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Google's Playable Pac-Man Cost Companies $120 Million

Google Pac-Man

A screenshot of Google's playable Pac-Man logo -- or Google Doodle -- which reportedly cost companies more than $100 million in lost productivity.Google

Google's playable Pac-Man game launched May 21 cost an estimated $120 million in workforce productivity for that day, The Rescue Time Blog reported Tuesday.

Google's homage to the legendary video game character's 30th birthday marked the first time the logo, which is often changed to mark special occasions, was turned into an interactive feature.

"We've been overwhelmed, but not surprised, by the success of our 30th anniversary Pac-Man doodle," Google vice president of search products and user experience Marissa Mayer said in a blog post Sunday.

The Rescue Times blog conducted its own research to compare the average time spent by Google users on May 21 versus the previous Friday on May 14, when the Pac-Man feature was not offered.

"We took a random subset of our users (about 11,000 people spending about 3 million seconds on Google that day). The average user spent 36 seconds MORE on Google.com on Friday," The Rescue Time Blog reported.

After multiplying the increase of time spent on Google on May 21 by the average hourly rate ($25), the blog determined a total of $120 million was lost that day in workforce productivity.