2K's iOS port of their hit Bioshock was pulled from the App Store after it ran into compatibility problems with iOS 8.4 in July of this year. The App Store description prior to the game being pulled stated they were working on fixing the problem, so it didn't set off any serious alarm bells. After all,ย it's often the case on iOS that a publisher will pull a game while they get it fixed up so no one buys a broken product in the meantime. And while Bioshock's fix was stretching into months, we've certainly seen longer waits for updates. This week, however, a new twist entered the story, with Bioshock being fully delisted from the App Store. What that means is that even people who already bought it are unable to download it again.
I attempted to contact 2K games through various means, but heard nothing back. A full day after writing our initial article, we still haven't heard anything. One of our readers had more luck contacting 2K's customer support, so we've finally got some sort of reason. While the reply isn't good, I should give fair warning that while customer support technically speaks for the company, there are a lot of things they're unaware of or not able to discuss. As an example, a lot of the confusion around Square Enix's The World Ends With You came from customer support being unaware that an update was planned. So, this might mean nothing, but it's all we have for the moment, so I thought I'd share it with you.
Earlier today, TouchArcade forum member dalglir contacted 2K's support. He received a reply not long after. You can read the full response in the game's forum thread, if you'd like. It's mostly a stock-type letter, but there are a couple of interesting points. First, the customer service representative confirms that 2K doesn't "currently have this game for mobile gaming anymore". She goes on to say that the delisting was "a developer decision", which confirms that it was done at 2K's request as opposed to, say, Apple's. The representative then goes on to tell dalglir to request a refund from Apple should dalglir want one, as 2K can't process refunds on their end.
It seems like Bioshock is actually gone, but the phrasing of the response still leaves a loophole or two. While I wouldn't read too much into it, her use of the word 'currently' leaves the door open for the future. That's typically just standard cover-your-butt stuff, though, so don't get your hopes too high. I'm not sure how well Apple will accommodate refunds if you bought Bioshock a long time ago, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to try. Personally, I'm still kind of baffled as to how such a high-profile project wasn't able to survive a full calendar year without being broken beyond repair. And I still don't understand the reasoning behind delisting the game from customer purchase histories entirely. I guess we'll have to live with a few annoying mysteries for the time being, friends.