Google Doodle costs American economy

By Al Mackin topicIcon Internet News

A special Google logo, designed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic arcade game Pacman, is thought to have cost the American economy over $120 million (£84m).

Research from the US-based firm RescueTime discovered the logo, which allowed users to play a simplified version of the original arcade game, wasted five million hours of work time in America.

The firm calculated the Google homage to the classic title cost $120,483,800 (£84.04m) as users spent an average of 25 seconds longer on the search engine because of the game.

Writing on the official Google blog, Marissa Mayer, vice president of user experience at the company, said she wasn't shocked by the popularity of the logo.

"We've been overwhelmed, but not surprised, by the success of our 30th anniversary Pac-Man doodle. Due to popular demand, we're making the game permanently available."

"I'd wager that 75 per cent of the people who saw the logo had no idea that you could actually play it. Which the world should be thankful for," said Tony Wright, president of RescueTime.

The logo is the latest in a line of 'Google Doodles'; artistic variations on the traditional Google logo. Recent doodles included a logo marking the UK general election and the 20th anniversary of the Hubble space telescope.