Google Pac-Man doodle 'cost economy $120m'
Animated Google logo designed to mark Pac-Man's 30th birthday caused millions of dollars in lost productivity, according to one analyst.
The launch of Google's animated Pac-Man doodle last Friday led to almost five million wasted hours and cost the economy around $120m, according to Tony Wright, founder of Rescue Time, a tool that enables businesses to measure how time and attention is being spent.
He estimated that Google had around 505 million unique users on the day the Pac-Man Google Doodle went live, and that the game consumed 4,819,352 hours of employee time, costing the economy an estimated $120,483,800.
"For that same cost, you could hire all 19,385 Google employees," wrote Wright in a blog post.
"That includes Larry and Sergey, right down to the janitors. You could hire them for six weeks – imagine what you could build with that army of manpower."
Internet users were delighted to discover the animated Pac-Man doodle on Google's home page last Friday.
The doodle, which marked the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man's release, was Google's first interactive logo.
Web users could play the game by clicking "Insert coin".
Clicking the "Insert coin" button twice allowed players to participate in a two-player game, with one of the Pac-Men controlled using the arrow keys on the keyboard, and the other, by clicking W, S, A and D.
The game remained online for 48 hours before the Google doodle reverted to the usual logo.
Marissa Mayer, vice president of user experience at Google, said the company had been "overwhelmed, but not surprised" by the reception given to the Pac-Man doodle.
"Due to popular demand, we're making it permanently available at google.com/pacman," she said.