Terraria developer cancels game for Stadia after Google disabled his account three weeks ago

If you follow tech news, you may have stumbled upon frequently posted horror stories of businesses, developers and individuals losing access to their Google accounts online.

One of the latest to receive Google's banhammer is Terraria developer Andrew Spinks and his company Re-Logic.

Terraria is a very successful independent game, one of the most successful games in fact, with more than 30 million copies sold by April 2020 according to an article on Games Industry.

A post made by the official Terraria account on Twitter revealed that the company had issues with its Google account, and here in particular with the services YouTube and Gmail.

After spending 3 hours tonight actively trying to get a response we are no closer to recovering our Youtube or Gmail account. We have been locked out of both without explanation for 10 days now.

All videos of the YouTube account are still up, but the profile image has been replaced with a default icon, and access to the account was disabled.

google ban terraria re-logic

Re-Logic explained on Twitter that nothing new was added to the YouTube channel for the past three months and that it did receive a terms of service violation email. The company's entire account was disabled three days later according to messages published on Twitter.

Today, Andrew Spinks published a series of tweets on Twitter about the situation. Spinks reveals that he could not get Google to lift the ban and reinstate the account.

@Google my account has now been disabled for over 3 weeks. I still have no idea why, and after using every resource I have to get this resolved you have done nothing but given me the runaround.

He states that he lost access to all account data, including data on Google Drive, apps and content that he bought on Google Play, the YouTube channel, or the 15-years in service Gmail address.

My phone has lost access to thousands of dollars of apps on
@GooglePlay. I had just bought LOTR 4K and can't finish it. My
@googledrive data is completely gone. I can't access my
@YouTube channel. The worst of all is losing access to my
@gmail address of over 15 years.

A single violation claim affecting one of the services and apps, can lead to the disabling of an entire account.

Spinks made the decision to discontinue developing Terraria for Google Stadia, and announced that his company won't support any Google platform going forward.

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.

I will not be involved with a corporation that values their customers and partners so little. Doing business with you is a liability.

Closing words

Users and companies, who get their accounts banned, face several challenges, including, that little information, if any, is provided that explains why an account or a service was banned.

That in itself would not be a huge problem if Google and other major Internet companies would provide proper access to channels to resolve issues. One of the few options available for affected companies and users is to try and create huge outcry on the Internet; it happened more than once that bans were lifted after a story was shared thousands of times on sites like Reddit or Hacker News.

Google and other major Internet companies use machine learning and artificial intelligence, and while that makes sense because of the scale of data and interactions, it is also error prone. Legitimate accounts get disabled regularly and since there are little options to contact a company like Google, it often means that bans remain in place even while it could sometimes be resolved in a matter of minutes of direct communication.

Now You: what is your take on the whole story? Have you experienced something similar in the past?

Summary
Terraria developer cancels game for Stadia after Google disabled his account three weeks ago
Article Name
Terraria developer cancels game for Stadia after Google disabled his account three weeks ago
Description
Google appears to have banned the account of Terraria developer Re-Logic; the company in return decided to cancel its game for Google's Stadia service.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Zsolt Pinter said on February 8, 2021 at 5:32 pm
    Reply

    I was banned from the Google Maps local guides (including street view trusted) with 13M photo views without any warnings and reason. After several years I am still banned and no idea why…
    After directly contacted the support several times they just told me I violated the ToS without actually checking or explaining it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. kalmly said on February 8, 2021 at 5:34 pm
    Reply

    I would like to share my thoughts, but they are too ugly to post. How I wish I were young enough, rich enough, and smart enough to help stop Google and their cohorts world take-over.

  3. naveed said on February 8, 2021 at 5:46 pm
    Reply

    Oh yes, relying on google is a scary proposition. This sort of thing can happen to anyone. And google just doesn’t care. I had something similar happen, and there was no way to fix it. I’d urge everyone to have backups of the data they have on google – especially critical info. DON’T use google logins for anything important. And definitely do NOT use google authenticator for 2FA – use Authy or any thing else – imagine using Google Authenticator, and your google account gets locked.

    1. Ivan said on February 14, 2021 at 6:22 pm
      Reply

      You can store the QR codes of the 2FA entries in an offline password manager like Keepass.
      That way, you can always recover them (e.g. after losing a phone).

  4. Martin P. said on February 8, 2021 at 5:53 pm
    Reply

    If that’s what Google’s AI does to honest businesses using their services (like Terraria), with next to no way of achieving resolution of the ban with them, I guess this serves as a hard warning about Google’s reliability as business partner.

  5. Anonymous said on February 8, 2021 at 7:30 pm
    Reply

    Google has come pretty far since their initial “Don’t be evil.” mantra days, eh?

    1. Mystique said on February 9, 2021 at 3:08 pm
      Reply

      eh… they have just been caught and exposed over the years so they have began to care a little less about hiding their intentions. That and also more power has lead to more corruption as with everything.
      Also with our rights being erroded each day people and companies like this feel emboldened to carry on and up their game to be evil and keep chipping away at people.

    2. James said on February 10, 2021 at 12:54 am
      Reply

      Even that mantra was just to fool gullible users anyway.

  6. Kevin Kleinfelter said on February 8, 2021 at 8:14 pm
    Reply

    Independent of the Google customer/partner service issue, this is a reminder that any data worth storing is worth storing at least twice.

    If you access email via the web, you should also have a local email client which is storing your email locally. If you have Google Play content/apps, you must consider it disposable unless you have a hack to store a local copy (elsewhere than your phone). If you deliver your email to Google, you must use an email address on a domain YOU own (and not register the domain via Google).

    This is not unique to Google. Unless you are a VIP, you must assume that any of your data on a vendor-controlled server can vanish at any moment. Have a Plan-B.

  7. Branson said on February 8, 2021 at 8:44 pm
    Reply

    Stadia was always a waste of time from beginning, I don’t know why some devs bothered with it when it really has no future and while people were “excited” about the new toy after somedays you didn’t hear much about it.

    But that is google for you, they will suspend you, ban you or demonetize you for whatever reason. it is 2021, and this is what companies will do, whatever they want. There will be the people who will say “private company blabla” but that only applies to some when it fits the agenda and not all the time.

    But if you think deeply, Google/Youtube is affecting business without any consequence for their actions, while I believe people has given too much to technology and these silicon valley companies, they exists and most people use them especially YouTube, so they are pretty much affecting someone’s business and don’t suffer any consequence and we shall pretend nothing is going on.

    I believe Youtube will say “it was a mistake” and restore the account if many people complain about this, but it will keep happening and happening to many others, and the “powerful dictators of silicon valley” will not stop, of course, some will scream will say “EULA AND TOS AND RULES” blabla, but we also know these companies don’t apply the rules evenly for everyone, only when it fits the narrative or they want to look “woke” or something political.

  8. MarkyBoi said on February 8, 2021 at 9:17 pm
    Reply

    Terraria is a really fun game, Stadia is a really shit platform. Google are everything that is wrong with the internet in 2021.

    Glad to see Andrew Spinks take this action.

  9. Sol Shine said on February 9, 2021 at 12:12 am
    Reply

    This is why I use as little online cloud services as possible.
    I only need a ISP for my internet connection at home.
    All my emails are downloaded to my email client and so are offline and backed up with other important data on multiple drives and not in the cloud. I carry a small backup drive in my bag or briefcase whenever I leave my house.

    Even if my ISP goes offline, I can use the Jami opensource videochat app on public wifi’s to contact my family.
    Just make sure in the ‘Apps-> 3 dots settings->Special access->Optimize battery usage’, you set Jami to not be optimised.
    In Jami settings, enable the background service.
    Jami has it’s bugs, but it does not need your phone nr and has a desktop client that works.

    For email, a tutanota.com or protonmail account is good enough, and can be accesed via public wifi using their apps, which is more secure than using webmail on public wifi.
    I only use Gmail and Outlook accounts for testing or non sensitive matters when needed.
    Even on Android I do not use a Google account. I get my apps from F-droid or apkmirror.com.
    Google drive of Microsoft drive (or whatever it’s now called) will not get my data.

    I use only a local account when I install Windows
    You now need a app from the Microsoft store to configure Intel GPU’s, and you need a Microsoft account to download the app from the store, and you need to give Microsoft your phone number now to get a account.
    It gets harder and harder to protect your privacy, just to use a OS you paid for.
    Politicians do nothing about this.
    I am migrating to Linux and using it exclusively on some of my computers.

    It is all about collecting your personal data to profile you for sending you personalised ads.
    It is also about collecting as much data as possible for developing and testing algoritmes.
    Algoritmes are cheaper than hiring people. So it is about reducing costs to increase profit.
    It is all about money over the backs and rights of customers.

    I have little sympathy for companies or people who are tech savvy and still make themselves too dependant on these abusive big tech companies without making a backup plan for when things go wrong.
    They prioritise ease of use, saving time and costs above their privacy and independance.
    The problem for companies is that their competitors save costs in the short term by using cloud services, and politicians do little to firmly regulate the tech companies.
    But they often can still reduce the use of cloud services to a minimum and make a backup plan.

    1. Phoenix said on February 9, 2021 at 1:41 pm
      Reply

      I think you do not need to login to MS Store to download a program, it asks you to back you decline and the download still goes on.

      I agree with the other statements tho.

      1. Sol Shine said on February 9, 2021 at 8:28 pm
        Reply

        @Phoenix,
        You may be right, I do not use the Microsoft store much.
        But the last times when I had to downlaod the intel GPU app, I could not download it. It asks me to login and there was no way to skip that and go ahead. But it could have been a bug.
        That does show that using the store makes downloads more complex and thus vulnerable to bugs. Downloading the AMD GPU settings program from the AMD website is just a simple HTTP file transfer and cause no problem.

    2. user said on February 9, 2021 at 10:56 pm
      Reply

      thank you this post, there are some good tips in there specifically the tip on secure email providers.

  10. bevode said on February 9, 2021 at 12:51 am
    Reply

    Google care only about, money, if you don’t send them enough money through publicity (to have access to a counselor from youtube), they don’t care at all if your are banned or not.
    It’s the worst company i haver seen i really tell to all company avoid them at any cost !

  11. MR MUSTASHE said on February 9, 2021 at 1:10 am
    Reply

    https://slashdot.org/story/21/02/03/1612216/microsoft-slams-google-over-threat-to-shut-search-engine-in-australia

    And on a personal note, see:…

    https://www.ghacks.net/2021/01/24/first-look-at-firefoxs-multiple-picture-in-picture-video-feature/

    Lastly…

    If I may make a suggestion!… I propose that the ensuing text be added by Ghacks.net to its “Check the box” blurb/ string (within a “read more” caption at the end of the blurb)…

    In Checking the box to consent to data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in Ghacks’ Privacy Policy, we at Ghacks.net give NO SANCTION to a violation of your Constitutionally protected Rights and Freedoms, nor to a violation of any of the Articles to be found within the Universal declaration of Human Rights/ UDHR! And to the extent that such may be felt breached, we ask that you notify us of the perceived or substantive breach, by filling out the form h̲e̲r̲e̲! Thank you!

    And thank you!… and all the best!

  12. Anonymous said on February 9, 2021 at 1:56 am
    Reply

    First mistake was to trust Google.

    1. James said on February 10, 2021 at 12:59 am
      Reply

      +∞!

  13. Anonymous said on February 9, 2021 at 2:23 am
    Reply

    This is one reason why I don’t use Google.

    Also, any site admins out there, stop using Google Recaptcha!

  14. Anonymous said on February 9, 2021 at 2:33 am
    Reply

    That’s why it’s dangerous to put all things in one basket.

    I have one account for Youtube uploading, one for Google Apps Engine, one for Google Play, and one for receiving email from the other accounts.

    It might be hassle but when thing happens I can recover easily.

  15. Nunya Bidness said on February 9, 2021 at 2:36 am
    Reply

    This is why I will never back up my data to a cloud server. My backups are on older hard drives that get rotated to my bank safety deposit box every Monday morning. This is why I have my own mail server, and all messages get saved on local hard drives.

    And I’m building a Home Assistant/Raspberry Pi smarthome system that won’t call home, ever. Why would anyone want home security that depends on a network connection?

  16. Dan said on February 9, 2021 at 3:27 am
    Reply

    Not as dramatic but we have a church page on Facebook. We can’t use our email address on the page because it is on a Time Warner Business Class domain. They consider it spam. We can’t even use it in a message or the message is flagged as spam and we are not allowed to post it. Had to resort to using a different address since we can’t find anyway to contact them or tell them it is not spam.

  17. Anonymous said on February 9, 2021 at 4:20 am
    Reply

    Back in the day a telephone company disconnected my home phone without warning. Eventually they admitted their error but then refused to give me my old number back.

    Needless to say I switched provider.

    The kicker; at the time I was responsible for the tendering of a multi-million dollar communication/telephone system for a large University.
    They didn’t win the contract.

  18. AlfaMale said on February 9, 2021 at 4:23 am
    Reply

    Good, hopefully more will follow.

  19. S?m?le said on February 9, 2021 at 4:41 am
    Reply

    I feels bad for the developer, if I work at Google, I would try my best to reach the person that’s having power over this ban, and try to talk to the person to get his account unbanned, I feels like he is not the person that’s deserve the ban, everything he loses in his Google is so precious.

  20. allen said on February 9, 2021 at 5:21 am
    Reply

    If Google had any human intelligence, then they would learn from this continual failure on their part.

    But. They. Do. Not.

    When you’re this stupid, you don’t need to be evil to be thought of as evil.

    1. Rex said on February 12, 2021 at 8:47 am
      Reply

      Oh they have intelligence aplenty, they don’t care because it’s cheaper to use a shitty AI than employ people in customer support even for paying customers.

  21. Jean said on February 9, 2021 at 6:26 am
    Reply

    I was banned from Instagram 4 times (4 accounts) without any reason…

  22. Anonymous said on February 9, 2021 at 7:06 am
    Reply

    I have never been banned because I do not use social networks / cloud services at all.

  23. Ayy said on February 9, 2021 at 7:13 am
    Reply

    Google is a terrible service for anything critical, I got burned hard by them roughly 10 years ago and I will never forget the absolute frustration and rage as hackers broke into one of my email accounts through a nation state attack against google (Reuters: “Google reveals Gmail hacking, says likely from China”). If memory serves, around the same time, Google was making a big push to bring their services to China, it was most likely some stupid intern left a ssh key on one of the servers they were deploying, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    The thing is, that email account had a unique 32 character password and my personal machine was in no way compromised so I am 100% free of fault here, but it gets worse, they were able to strip off the F2A and recovery email from the account, and to this day I am unable to login to it as it says something along the lines of “we don’t recognize this device” and requests a secret question which I never set on that account.

    I’ve tried contacting them numerous times about it through their awful support forms, they never responded, there is no way to bypass those stupid forms and talk to a real person over the phone. All said and done google got pwned and I lost money because of it. If I were in a different position at the time, I would have sued them.

  24. Me said on February 9, 2021 at 10:01 am
    Reply

    More like Artificial Stupidity.

  25. Anonymous said on February 9, 2021 at 12:20 pm
    Reply

    I get banned by AIs regularly for no reason. After extreme surveillance and arbitrary censorship, crime of appearance is another thing that has become legit “just because we’re information technology companies”.

  26. Never Trust Google said on February 9, 2021 at 2:33 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been locked out of my Google Gmail account for many months. I know my username and password by heart, but Google still won’t give me access to my own email account.

    They haven’t accused me of anything. No terms of service violations or anything like that. They have even acknowledged that the username and password I’m providing for my account are correct, but they are requiring more than that to log into my own f*cking account, even though that’s all I have, all I want, and all I’ve ever set up.

    Their “support team” has been completely useless, and emails I’ve sent to their management from another email account have been ignored.

    I’ve learned from this experience to never trust Google with anything even minimally important.

    They are just another multi-billion dollar mega-corporation that simply does not give a crap about real people.

  27. Mystique said on February 9, 2021 at 3:14 pm
    Reply

    Let this also be a lesson as to why cloud services are rubbish and can and will pull the rug out from under you at any given time both as a developer and as a consumer.

    What makes me sad is all the effort that the developers put into working with stadia when they could have been handling other projects and their future. There should definitely be some sort of legal ramifications for google here.

  28. Mike said on February 9, 2021 at 3:28 pm
    Reply

    In a cloud-first world, if a user ever does anything against the rules, or even if he/she doesn’t and some algorithm arbitrarily decides otherwise, then all of the user’s stuff gets taken away in an instant. Email, documents, digital purchases (games, software), all of it, gone. This is very, very wrong.

    I’m actually proud that this guy is standing up to Google, and I hope he doesn’t back down even if Google hears the outrage and undoes his ban. For every high profile game developer or celebrity that gets banned for no good reason, there are probably five innocent users that no one cares about who experienced the same thing at the behest of some secret algorithm, and who don’t have any kind of soapbox to shout from and get attention.

    Refusing to ever publish his successful game on this already-struggling new platform is how he gives the system a taste of it’s own medicine.

  29. Bindere Dundat said on February 9, 2021 at 6:16 pm
    Reply

    As if they (G…..) cares. They don’t.
    Over $60B in revenue for the last quarter.
    Of that, more than $40B was from ads.
    Easy money. Easy Digital money.
    Multi-Trillion Dollar Companies fueled by easy money.
    Easy $US Funny Money.
    The Big-G won’t miss this individual person or company, but THEY will miss the Big-G (or at least the Big-G’s $$$).
    Wake Up World.

  30. James said on February 10, 2021 at 1:08 am
    Reply

    A real shame that Andrew had to experience this, but just like one probably needs to lose important data once in an HDD crash to learn the lesson of the importance of *always* backing up regularly, he too had to experience this pain to learn never *ever* to trust Scroogle.

    Only wish more folks learnt the same lesson without waiting for the axe to fall on them too…

  31. Anonymous said on February 10, 2021 at 3:43 pm
    Reply

    Guys, it’s easy and comfortable to be angry at Google and all those filthy Silicon Valley businesses in the echo chamber of an anti-Google article to forget it the next day, and I know that today everything is done to confine opposition to such echo chambers so that the soul crushing machine can keep working against us without any “disruption”, while they are attempting to discredit the very concept of dissent as something right-wing. But you would be more useful actually replying to their employees and shills where they speak, when they spread their propaganda unanswered and where things are actually decided. Especially if it means going against the local “consensus”.

    You will be insulted, mocked, censored a lot under false pretexts, or more openly when they go as far as having explicit “no hostility allowed” rules, when their censors want to leave their Mountain View office for a coffee break the AIs they developed and then trained to spot disagreement will keep doing the job for them, and if that’s not enough they will harass you expertly and try to destroy your reputation, but it’s a sign that it’s the right thing to do, they fear the truth more when it’s told when it matters.

  32. george said on February 18, 2021 at 5:12 pm
    Reply

    There is an old book (from 1953) :’deadlier than h-bomb’ that made a warning of what will happen. nobody listened than, almost nobody does today. some people start to think that something is wrong, but after 10sec of thinking, they go back to watching tv, youtube, playing games…

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