[UPDATE] In-app message that declared portable music game would go offline at end of the month sent in error, publisher Electronic Arts says.
[UPDATE] Publisher Electronic Arts says the message it sent users yesterday was a mistake, and Rock Band for iOS will remain live. For more, check out coverage at GameSpot sister site CNET. Original story below.
Rock Band for iOS is breaking up at the end of the month, according to a new report on fansite RockBandAide. The site reports receiving an in-game message that plainly states the game will "no longer be playable" after May 31.
Rock Band for iOS launched in October 2009 at $10 and includes 25 songs from bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Foo Fighters, The Beastie Boys, and others. A follow-up--Rock Band Reloaded--launched in late 2010 with even more songs and vocal compatibility. No indication has been made of that title going offline.
It is unclear how the title would cease to function. A Harmonix representative told GameSpot, "Yesterday was the first we heard of this. EA Mobile is responsible for the publishing and hosting of Rock Band on iOS. We're reaching out to them to better understand what's happening with the app."
As of press time, EA had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment.
But taking the game away too early isn't the problem. That they have the ability to take customers' games away at all is the problem. What a nightmare it would be if IKEA came to your house at dinner time to regretfully inform you that your table would no longer be available.
Speaking of which, I have to say I like the look of the new comments section, but missing the "edit" option.
@ david1230 and Sevenizz
When I saw this article yesterday, it still had the old comments format, and only 10 comments. I guess they figured it was easier to just erase everything and start from scratch. It does seem a bit screwy though, my original comment was talking about that's what happens when you don't actually own your games.....
so ea and harmonix pulled a fast one huh? making people think it was ok to download rock band on your ios tsk tsk to bad a greedy company didnt really want to do this hence why they are going to start to charge to keep playing
delete comments keep the truth from coming out hey its easier then killing a person right? you can get away with this but murder is a little harder.
so do the regular people have a voice on this site or on the internet lets face it gamespot and all these little bs reviews sites would love if the internet was restricted and only the mindless tools could comment sucks right i have my voice until you delete my comments.
Actually, freedom of speech doesn't apply to commercial ventures. Gamespot has every right to delete whatever they want, whenever they want. They chose to back their customer, EA.
@Sevenizz so then freedom of speech doesn't exist if someone can delete you comments then, god bless the world that is heading our way.
so does harmonix and ea have a blood pact with gamespot to remove everyones comments for saying that anything bad at all?
it was probably intended to be an april fools joke that didn't get sent out until yesterday. That, or someone hacked them.
At first I thought their title of "Worst Company in America" was simply angry gamers getting on a bandwagon and voting for them just because of a fad rather than because they actually were the worst company in America. I mean, it's pretty hard to top Bank of America. But man, EA proved everyone right.
@shadow580 This game actually does have an offline mode. The screenshot you see shows a push notification on an iOS device. This means that someone at EA Mobile, sent out this message. Most likely, this was some miscommunication between people at EA. The main point to look at is "will no longer be playable on your device." iOS games don't work like that. A company can stop supporting the game, but unless they release a patch specifically designed to BREAK the game, you can continue playing it. There is absolutely no reason for them to do anything of the sort. It's obvious that this was a goof on EAs part, and not a sinister plan that they retracted. They would actually lose more money if they were to do this. Instead of designing and submitting a patch (which would never get through Apple's submission system), they could simply stop the servers and let customers continue playing offline. Sources: Development on iOS games, and previous employment at EA.
How about to release a patch that will allow offline mode? Or a better question, why isn't there offline mode to begin with?! It's understandable that the game's online functions will have to be discontinued at some point, but offline as well? That's disgusting.
Update from IGN. "Rock Band for iOS will remain live - the in-app message users received yesterday was sent in error. We apologize for the confusion this caused. We're working to clarify the issue that caused the error and will share additional information as soon as possible." How was it sent out in error? I mean they have the date set for May 31st. This was something they were planning to do but decided not to after they felt the heat on them. I guess they really were testing to see people's reaction as Yulaw2000 commented.
This is the reality of the "games-as-a-service" model. For what it's worth, this isn't the first time that EA has shut down servers/services for various games - it's not even the first time this year! (http://www.gamespot.com/news/ea-shutting-down-over-a-dozen-game-servers-6366856, also reported by Eddie Makuch) It's understandable that EA wants to shut down these systems - operational costs eventually exceed the generated income. We've seen this numerous times from other companies as well: many MMO's have had server merges or been taken offline. I think the public's indignation over this particular incident stems from a few main sources: - relatively short lifespan of the game (less than 3 years) - relatively high cost of the game ($10) - many "casual" gamers never knowing this could happen - singleplayer is also unavailable when the multiplayer servers are shut down - it's EA ...speaking of EA - stuff like this makes it look like they are campaigning to retain their status as Worst Company in America.
Wow. What a great company. Buy their games, get them taken away or shut down 2 years later. Crap like this is why nobody likes you, EA. At this rate, my trademarked "No Pepsi for you" phrase has diminished in value due to the amount of times I posted it on an EA related article. So screw you for that, too.
Funny because they still have the app for sale in the app store with no mention it's not going to work after that day. Not surprising coming from them.
@Subterranean500 oh really? Funny how games for the PC that haven't had physical copies available for eons are still bought and played with a pure digital download model. EA not telling their developer that they are doing this is really awful.
I cant understand why some people likes more to buy games digital than the physical copy. Digital you dont own the game. We have to do something, next gen consoles are coming. I dont know if the rumor is true about block used games and everything. I dont care about blocking used games, the real problem here is the ownership of the games we buy are going to be a thing of the past. We cant let this happen. Whats the point to buy a game if you dont own the game. If next gen goes digital only or the developers dont want gamers to own the games i quit gaming.
Once upon a time companies gained loyal customers by giving them more for their dollar, now it's all about giving the consumer less while taking more. Sad.
And that's why I wouldn't pay for mobile games. You could play them one day and the next they could be gone.
This is unbelievable. Is EA performing some sort of sick experiment to see what people will put up with?!
Never understood why publishers get the rights to everything... Should always be kept with the devs i think, since they're the ones that come up with ideas and actually make the franchises. Sadly I guess this will happen with more interesting games as time goes on. It's also another advert against things having to use servers to run, just another way for company's to sell you something you can't use in a year or two.
I guess they are trying to win worst company in america again next year! This is why i will never pay for an online only game, they claim used games kill sales when they sell games with the sole purpose of making them unplayable a year or 2 later. Yeah, cut off the functions on games we spend hard earned money on and expect us to buy your next release at full retail? smfh
That's BS and I haven't even bought the game. I don't care if there's only 1 guy left who plays it, they shouldn't have the right to take it away. He should be able to play it until 2083 if he wants...
@KittenNipples EA repsonse to comments: "Don't worry guys, we'll have another game out in a few months. It won't be free of course, and we'll in no way compensate those of you who actually enjoyed RB iOS (who did btw?) but take solace in the fact that you can continue to line our pockets by paying for our games as we continue applying poorly thought-out business practices."
EA is high on my ****list now. I wish they would try this crap with that mass effect game I just downloaded. I know I am not buying anymore EA dlc games on ipad, pc, consoles, or handhelds now.
@harold317: I'd say it is, at least in current form as Digital Distribution fails to address consumer concerns regarding a scenario just like this one.
That is pretty terrible. You already paid for the damn game how do they have the right to take away whats already yours! Worse yet you will still own it but be unable to access it!? Come on EA, this is clearly just wrong. We need to stop letting these big companies push us around and do what ever they want with us and our money, this is why I dont buy EA, haven't in over 3 years. I realize it probably barley makes a dent in a dent in their profits but at least it makes me feel good, and not disappointed when they pull crap like this. DOWN WITH CLOUD GAMING AND F**K EA!
@Rocker6 Agreed. This is one of the glaring reasons I'm not a fan of "cloud computing". If some exec gets a wild hair up their ass, you lose access to what you own. I prefer games and software that I can keep on my harddrive and use OFFLINE. If this is where the industry is headed, and it sure as Hell looks that way, I'm gonna be even more of a retro-gamer than ever. All this racketeering "new tech" can kiss my ass.
@ColdfireTrilogy, if you have the resources and talents behind you anything is possible. I do dream and those dreams do come true. Maybe not your time yet or you have given up.
@Sevenizz, yes true what you said, not all gamers will fill out the form. It should be automatic but Apple requires the form to be fill. BF3 just a quick mp for me. I have tons of other games. Only the sentiment value of purchasing a game and then be trade it after kinda uneasy for me, but with EA I gladly trade all their games this weekend.
That message looks to me like the game will not be playable in any mode. How can they get away with that? Was there something in an agreement (that no one actually reads) that they can do this with no reason given? Was there liscence issues with the music or are they just trying to re-sell the product with a few new features at a premium? @ hardeddie - While that is a nice gesture from Apple, the refund should be automatic - EA probably knows that a very small % of gamers will fill out the form so I doubt they will lose that much. This is a really bad thing to do to gamers from a customer service perspective - especially in a recession where the gaming industry is in a slump. I will deffinately not be purchasing future EA games in any format. Luckily, they don't have a franchise I really care about anyway. BF? Please, I can live without it.
@hardeddie EA. Gone by next gen? Second largest publisher gone in less than 2 years? Sure .... whatever lol. Keep dreaming.
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