with the millions of users who sustain it? When is it going to care more about how people perceive it than it does about innovation without stability? My guess is that this trend will continue. My hope is that when major players like well-known game developers speak up about how broken Google’s system is, perhaps they will have no choice but to speak up on the matter. Only time will tell…unless it doesn’t. It’s as I said though, Google isn’t evil, it just has some things to figure out…and it had better do it quickly.