We just learned this week that one of the pioneering forces of both the freemium pay model as well as real-time online multiplayer, Eliminate, will be closing up shop later this month. Well according to RockBandAide.com right on the heels of that news it looks as if EA Mobile will be giving the same treatment to the original Rock Band [$4.99] iOS game, which we thought was pretty good when it launched towards the end of 2009.

The original Rock Band was usurped by the superior sequel Rock Band Reloaded [$4.99 / $9.99 (HD)] in December of 2010, so it’s not totally surprising that EA would want to focus on the newer version. However, for a game that many people have likely spent a good chunk of cash on by buying new songs through IAP, not to mention that it launched at $9.99 to begin with, it seems sort of crazy that EA would flat out make the game inoperable.

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.

Note: I'm leaving the links for both Rock Band games in case you already own the original and want to re-download it for safe keeping, but obviously it won't work after the end of the month. If you want a Rock Band game for iOS go with Rock Band Reloaded (for the time being, anyway).

[Via RockBandAide.com]

  • Pavelbure

    Is it any wonder why people hate this company.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/73OMU2TYY25CWR7QZX6BSAY7K4 CrystalBoy

       I second that, plus that is one of the reasons I hate IAP.

  • peon2000

    Do the rock band games require a connection to a server while playing to stream the tracks or something?
    I can understand loosing leader boards or multiplayer matching or something like that due to discontinuation of support, but not flipping a kill switch on an app so that its completely unusable.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TVPJZYSQCEIDYWCDQN7GHFXP2Q sdf

    Wow, if a game company can just unilaterally kill a downloaded iOS game with zero refund., this is a HUGE downside of investing cash in "purchasing" iOS games. 

    Or maybe we should start calling it "renting" games, since the play time could seemingly be finite?

    • swarmster

      There has long been an established process for requesting a refund when things like this happen, so fortunately your statements don't apply. Just get your money back and stop buying EA games already.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564026879 Timothy Williamson

        Apple denied my refund request.

      • mclifford82

        Don't be naive.  There is no way in hell that Apple is going to give a refund for this reason.  Although I wouldn't be surprised to see a class action arise because of it.

    • jclardy

      This is not specific to iOS. Any game using servers on the internet can be shut down at the developers will. But we are talking EA here, and ngmoco for eliminate, both companies who are making games just for the bottom line.

    • Michael Langford

      You ask apple for a refund, they'l often grant it in this scenario.

      • mclifford82

        No they won't.  The game has been out for how long now?  I bought a game that was actually unplayable and never got attention from the developer, requested a refund, and that was denied.  There's no way they grant refunds for a game that's been working for almost two years.

  • mekman96

    what a dick move.

  • Fluffeh

    Trying to get a lock on Worst Company in America for next year too?

  • 1337brian

    If you purchased this game I suggest calling apple and voicing your concern regarding "renting" app/games and asking for a full refund. Remember EA loses money on the refunds and if enough people do it maybe they'll get the message.... They won't care, but what else can you do.

    • 1337brian

      Just got off the phone with apple. The rep was 100% sympathetic and said I should have no issue getting a refund and was genuinely surprised by the situation. He asked me to go to itunes transactions and submit the refund there and it should take about 4 hours or so to process. FU EA.

      • subshell001

        This information should be added to the original post.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564026879 Timothy Williamson

        It should, and also note that Apple denied my refund. (I submitted a copy of the email int he comments, but I guess it hasn't been approved by a moderator yet.)

      • http://twitter.com/tfobf  tfobf

         It should be but it won't, because they're in bed with EA and don't want to get cockblocked from any early looks at upcoming games. Just look at the wishy washy wording in the original article, no outright condemnation of what they did and a recommendation to go buy another EA game instead.

        HODAPP get your shit together with this site

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Aw how cute that one never gets old.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564026879 Timothy Williamson

        I just submitted a request for a refund. Thanks for the tip.

    • 1337brian

       Ok, so finally got an email back. They say that all sales are final and they cannot refund but because they want to keep me happy they gave me 3 free song credits... Looks like I'll be making another phone call in the AM. I do suggest everyone do the same so maybe apple will put new policy in place to prevent this kind of BS from happening in the future...

  • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

    You know, it's one thing to discontinue to support, but to decide to make something that I (and many others) bought unplayable is not acceptable. Can you imagine if Chrysler said that all the cars you just bought 2 years ago will stop working by the end of the month?

  • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

    EA has a long history of screwing people over, ever since they acuired Origin and started bleeding players of Ultima Online out of money.

    Here it is a decade later and they're still doing it.

  • araczynski

    anyone that's surprised by this has no prior experience with EA, this should be a good introduction for many apparently, hope it gets them more customers in the future! ha.

  • http://twitter.com/RobotsVsWizards James

    Anyone still play it?

    • r3n4ud

       That's not the point James. I didn't buy the game myself, but imagine those who did buy it and continue to play the game. Talk about having the rug pulled out from underneath them. Sad move EA, sad move...

  • Noah

    This really gives me pause now before investing in future iOS games! Good grief!

  • http://twitter.com/omicron123 Christopher M

    They will give me a refund, an upgrade, or my legal fees at small claims court. That is all.

  • Trippie

    Is this even allowed under Apple's SDK rules? I can fully understand shutting down a server to stop online play after a time, but we're not talking about online play here. This is a separate EA kill switch to remotely stop the functioning of a paid for app. Assuming this is a licensing issue, don't licenses usually cover the sale of content and not the ongoing private use of content?

    I think Apple needs to be made aware of this to prevent EA from pulling crap like this in the future.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RandallBrown Randall Brown

      I think this is actually against the rules. I know there is a rule against making an app unusable after a certain amount of time. I think the rule is designed to prevent free trials and whatnot, but I imagine it would apply to this too.

    • http://twitter.com/MalcolmOh Malcolm O'Brien

       > I think Apple needs to be made aware of this to prevent EA from pulling crap like this in the future.

      You're kidding, right? Apple itself does this! My Mac was initially supplied with iPhoto. When I upgraded from Panther to Leopard, running iPhoto got me "iPhoto can't run on this version of Mac OS." Wazzat? Mac OS forgot how to display jpgs?

      • Trippie

        Haha! Are YOU kidding? You say it right there that you yourself upgraded from Panther to Leopard, and apparently did so without checking whether your software would be compatible with the new operating system, which I guarantee Apple warned about at the time. Apple didn't force you to upgrade.

        That's easily the worst comparison I've seen in a long time. A better comparison would be if Apple sent down a signal that deleted iPhoto and all your pictures from your computer after a certain date. But of course they did nothing like that, did they?

  • Adams Immersive

    The single most appalling thing is that they are STILL SELLING IT with less than a month to shutdown!

    Even if there’s a reason it absolutely has to have a server (which there isn’t) then at the very least stop selling it LONG before the server must be shut down. Keep the game working for at least a year after you stop selling it.

  • stormchild

    Suddenly I regret defending these greedy a$$holes when they were named worst company in America. This is the most unbelievable bull$hit I've ever heard. I'll be demanding a refund for the game and IAPs.

  • http://twitter.com/tmw2114 Todd Wiley

    This isn't even the first time EA pulled a game out from under our feet! The only way to fix this would be to give a redeem code to whomever owns the original to download Reloaded. Oh wait, it's EA so that's not gonna happen .... greedy basterds!!!!!!

  • farnsworth_pro

    Anyone want more reasons not to trust EA?

    Still happily using ORIGIN? "bu bu bu they assured us that Origin wouldn't screw us over!!"

    Wait till they pull more stunts like this.

  • http://twitter.com/Midgetcorrupter Rick Payne

    Before everyone gets on their high horse has this actually been confirmed by EA Mobile as being real? Kotaku ran the same story but said they are waiting for an official answer as the original story was just a post on reddit.

    • http://twitter.com/tmw2114 Todd Wiley

      I've always had Rock Band on my iPod Touch. I just turned it on and I got the message stating "Dear Rockers, On May 31, ROCK BAND will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!" Greed is overpowering EA.

    • http://twitter.com/Rousedower Diana Kiel

      I found this response on EA's support page (https://help.ea.com/article/will-rock-band-no-longer-be-available-on-mobile-devices):

      "I've heard ROCK BAND will not be available after May 31. Is this
      true?
      Yes, we will be suspending support of ROCK BAND after May 31
      and focusing resources on other EA titles. We thank everyone for playing ROCK
      BAND, and we encourage you to explore some of the other exciting titles in our
      mobile line-up.

      Can I still play ROCK BAND if I've already
      downloaded it?
      The ROCK BAND servers will be live through May 31,
      2012. If you have already downloaded the game, you can continue to play until
      then."

      Still doesn't make any sense to me. Stop supporting it, sure, but why make it unplayable?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7UKJQTJNEVE4QGS3CXD3OZHKU4 Vic Viper

    I'm sure glad I only waste money on physical games. None of this getting screwed over for me!

  • TeddyNYC

    I hope there are enough refunds requested that EA thinks twice about doing this again in the future. Spread the word that Apple is giving refunds. Apple should add 'refunds available' to the message above and not take this crap from EA.

  • IMNS

    I think ea will have to eat crow here. I hope they do for their own sake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1524997217 Alan Kunz

    so, EA screws it's paying customers and you suggest that they go buy another EA rockband app so they can get screwed again next year?  How about just avoid EA altogether so you don't have to worry about them deciding you are no longer allowed to play your favorite game!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XMWPR46ABFXAGUQAEQ2WNJIDVA Chris Caskenette

    What's next EA are you going to pull Dead space on the app market.... Jerks !!!

    • Furtin

      Nah... they pull it and than re-release it with every single level as inApp purchase. There fixed it.

  • Furtin

    Thats such a dick move. And shows us the absolute downside of digitalonly games. Dark times I sense.

  • Keith Murray

    Feel free to 'get back' at EA by giving Tap Studio 3 a try for free. :) 
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tap-studio-3/id393451834?mt=8

  • http://photovoltaik.bandcamp.com/ Ujn Hunter

    This should be illegal. I hope everyone that bought this game and any IAP requests a full refund.

  • http://twitter.com/tntjarks Tom Tjarks

    I'm getting the same feeling on this as I had with their SimCity title.  They pulled the original ipad simcity and then released it again (I don't know what the updates were).  I don't even know if I can download my original Sim City again.

  • http://twitter.com/jaolen Alan Baldwin

    I was actually really looking forward to Rock Band Blitz for my xbox, but now I can't really feel like I can purchase an EA game, since I'm not purchasing it.

    • Jeff Somers

      Rock Band Blitz isn't EA. It will be published by Harmonix.

  • chinito77

    Someone should make a petition via twitter or Facebook.  If we let EA get away with this, other developers may follow suit.  Just let people keep the game and play it offline.  Also stop selling a game with IAP that will be unusable soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/khanhp Khanh Pham

    Dear EA, you've been boycotted

  • Lessoff

    Just use Titanium Backup and disconnect from market, oh....

  • Tom Kelly

    Came back from Afghanistan hoping to play some rock band on my new iPhone 5 when: THEY DELETED IT. So, here's my message to EA/iTunes:

    I just learned that my Rock Band and Rock Band Reloaded "PURCHASES" are no longer available. I have read many forums around the interwebs and found other people that are similarly displeased. I had no idea that once I bought something, a company could take it back from me. That sounds like "renting" and not "buying." Since I paid $4.99 and $9.99 respectively for the above mentioned items and who knows how much on in-game content, and none of these items remain in my possession and may no longer be used. I would like a full refund of both the purchase prices of the Rock Band and Rock Band Reloaded applications and refunds for any and all in-game content purchased for those applications. These sales were not "final," despite being labeled as such and specified in the terms of agreement. The seller has failed to maintain their end of the deal. If my request is denied, please include a copy of the terms and conditions that highlight--without question--your ability to legally deny a paid product at any time without refund and a precedent for such a case.

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.