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EA Killing Rock Band for iPhone, Game Will Be Unplayable for Current Owners [Updated]

EA is telling owners of Rock Band for iPhone that as of May 31, the game will "no longer be playable on your device." Most users probably expect that a game they paid $4.99 for -- and that is still on sale, with no suggestion that the game will be useless in a month -- wouldn't suddenly stop working, especially when Rock Band offers a number of song packs as in-app purchases.

At the very least you would think that EA would be able to just leave the original Rock Band alone, so those who bought it and paid for IAP songs can continue to at least use it even if future updates aren’t in the cards. Perhaps there’s a reason for this, like a licensing issue with the music, but at any rate if you’re still a fan of the first Rock Band on iOS you’ll have until May 31st to continue enjoying it.

Servers being shut down and dropping support for games isn’t a new phenomenon, but in the increasingly more digital age of video games you’ll just have to keep in mind that the experience might be finite unlike physical copies of games which will last for eternity as long as you have the hardware to play it.
Rock Band hasn't been updated since December of 2010, as its sequel, Rock Band Reloaded was released around the same time. EA's website for Rock Band for iPhone provides no indication that the game will be shut down.

Update: Polygon reports that EA has issued a statement claiming that the notification was sent in error.
"Rock Band for iOS will remain live – the in-app message users received yesterday was sent in error," the company said in a statement.

"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."
It is unclear exactly what the "error" was given that an EA support document had also briefly referred to Rock Band being shut down at the end of the month, but EA says that it will be providing more information on the situation.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 30 months ago
Just when you think EA couldn't sink any lower.
Rating: 64 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
Unless they sold this software as a subscription, I don't see how it is legal.
Rating: 36 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
"Thanks for rocking out with us!". LOL

More like, thanks for the money, now go buy another one of our games, because you can't play this one anymore.
Rating: 31 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
This is why EA is poison. I hate the fact they've adhered themselves to the big name games.
Rating: 22 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
Exactly why EA Games is one of the most hated companies in the gaming industry. Practices like this, always make me think twice buying anything EA related.
Rating: 20 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
"Great presentation Rob, but you aren't thinking outside the box. If you really want to screw them over, update the game so it becomes unplayable."
Rating: 19 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
That's seriously not on. People paid for that software and IAP with the assumption they can use it on their device as they wish. I hope Apple get involved and give EA a kick up the ass
Rating: 19 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
Any word on whether the customers will get refunded?

Businesses shouldn't be able to disguise services as products like this. Because when they decide to cancel the service - i.e. disable the product after sale, they rightfully expose themselves to a big fat class-action lawsuit. I hope they have the pants sued off them so nobody ever does this sort of thing again.
Rating: 17 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
There's no official explanation for why they are doing this, but I'm going to take a wild guess and say it's a music licensing issue. This is very sad. They should at least refund users who bought the game or the in-game content. *sigh* :rolleyes: I wish I could be surprised by this kind of thing, but this is EA. The same company that once shipped my game to Arizona instead of New Jersey and didn't think they did anything wrong. :p
Rating: 17 Votes
Posted: 30 months ago
The game doesn't require an Internet connection to play, so it "stopping" either means it has been programmed (since 2010) to die on May 31st, 2012, or that their servers will send a "kill" command to the game on the May 31st.

If there's a cost issue with running a server for it, there is no reason to issue a kill command, just stop the server.
If it's been programmed since 2010 to die in 2012, that is pretty dishonest.
Rating: 11 Votes

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