Kotaku is reporting that after the end of March, the augmented reality shooter Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner [$2.99] will be pulled from the App Store. We took a look at this title when it was announced in early November, with its release coming just a couple of weeks later. The game allows you to point the camera of your iOS device towards anything to serve as the backdrop for an intense shootout with Imperial ships as you man the gunner turret on the Millennium Falcon.

The game is published by THQ Wireless, but was developed by a small studio called Vertigore. Josh Shabtai, Falcon Gunner’s creative director and head of Vertigore, recently wrote in a blog post that due to THQ’s deal with the owners of everything Star Wars Lucasfilm coming to an end, THQ will not be able to allow Star Wars: Falcon Gunner to be sold in the App Store any longer.

This is bad news for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that Star Wars: Falcon Gunner is pretty cool. But it also means that current owners will never be able to receive possibly critical updates to the game, and that current development plans for Falcon Gunner will never materialize. These included a new Battle for Endor expansion and a special iPad 2 edition, both of which won’t see the light of day now. Josh also hints that it could very well be the end for any THQ published Star Wars titles in the App Store, though he can only confirm that to be true for his own game.

That means that games like Star Wars: Trench Run [$2.99], Star Wars The Force Unleashed [99¢/Lite], Star Wars: Cantina [$2.99/HD], and Star Wars: Battle for Hoth [$1.99/Lite] (not to mention a ton of Star Wars branded entertainment apps and books that are published by THQ) may cease to be available come April 1st. This says something about the digital download age that we live in, and is a good reminder to always keep copies of your iOS games since you can’t always trust that they’ll be there to download again should the need ever arise.

This certainly isn’t the first time games have disappeared from the App Store, but if all of the THQ Star Wars games end up getting pulled then it would mark one of the biggest mass pullings of apps that I can think of, not to mention what a huge brand Star Wars is. We’ll find out for sure on Friday what the fallout of Star Wars games and apps will be, but if you have any interest at all in any of the games mentioned then it’s probably best to play it safe and buy them now, or definitely re-download if you've previously purchased them and don't currently have a copy in your iTunes.

[Via Kotaku]

  • http://twitter.com/F0REM4N Jay Foreman

    I currently own Double Dragon on Xbox live, but you can't buy it any more in a similar situation to this. I'll never delete it.

  • Adams Immersive

    I’m hanging on to StoneLoops!

    I wonder if there’s any behind-the-scenes hope of THQ’s deal being renewed? Must be frustrating to be Vertigore, watching helplessly just like the customers.

  • Rad

    If this developer really wanted to clean up before the apps get pulled they need to have a .99 cent blow out sale.

    Then again with every IOS update more and more of my original apps need to be recompiled. So no developer support means an app will eventually quit working. So for $2.99 I say no thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Yes! Perfect time for a blow out sale!

      I got falcon gunner for 99 cents and would buy the rest for that price.

      So.....

      Please? Sale? :D

  • Anonymous

    Assholes. Why can't they just let this one go? The devs spent time and money making it, if no one else plans to buy the game from them they should leave it alone. I'm sure there are a million legal reasons why that would never happen, but honestly... in a sensible, logical and reasonable world it would.

  • John

    and this is why i am reluctant to spend any real money on digital games, as much.

    • Anonymous

      It's not like they're taking the games back from people who bought them.

      • Anonymous

        No, but when iOS5 rolls around, and your game stops working, then what?

      • xStatiCa

        They are taking away the ability to redownload a game you paid and have a license to use. There are many reasons you might need to redownload it like for instance something goes wrong with your system where it was stored in itunes and you don't have it on your iphone.

        Digital downloads certainly have risks. Normally I would have a CD to reinstall it the game from.

      • Leedot

        This is true but physical media can also be lost, damaged, or stolen so there's no guarantee that you'll always have it either.

        It's also worth mentioning that there are plenty of classic DOS / Windows games that don't work on modern hardware straight out of the box so the idea that games purchased on physical media doesn't suffer from technology attrition isn't entirely accurate.

        So while digital downloads do have risks physical media certainly has it's own risks as well.

  • Fredrik Jackson

    It's probably just an April fool :)

  • Dyscode

    That´s what I am always telling about the dangers of IAPs also.
    These game, though the will never get any update again will work as long there are current versions of iTouches exist and work. With IAP that needs to be downloaded/ activated again to play the game you cannot even run these games anymore when the developer pulls from the AppStore.

    This is the first case severe case and will definitly not be the last.

  • Anonymous

    That must have been one half-assed license THQ negotiated. License discontinuations should never retroactively affect past releases.

    • Digital Leaf

      Actually legal licensing of IP is _always_ like this. All publishers publishing an IP that is not their own have a contractually limited time to publish their title before the IP in that medium reverts fully to the original IP holder. If you think about it it only makes sense, otherwise if you owned ... let's say Mario and you licensed it to Nintendo, if there was no term limit on teh contract, they could publish those games indefinitely without any need to renegotiate the contract, in perpetuity. At that point you'd basically be selling your IP to them, even if its only for that one game. IP licensing is like rental, there has to be a time when either party can leave.

      • somedude

        I don't understand this, though. Is being on the app store like being in a continual state of "being published," or is it like having stock on the shelf? If this were a boxed product, I'm assuming the end of the license means you can't develop any new software. Does it also mean you cannot produce any more discs? That would seem odd. Does it also mean you have to destroy your current stock? That seems totally incorrect, but seems the most analagous to having to pull the app from the store. So what's the deal?

      • Dragon

        Yes, it means you can't produce new disks, but you've already paid/licensed the existing stock, so they can continue be sold.

  • psj3809

    Good riddance. I was looking forward to a great batch of Star Wars games when i got my ipod. They've been overall very poor, was expecting a lot of great games but theyre not.

    Thank god a new company will hopefully have a chance

    • Davidmdowning42

      Here! Here!

  • The Game

    >Find out why it will disappear on April Fool's Day

    Lost me there =3

  • Anonymous

    Yes this is one of my favourite games
    and now i gots the begibbers about it

  • Wisedude

    It's things like this that are making me revaluate the app store and look elsewhere even the bigger companys like Gameloft have done this for example they removed the original gt racing and reuploaded it as a different app full of freemium type IAP.

  • Anonymous

    This is too bad, I love this game. It's a good example of a game made for a device instead of a game forced onto a device like most of the other IOS games.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2TCN4ALC3T7HA3BA24232WOV6I Matthew Keith

    It's a prank you guys can't see that there trying to create a rush on sales.

    • Josh Shabtai

      Wish I could say it was a prank, but it truly was not. The irony, though, is that all of these articles and comments have actually saved the game. For a little while longer, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Fun game. It's a shame it's going away, and doubly a shame that we won't get an update/version for the iPad 2. Hopefully this can be worked out and they can continue on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrzej-Raczynski/668591493 Andrzej Raczynski

    would consider it, but no ipad support, no use.

  • Anonymous

    I do hate it when things like this happen. (Oh Glyder 2, what a fine game you were before GLU became too obsessed with churning out crappy freemium games to fix you.)

    I wonder in the instance of Flacon Gunner, whoever goes on to hold the Star Wars licence, would they not be able to say to the Vertigore, 'Yo, fine work you did there for THQ, do the same for us.'

    Now it would suck for us existing customers as it would be under a different publisher and be counted as a different game, but they can get around that with having a 24 hour free sale when the new version launches or whatnot.

  • Eleven

    Crap like this is why Appulous is good. Don't like piracy? Stop discontinuing software. People are tired of getting screwed.