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EA and the Rock Band iOS Debacle

Back when the iPad first launched, one of the signature games for it was Rock Band, supplied by Electronic Art’s mobile division. It wasn’t just another version of the music franchise, it was a way for Apple to tell the gaming public and press “See! We have ‘real’ games too!”

So it came as a huge surprise to owners of iOS Rock Band when they opened the app recently only to be greeted by this pop-up message:

“Dear Rockers, On May 31, ROCK BAND will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!”

This confused fans for a number of reasons, first, it’s not an online game, so even if they decided to remove the downloadable song content, it shouldn’t affect the offline single player aspects of the game.

Second, the game was still on sale in the iOS App store for $4.99. It would stink for people late to the game to buy it without warning only to be immediately told “Yeah, have fun for the next 30 days or so.”

When confronted with this issue by MSNBC (partner with Microsoft), EA released 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.”

Really? You accidentally wrote a message telling people that an already downloaded game would be unplayable after a certain cut off date? It’s all just a big misunderstanding, from the guys who drafted the text of the message down to the programmers who pushed the update out to paying customers? Nobody believes in fact checking or QA before a message like this goes live?

Or rather, is that what they intended all along and were just unprepared for instant backlash?

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    1. Episode 262: But Not a Dollar Short | Gaming Podcast Says:

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      [...] deals with Rock Band iOS [...]

    3. Video Game Roundtable Episode 96: But Not a Dollar Short - TMR Zoo Says:

      [...] deals with Rock Band iOS [...]

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