After the little scuffle over Bioshock a couple of weeks ago, I'd hoped to not have to come back around to this topic again soon. Oh well, two weeks is a pretty good run, right? The latest publisher to pull a game from the purchase histories of customers who bought it is Capcom, and the game in question is Ghost Trick.The game was pulled from the App Store months back after an update fixed the game in one way and broke it in another, but the main app was still available to redownload via the purchase history tab up until this weekend, as near as I can tell.

Admittedly, it's a slightly different situation, as unless you had the game fully installed already, you would only be able to play the free first chapter before running into the bug that likely resulted in its removal in the first place. Namely, that the IAP system completely broke, blocking people from buying the rest of the game or even restoring it if they had already bought it. While players had held out hope that Capcom would eventually fix the game even after pulling it from the main storefront, this latest move makes it seem a lot less likely that we'll be seeing the return of Sissel and company anytime soon. Not impossible, mind you, but it's not looking good.


I've reached out to Capcom for comment, but given their stance on supporting their iOS games these days, I'm not hopeful for a happy ending like we seem to have gotten in other cases. They've made it clear that the iOS 9-incompatible Monster Hunter Freedom Unite won't be fixed anytime soon, and virtually every other game they have available on the store warns that compatibility isn't guaranteed from now on. It's an odd turn for a company that seemed heavily invested in mobile gaming not that long ago, but Capcom's always been a fickle beast. It's a particular shame in Ghost Trick's case, as while you can certainly track down a second-hand copy of the Nintendo DS version without much trouble, it's unlikely to ever be released again on another platform due to its relatively poor sales performance. Great games like that deserve better, if you ask me.

  • icepulse

    The Monster Hunter shirk is maddening.

    • visualplayer

      I made the decision to delete it and refrain from buying Capcom for a while 🙁

  • Anonomation

    I'm glad I never got it. Might be one of the games I get on my DS.

    • Alex Bittencourt

      The game might be gold. I won't buy from them ever again.

      • jamesgecko

        It's not like Capcom is seeing any money from DS game sales at this point.

    • Devil's Luck

      Ghost Trick is an amazing game on DS. Never played the mobile version.

  • Modjular

    A move to secretly rejuvenate DS sales!

  • RareSpine

    Ridiculous. I bought this a while ago, and when I got my Air 2 recently I started playing it. Got to the end of the first chapter, so hyped with how much I enjoyed the game... then realised it was busted and I couldn't restore the purchase of a game I've paid for already.

    Really not happy, starting to think it's not worth purchasing apps from big developers any more....

    • gaymerX

      Same exact thing happened to me. Was very disappointed.

    • AppUnwrapper

      I blame Apple for this. I called them once about it and they were so useless. They don't see a problem with the fact that people can't access the games they paid for.

    • imdakine1

      I have this and monster hunter united and feel totally burned as these are more expensive to purchase than most indie games! Total disappointment to see us get treated this way...

  • Supermarioooo

    Shame, I never managed to finish this and I'm guessing I won't be able to unless I buy a DS and track down a copy of the game. I bought it when I had an iPhone 4S and whilst I was halfway through the game, I unfortunately lost my phone... I ended up buying a Nexus 5 as a replacement so without an iOS device I couldn't play the game, I then bought an iPhone 6 last year and found that Ghost Trick was broken. I wish Capcom just disappear from the AppStore completely, I'm not bothered about losing money as I have paid for a lot of their games, but their total half assed approach and lack of support is terrible.

    Either they support iOS properly or they should just stick to console games and not waste my time and money on mobile

    What they did with Monster Hunter is beyond a joke, and they have warnings on Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies which is a premium priced game, stating it's not compatible with iOS9, again it's a game which they had a sale on 2 weeks ago and it's only been out for about a year. What kind of company tries to drive sales of an app up while at the same time having zero confidence in their product? At least in this case this game still works on iPhone 6

    • Clickonthewhatnow

      You realize all the games that have been ganked - from multiple developers - are because of issues with getting games working with iOS 9, right? I doubt they're happy to be losing potential customers - might want to tell Apple to do better beta testing before releasing a new version that tanks a ton of games out there. I don't even like Capcom, but this seems to be an Apple-wide thing.

      • Supermarioooo

        Yeah I'm aware of that now, I posted that message 3 days ago when no one had any idea what was happening, see toucharcade's articles as they were equally confused at the time

  • lemessie


  • Intendro

    All they have to do is make the IAP work on iOS 9. They programmed the IAP in the first place. How hard can it be to fix it to work like it is now?

    • Intendro

      A delayed game is eventually good. An "IAP for full version" game is eventually gone forever.

  • Desertking24

    It's making me more and more nervous spending money on these games anymore.

    • Alex Bittencourt

      I am considering quitting iOS scene for good.

      • Desertking24

        This iOS library I have is probably going to be my permanent no deleting library

  • powlicious

    Crapcom 😮

  • TimTim92

    Meanwhile, indie devs be like.. "Ohh.. The games broken? I got a fix next week" lol

    • Nate C

      Sadly not always the case. Many indie devs can't keep up maintaining old games while working on new games. Sure, the notable ones (who make enough money) can, but the ones who are just above water can have a harder time.

      There are actually companies now that do nothing but help maintain compatibility, so that devs can continue working on current games instead of just maintaining old ones.

      I have many indie dev games that aren't very famous and didn't do well, and many of them just don't work right anymore. In most cases, the devs just don't seem to be around at all anymore and haven't updated in years.

    • jamesgecko

      Uh, yeah. The 868-HACK developer has complained in the past that keeping his existing games running on new versions of iOS has taken up a lot of time he would have preferred to spend writing new games.

  • dancj

    This is one of the reasons why I'm always happier buying games outright rather than via in-app unlocks.

    • Intendro

      Yes. They shouldn't make it easier for games to break!
      Can't install this without an Internet connection, so it can't be backed up properly. No more IAP, no more installing.
      And when you can't even play a game without an Internet connection, well, the server and the game can just go vanishing into nothing whenever...

    • curtisrshideler

      Agreed! And yet, for some reason, I can still install that old Force Unleashed Star Wars game and restore my purchase of that. It's crazy that game still works when this couldn't. Capcom must be having financial problems, if they are ignoring so many games. Bummer.

      • jamesgecko

        You realize that using the "correct" APIs that Apple won't randomly change in the future is pretty much pure luck, yes?

  • Carabak

    Other App Stores too. Decided to load up House Of a The Dead on my old Kindle Fire HD and have a blast today (not been released on Apple yet). Although I managed to get it from my Kindle Cloud purchase history, the game no longer survives the license check at start up. Paid about £3 plus an IAP of £1.30 to open the third chapter of the game (all very short so don't get me started on that!) originally. I know it's not much money but it's just ANNOYING and it feels like you have no consumer rights at all.

  • thestapler

    Wait did this also happen with XCom: Enemy Within? That disappeared from my purchase history after I got it on sale.

    • pouffie

      Same here. I wrote to 2K and demanded compensation. Let's see...

      • thestapler

        it sucks. i can't even find any proof that i actually purchased it.

      • pouffie

        Go to itunes, all the invoices are kept there

    • Mo

      Enemy Within still shows up in my iOS purchase history.

      • dancj

        Mine too

      • Dailon Huskey

        Same for me
        Also look it up Telltale just pulled most of their games from the store!

  • Brendan Charles

    I'm starting to think iOS is not a viable gaming platform. With publishers pulling this crap a few times a week, I don't see how anyone can really trust the app store system going forward.

    • RicoSuaveGuapo

      But guys, mobile gaming is the future! I read it here just last week.

      • Brendan Charles

        It's true! Mobile games go wherever you go!

        ...except when they're pulled from the app store.

        ...or require a persistent internet connection for no reason.

        .... or you've reached your 'life' limit.

      • Alex Bittencourt

        I am considering quitting iOS scene for good.

        This kind of move should never have been acceptable.

      • Brendan Charles

        I actually am. As soon as the Xperia Z5 comes to Canada I'm switching. I think Android is a much more viable gaming solution in the long run than apple.

        For one, we have many hardware companies making very decent micro consoles running android. So while Apple might have the majority of the market share for now, I think for gaming this will shift pretty quickly. Releasing a game for android will soon introduce devs not only to every android based phone and tablet, but all of the micro consoles as well. This isn't possible with apple's closed model.

        Secondly, because android is much more open and allows you to side load apps- compatibility is much less an issue. If you can run it, you can side load it and forget about the nonsense going on with devs pulling apps, etc. Just make sure to back up your APKs.

        Finally - emulators. They are barely possible with iOS; yet many emulators are exclusively being developed for android and it's really on the bleeding edge.

        I'm not seeing a bright future for iOS gaming unless something changes and fast.

      • gmattergames

        The grass is always greener, but too much of any one thing is not a good thing: Android, too open and unrestricted, prone to pirating a malware, a risk for any dev. iOS, uncompromisingly restrictive with Apple seemingly unconcerned about rearward compatibilty, a risk for any dev.

      • Brendan Charles

        They both definitely have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are very far from perfect- but I'm eager to try out the other ecosystem to see how I like it.

    • Alexythimia23

      You know this time last year i would never had thought of saying that, but because it seems games have no longevity, whether they be broke or whether an ios update breaks them...its starting to feel like a shallow experience. Cant believe i just said that! Lol but its true i wish it was a platform where games stay, even in 20 years time id like to think i could still download some ios classics and relive some memories.....but its starting to become a really fickle platform for gaming.
      Stuff like this really does sadden me, such a shame, such a waste, such is life or is it such is ios? ( or any other mobile platform?)

      • Brendan Charles

        It's very different from console games or even disk based PC games where you could for the most play whenever you wanted to so long as you had the hardware in hand. Now it's almost like games are these ethereal, fleeting things that come and go on the whims of people who have already run away with our money. That's not a system I'm going to support.

  • Talaen

    I keep tossing around writing out the "Gamer's bill of rights" that has been bouncing around in my head for a while.

    I work in software and one of the requirements we have is to explicitly state how long we will support each version of software and against what other platforms.

    While it is unfortunate that these companies might not make more money on an individual title by fixing bugs, they certainly stand to lose future money by lack of confidence in them doing the right thing in the future.

    While my IPad has been my go-to gaming device for the last two years, I've started dusting off my 3DS and Vita and spending more money for full featured games I own and can continue to play for days, months, or years in the future. The smaller iOS price tag isn't worth it when the game stops working and the drama involved with hoping it will be fixed.

  • PrimoBr

    EA pulled dead space and mass effect from the purchase history too

    • Alexythimia23

      What?? Are you saying i cannot play those games anymore?? Are you freaking kidding me!

  • chickdigger802

    Just a fyi, the ds game is $18ish new on amazon. Best to pick a copy when its still affordable :/

    Also runs at 60fps vs 30fps on iOS for some weird reason.

    Sucks though. Bought this at launch way back when.

    • BaronKrause

      Better off picking it up used off ebay so you don't give them anymore money.

  • Dawn Stung atoms

    Game devs: don't you just hate it when an iOS update breaks stuff that you painstakingly made? Apple gets profits from the sold games while they make you fix stuff that they themselves break from putting in something new.

    While Capcom pulling games from the purchase history is a clear dick move, Apple needs to have a plan about avoiding this snafu in the future to gain user trust.

  • iamninja

    It's hard to see who's to blame here. On one hand, it's apples fault for breaking the game every time they release a new os. On the other it's the developers for not updating their games to work with new os.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Talking to developers, it's rarely as much of Apple's fault as people like to believe. Apple has extensive documentation on various standard practices they expect you to follow when you build an iOS app. If you do that, chances are your games and apps will work for a very long time with little or any modifications. (For instance, the TA app.)

      The tricky part comes in with all the different engines, SDKs, third party API's, and a bunch of other stuff that has become common to throw in to games. Even if you follow the Apple guidelines to the letter, it's possible that the innocuous ad serving API's you threw in are a ticking time bomb to break your whole game. Without exhaustive code audits, which really aren't realistic for most developers to do, you'd really never know.

      So, it's all a mess, but it's hard to blame Apple THAT much when they're very clear about what kind of things to do. If you deviate from that, and your app works, you can't be pissed at Apple when it eventually breaks.

      With that being said, the thing that truly sucks, is it's the gamers who are left out in the cold in all this.

      • collider

        Eli, your reply ought to be promoted to an entire article. Very well said. This has been coming up a lot in the comments, it seems like a great deal of people are confused, understandably so. Most developers know all of this (and either follow the guidelines or don't), but if you're not a developer everything looks like Apple's fault. And when developers come out and say "iOS 8 broke our code", it sounds like "it's Apple's fault our code broke". A bit disingenuous.

      • subshell001

        I agree, you should devote an article to this explanation.

  • Repulsa

    Crapcom is not getting any future business from me and I know many others feel the same maybe they will realize the error of their ways when they wonder why they aren't making any money at all anymore I hope you jerks go bankrupt

  • Jakeopp

    This is why gaming with "old fashioned" things like cartridges and discs was great. Once you have it, nobody can take it away.

    • Collin

      Except for people that literally break into your house and take them. Or your dog might eat them. Your kid may break them. Although I admit I've lost more games by upgrading and removals from my account than I have from those other things.

      • Jakeopp

        Lol true, but I've never lost any like that

    • Jakeopp

      were great*

      • dancj

        You had it right the first time. The object of the sentence was gaming - so gaming was great

      • Jakeopp

        Oh yeah you're right xD I read the last half of it and it sounded odd to me so I corrected it. Shoulda read the entire thing

    • BaronKrause

      Unfortunately with modern cartridges and disks that doesn't apply anymore because of all the patches and DLC that needs to be installed. Sure you can play the version that is on the disk, but that will always be a lesser version of what was the final game.

    • Grits n Gravy

      Except when the servers go down on the game, rendering your disk useless. You can't win either way

  • iamninja

    Good point Eli. This is the very reason I don't delete my games off my iPad nor update the software. Because I know these things happen. (Using iOS 7 on iPad mini 2, iOS 8.4.1 on my iPad Air 2. Won't update either to ios9.

    • Themostunclean

      That's all well and good until you want to actually upgrade your hardware.

  • Eoghann

    Part of the problem is that we buy/download games and toss them into the queue. With so many games coming out on a weekly basis, the ones that require more time or hard drive space get pushed further down or removed from the device until a later date. By the time we get around to playing them, Apple has released dozens of updates; often rendering the game incompatible.

    I've learned my lesson the hard way: so whenever a significant IOS update comes out, I rush to finish games before updating. Might be the last time it works.

    • Alex Bittencourt

      That's why I am not buying right now any new stuff. I am also considering if it is worth to byy anything again at all. That's just outrageous!

    • qdisqust

      I just don't bother to upgrade until I've decided it's safe. My devices are still on 8.3

  • Mo

    FFS do we have any recourse for a refund at this point? I'm sick of this.

  • rcs206


  • Barc

    Wouldn't this be grounds for reimbursement?

    • Themostunclean

      They wouldn't do it for Bioshock or any of the half dozen games EA pulled last month.

      • Alex Bittencourt

        Add Disney to the mix.

  • Martin Meier

    And the worst thing is that Apple removed the backup function so you can't move games from your device to your computer anymore.
    That's seriously crappy!

    • Alex Bittencourt

      Smart move from them!

    • dancj

      Are you sure about that? Mine still seem to transferring across when I sync with iTunes.

      • Alex Bittencourt

        On iOS 9?

      • dancj

        Yup. I only bought 1010 since I had iOS 9 and that's there.

      • Intendro

        You must have had iTunes download it. Maybe with Automatic Downloads or whatever it was?

      • dancj

        Ah yes. Probably. I guess it makes sense with App Thinning/Slicing.

      • Intendro

        It doesn't make sense for them to take it away. The slimmed version could still be backed up and then used to restore on the same device. But they were too lazy to set up separate folders for someone's device-specific apps... 😒

    • Themostunclean

      You can still back up the .api files using third party software.

      • Intendro

        What software? Since iTunes doesn't let me sync my apps over from my phone because it purposefully broke... 😑

      • Themostunclean

        iFunbox and iDevice manager are two popular ones. They let you manage the contents of your iPhone or iPad without iTunes. You can back up the app .api files to your computer. I haven't had to use either for a while but I don't believe they require any jailbreak. There's also MediaMonkey but that focuses more on music- it's mainly what I use to manage my non-iTunes music.

      • Intendro

        iDevice Manager: not compatible with iOS 9.
        iFunBox: "extract IPA" immediately declares it is done. Predictably, that meant it failed to do anything. There is no file.
        Stupid Apple, taking away a function that has no reason not to be there... No excuse. 😡

    • Intendro

      You can still download them directly to your computer with iTunes...
      But why remove such a useful function, not having to download with your computer? Because of app thinning not downloading the whole thing? But it would still logically allow you to restore a backed up device-specific app to that device! No excuse for this...

      • Martin Meier

        I mean, if I want to backup pulled games that are still on my iPhone, I can't anymore.

      • Intendro

        Oh, right...
        Still can't believe they did something so stupid. I never expected I would have to make sure they didn't do something incredibly illogical before updating...

    • anon_coward

      can't you download them with itunes?

      • Martin Meier

        Not anymore.

  • Carabak

    Whether it's the dev or Apple, surely Apple can stop a developer from actually erasing an app from your purchase history? And they should.

    • Alex Bittencourt

      I do agree.

  • Jesse_Dylan

    Jeez. I'm glad I just stuck to DS/3DS for Ghost Trick and Phoenix Wright.

  • Carabak

    I like Talaen's comment about a Gamers Bill Of a Rights (or any digital media). Obviously in this case there would be a clause about once something is in your Purchase History it can't be erased. EVER. I also believe there should be a law where Freemium games must state how much a person should reasonably have to pay to complete the game in, say, a fortnight or month. Knowing how much a game's IAPs are isn't all that much help, and often they don't even give you this (which I thought they had to by law now...could be wrong).

    • jenni

      As far as the IAPs go for freemium games, I think it would also be a good idea to have a maximum purchase limit in a certain period of time. The industry's catering to whales has led the trend of making IAPs generally extremely powerful for the first $5-20 you put in, and then only useful if you put in hundreds of dollars at a time.

      Something like "per 1 month, 1 account may only spend $X (probably something like $100-200, where it wouldn't block most gamers but would absolutely deter the whaling these companies do). Instead, they'll have to cater to a wide audience and make better games that aren't reliant solely on huge purchases.

      It wouldn't be perfect (alts are a thing that exist), but it would slow or stop the most egregious cases of whaling, which means that the industry wouldn't be able to legally cater to them and only them anymore.

      • Stormourner of the Nature

        hmmm maximum purchase limit? now that's sound a good idea when any person buys consumable IAPs then it must be locked for 24 hours or several days

  • Matthew White

    I played this game on my phone last night. I guess I can never delete it if I want to keep it. This is why people don't want an all digital future. You don't actually own anything.

  • putermcgee

    I saw this on Twitter and thought, "at least I already downloaded it!" but then checked and found I had to delete it for space at some point. Super lame news, super lame Capcom.

    • enchained

      Same for me (( Who knew I shouldn't delete it under any circumstances. This is outrageous.

  • Stephen

    Ghost Trick is so awesome. More people need to be able to play it. I hope this is fixed...

  • rich_952000

    "Tricks" like this are the reason developers struggle to sell their apps for a dollar or two.

  • vic_viper_001

    Crapcom can never take away my DS cart!

  • Bernardo

    #boycottcapcom Thats it. Only way to get them respect their consumers is for us to not support them anymore. Update your OS or play our game? What is that? The game is barely a year old and bam.

  • subshell001

    Just a friendly reminder that developers have had access to iOS 9 since June.

  • rewind

    Capcom just went out of business. At least in my mind. Poof! There's another company I'll never buy anything from, ever. However, unlike some people, I'm not upset that Apple isn't doing anything to prevent it. Why? Because every time a company does this, I know that they are an evil corporation that treats their customers like pieces of data, and nothing more than that. So I know not to buy or play any game from them. I believe that companies should have the right to do stupid things like this, and then we can all ridicule them and laugh at their stupidity until the company suffers, and some day, they will learn the lesson. But by then, it'll be too late...

  • John

    So, my situation (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is that I bought all of Ghost Trick's chapters when they were on sale, quite a while back. Then removed it from my device, along with other games to free up some memory, safe in the knowledge that I could return to it at any time. Then I reinstall the "fixed" version, only to find that the iap was broken. So I wait patiently for it to be fixed, and now this happens! Essentially, I've bought a game which I can't play. Do Capcom have the right to remove this, and not refund the people who are unable to access their paid for content?

  • bluejuan85

    I bought it when it was on sale and to make space for other games I deleted it now sadly I can't play it anymore. Luckily I still own the Nintendo DS version. Pity about Dead Space as well.

  • hakamhakam

    This is bullshit, I'm still using iOS 6, why do I have to suffer because other people move to newer iOS. The game still work fine on older iOS. Why don't they only remove it from newer iOS App Store and keep it on older one?

  • Dailon Huskey

    Breaking now and read it on another site... telltale games has pulled almost all their games from the App Store!!! This is starting to get real bad.

    • Shaun Musgrave

      Yeah, I posted that on my Twitter account several hours ago on a TA reader tip. My feed is sometimes a great source of news for everyone, it seems. I've got a big piece going up in the morning about this, but EA and SEGA have also removed games from purchase histories.

      • Dailon Huskey

        Cool I was hoping you guys knew about it.

      • Shaun Musgrave

        I should add that Telltale has already confirmed that the pull is temporary while they fix audio glitches caused by iOS 9, so don't worry too much.

      • Dailon Huskey

        I figured that as they have shown to be a good company thus far. I wonder if this has to do w app thinning?

  • Sako Hamilton

    I was actually looking for ghost trick myself & saw it completely wiped from the store. To b honest this game was incredible. But u have to admit it is very old. Btw hate when games require an Internet connection for play

  • Design by Adrian

    Seriously? Will I EVER be able to play this game?

  • Clymore102

    The next app that Capcom will pull out would probably be Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for IOS. -_-

  • Earth Vs. Me

    I'm not giving up on iOS games completely, but one thing's for sure: no more backloggging. No more spending sprees on holiday app sales, and I'm only buying one game at a time, and that's if I know for sure I'll have time to finish it before the next iOS update. It's a bummer it has to be this way, but it is what it is.

    • Dankrio

      Same here. Until then, I will just putting games on TA's wishlist if EVER I have a chamce to buy them. I suspect my backlog will take some years to empty.