So, this morning we learned that EA Mobile had sent out a popup notification to users of the original Rock Band [$4.99] for iOS effectively stating the game was shutting down at the end of the month. This naturally drew universal criticism from gamers and left me wondering one thing: why?

If EA wanted to stop the online support for the game and instead focus on the newer and better Rock Band Reloaded [$4.99 / $9.99 (HD)], well I can understand that. But the message clearly said the game would “no longer be playable on your device” after May 31st. It seemed pretty lame to not just leave the game playable in an offline way for those who had bought it and/or spent money on the IAP songs.

Well as Polygon reports EA has responded to the situation, issuing the following statement:

"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."

It seems highly dubious that this whole thing could have been one big accident, especially since the iOS Rock Band is listed on an EA support page as having its connected features discontinued after May 28th, and a comment on our previous post points to an EA representative confirming in a help topic on EA's website that the game would no longer work after May 31st, but that topic has since been deleted. Perhaps their intention all along was to drop support for the online features, and the strongly worded “no longer playable on your device” message was the mistake. Either way, this reeks of damage control rather than an actual mistake.

Either way, Polygon notes that EA is looking into what caused the error in the first place, and we’ll let you know if there’s any more news on the matter. For the time being it looks like iOS Rock Band-ers will still be able to rock out on the go.

[Via Polygon]

  • Eric Ford

    Don't worry guys, it was all just a dream.

    • DotComCTO

      You mean Bobby Ewing is still alive?! 😛

  • mekman96

    Damn, class action suit averted.

  • Adams Immersive

    I’d say the “error” was a conscious, fully-approved and executed plan. Still an “error,” if they want to use that term, but not of the “accidental” variety! Kind of like, “I made an error in stealing your wallet.” Yep, definitely an erroneous choice.

    I’d still very much wonder whether the game’s days (and the sequel’s days for that matter) are numbered anyway—they may simply have decided end it at a later date and try to handle it better than they did this time.

    • DotComCTO

      I'm in total agreement. There was no error. That was a specific message with a specific address ("Dear Rockers") and specific end date. If there was any error at all, it might have been the final end date that was being decided upon by EA management. Other than that, EA will be hard pressed to convince me they had any other plan in mind. They just got smacked down hard by consumers so they had little choice but to back off. I'm sure they'll wait for things to quiet down and try again.

  • ltcommander_data

    Now if only they'd allow older games, like Bejeweled 2 and the original Trenches, to be easily re-downloadable for existing owners through previous purchases in iCloud after newer versions are released. I understand removing older versions for general sale when sequels are released to avoid tricking consumers, but previous purchasers shouldn't be short changed either.

    • Adams Immersive

      I remember Apple saying that old apps no longer for sale CAN still be re-downloaded via the Purcahsed list. Is that not the case for these? I should try with iPad Tetris some time.

      (Or maybe it’s only newly-added post-iCloud apps that gain that ability?)

      • ltcommander_data

        I couldn't find Bejeweled 2 or Trenches, which I own, during a search in the Purchased menu on my device. Hopefully EA didn't go so far as to actually delete their old apps from iTunes Connect since then even if they wanted to put it back, they couldn't associate it with their previous owners. Luckily I have the apps backed up.

  • 1337brian

    Cool, so I get to keep my game AND the 3 free credits apple sent me? Win-Win!

  • David Chang

    I find it all amusing. EA is in such financial trouble, and a big part of that I think is because they keep pissing off their customers. And here, they've done it again.

  • P Allen

    My guess is people started to get refunds which would actually make them lose more than they made and they were probably hoping no one would notice.

  • JeromeD

    Expect a final update allowing for offline play and then a later announcement of discontinuation of IAP. 

  • Furtin

    Backpedaling at its best!

  • Rumblecat

    I dunno, error's like this can happen quite easily, especially when computers and technology are involved. Like this morning I sent my girlfriend a message saying "Get your things out of my apartment- you're dumped...!" when what I really meant to say was "Hi honey, how are you, hope you have a good day x". 

    Simple error. 

    • Stark

      So it wasn't your computer, it was you. PEBKAC = Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

    • blackharon

      Dam you autocorrect!

  • Michael

    I always did feel that lying to your fans was the best way to get them back on side after screwing them over.

    • jay401

      Works well in politics. Honestly, their response reeks of White House Press Secretary-style public relations (regardless of political affiliation).

  • Michael Atkinson

    This is another reminder for gamers to be very wary of doing business with EA.

    • wshwe

      EA wonders why they're held in such low esteem.

  • HisDivineOrder

    EA did what they always do with gamers and online games.  "Shut down the old and corral them into the new.  Even if they don't really like the newer one better.  Get the dogs yapping at them sheep and they'll go where we want 'em to!"

    But then something unexpected happened.  People started complaining.  A lot.  And EA looked around and gasped as their hard-earned, longterm effort to win over the unsuspecting iOS gamers who haven't experienced years of the EAfication of gaming began to evaporate as those poor, innocent iOS gamers began complaining and old timers like me who have known EA games since they put it "E.  A.  Sports.  It's in the game."  And we start talking about how EA killed Bullfrog, more or less killed Maxis, etc, etc.

    And they don't want us teaching the new gamers of the old transgressions.  Best they remove all reason for complaints to keep the noobs from knowing the horrible truth of EA.

    • Googlyhead

      Awww. Bullfrog.

  • Fraser 'Beesting' Morgan

    My mom always told me to keep my mouth shut if I didn't have anything nice to say.

    Fortunately, I can keep my mouth shut while typing on a keyboard.  EA, you suck.

  • Jay Foreman

    Now if Gameloft would bring back Lets Golf 1 & 2... scumbags!

  • sdf

    It would make me happy to see EA go bankrupt. Not just the reorganization kind... I want to see liquidation.

    In other words... I hope the company dies in a fire, leaving other, better companies to pick up the pieces.

  • Tod L

    Kudos to TouchArcade for publicizing EA's "error."  I'm sure EA was hoping the whole decision would slide under the radar with as little media attention as possible.

    • Jay Foreman

      Reddit sort of broke this through user submission.

  • xStatiCa

    It could have been worse...  Another company had a mass notification problem but by email though.

  • AcneVulgaris

    See! Just a mistake. How I love you, EA!

  • Simon Finn

    "We're working to clarify the issue that caused the error and will share additional information as soon as possible." Translated - we'll fire the poor sap that sent this and take it offline at a later date. Have a nice day.

  • espekayen

    Do they really expect people to believe that statement? EA must think their customers are complete idiots.

  • dijitak

    "We're working to clarify the issue that caused the error"
    I know what caused the error to appear. Greed.