This story was originally published and last updated .
Andrew Spinks is the main developer behind the hit-indie survival game Terraria. He is the founder of Re-Logic, the development studio that created Terraria, and this studio planned to bring Terraria to Stadia, but this may have changed thanks to Google locking Spinks out of its Google account. You see, Google sent Spinks a TOS alert for a YouTube breach, which was ignored and thought it was being sent incorrectly, and then Google did its best to ban Spinks̵
My @Google account has now been disabled for over 3 weeks. I still have no idea why, and after using all the resources I have to solve this, you have done nothing but give me the go-ahead.
– Andrew Spinks (@Demilogic) February 8, 2021
Late last night, Andrew Spinks revealed in a series of tweets that his Google account had been banned for three weeks, and that he had been trying for weeks to find someone on Google who could help, but of course came up empty-handed. It’s a familiar story, but it’s a little less clear thanks to a ToS alert sent for a YouTube breach. It seems that Spinks saw and chose to ignore this warning since he had not uploaded a new YouTube video for several months, leaving him confused as to why he would receive this warning in the first place. Ignoring this warning was clearly a mistake, because as we see, Google went through the account ban, and as we all know, it’s hard to reverse a ban unless you get the audience on your side, that’s the way it is right now. .
I have done absolutely nothing to violate your Terms of Service, so I can not take this in any other way than that you decide to burn this bridge. Consider it burnt. #Terraria for @GoogleStadia has been canceled. My company no longer supports any of your platforms in the future.
– Andrew Spinks (@Demilogic) February 8, 2021
As you can imagine, Spinks was more than likely frustrated by the whole situation, which is why he has stated that he no longer plans to bring Terraria to Stadia since it is a Google-controlled platform. Whether he retains the ability to do so remains to be seen (are contracts involved, etc.), but the feeling is hard to ignore. What’s interesting about this is that it’s one of the first times I’ve seen someone beat Google back after a ban, and even better, Spinks and Terraria actually have a clue to back up this threat since Terraria has a larger following than Stadium. Terraria is, after all, a ten-year-old indie lover with a big cult following, so if it possibly does not come to Stadia anymore, this could be a loss for the platform.
So far, there is no word on whether Google will restore Spinks’ account, but with the current press coverage making the rounds, I’m sure Google will finally offer some customer service. Of course, there’s a bigger problem here. The fact that Google can so easily ban others’ accounts, and cut users from the tools often required to earn a living online, such as YouTube and Gmail, makes it pretty clear that the company needs to change how it handles these account bans. Relying on robots is completely unsustainable, and yet there is no sign that Google is willing to change its destructive ways. So yes, even though you’ve created one of the most popular indie games in the last decade, you still have to live in fear that your Google account may be banned at any time. Sure, this scenario is deliberately positive that ignoring a ToS warning from Google is always a bad idea, even when the warning consists of extremely vague language (and let’s be honest, they almost always are). Google does not play around, but for once it seems that the tables have been nice, and then we have a developer on his hands who does not play either.
Do not be afraid, Terraria will continue to exist in the Play Store
After yesterday’s events unfolded, it was unclear whether Andrew Spinks (and by extension Re-Logic) would continue to support the Play Store version of Terraria. Luckily IGN has reported on a follow-up email from Re-Logic confirming that the studio has no plans to release support for the Android version of Terraria. Of course, the studio has also confirmed that it will not bring any new games to Google platforms in the future, so it’s clear that Terraria is still not coming to Stadia, which means that Spinks is sticking to the weapons.
So if you were worried that Spinks’ feud with Google would force Re-Logic to drop support for the Android version of Terraria, don’t worry anymore. The developer has made it clear that the Play Store version will not be affected by this dispute.
We have also learned that Stadia Source has received a longer response from Re-Logic which explains the timeline of the situation in more detail.
Earlier today, our CEO, Andrew Spinks, sent a statement about our ongoing issues with his Google Account (demilogic). We have taken the time to review public comments and media comments to find out where some areas of confusion may persist. We’ve provided the following to alleviate this confusion / misunderstanding surrounding the @demilogic account issue:
- Android / Google Play versions of Terraria will not be affected. Punishing existing customers who paid for our game on these platforms is not about that. To be clear: it should have no impact on Terraria on Google’s platforms, both existing / purchased games and ongoing store availability.
- The comments regarding the future availability of Re-Logic games on Google platforms apply to something that is not currently available. This includes all future versions of Terraria (such as Stadia), as well as other games that our studio will develop in the future.
- The consequences here are not isolated for Mr. Spink’s personal affairs, apps, etc. – but to be clear, they are also many and significant. Due to the company’s early days, when Mr. Spinks was the only employee of the company, quite a few older connections to the demilogical account have been broken. This includes the YouTube account Re-Logic, many important documents stored on Drive and much more. The impact is significant – and this has been made clear to Google repeatedly.
- Event timeline:
- The Demilogic account receives a notification from YouTube of a claim for breach in mid-late January. This was quite confusing for us.
- We have not uploaded in three months.
- No one in our massive fanbase / subscribers noticed any new content at all, much less something offensive.
- In addition, the initial correspondence from YouTube on this matter was clear that this was not a major issue:
- “We know you may not have understood that this was a violation of our policies, so we do not use strikes on your channel. We have removed the content. ”
- No actions or responses were requested or suggested in this email.
- Since then, through our efforts on Twitter with the support team on YouTube, we have been informed that our Re-Logic YouTube channel is clean and has no problems.
- So far, we have not been informed of any real details behind the alleged violation.
- Three days later, your entire Demilogic account – including Gmail, Google Play Apps, Drive and all other Google services – will be disabled. Several appeals through the standard channels are met with an automatic rejection without further information.
- Many ways were tried with Google privately to resolve this issue – far beyond what people may have observed on Twitter a few weeks ago. The information has been sparse and difficult to obtain, even though we have been a long-term partner.
- Even with strong evidence that this is a wrong act – evidence that has been in hand for almost two weeks now – this is still not resolved
- This is not a position we take lightly or easily. Google has been a long-standing partner, but the inability to resolve this for us – a supposedly valued partner – within a time span of almost a month is not acceptable.
- In addition, we are aware of many other incidents in a similar direction with a repeated pattern of “exclusion out of the blue” with no information about the cause and no possibility. This has happened to countless individuals as well as developers for Android and beyond. We hope that our situation serves both as a warning to others, and as a tool to shine a strong spotlight on this problem as a whole. Maybe some meaningful changes on the customer service front will take place in Google as a result. It is badly needed.
- For those of us at Google who did their best to help to no avail, we are grateful for their efforts. It is a shame that has come to this point.