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Google swings, misses with FastBall promo

A promotional Flash game designed to show off Google's newest Chrome browser backfired Wednesday when interested users were unable to load the YouTube page.

A promotion designed to show off the speed of Google's Chrome browser got off to a rocky start Wednesday morning.
A promotion designed to show off the speed of Google's Chrome browser got off to a rocky start Wednesday morning. Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET

Famed baseball announcer Bob Uecker might have described a Wednesday promotion for Google's Chrome as "just a bit outside."

Google posted a link Wednesday morning on Twitter and its official blog to a cute little Flash game called FastBall, designed to promote the latest version of Google's Chrome browser with its built-in Flash player. Unfortunately for Google, for the first hour after it was live, the game was still having trouble loading in various browsers on YouTube, although it did finally starting loading without incident about an hour and a half after Google launched the promotion.

It's a bit embarrassing for Google, which supposedly has one of the more robust Internet infrastructure setups in the world and has been a big backer of Adobe's Flash, defending the company during its public fight with Apple and posting an essay Tuesday night explaining why Flash-based video is here to stay for the conceivable future.

The source of the problem was not readily apparent, but it was somewhat surprising considering the volume of traffic that passes through YouTube every day. Company representatives did not immediately return a request for comment on what went wrong.

Once it finally loads, the game involves a take on Google's recent videos promoting Chrome's speed mixed with questions involving various Google searches: answer the questions correctly, and you get to see the next video.