Keep On Rocking: EA Not Shutting Down Rock Band For iPhone

Good news, rockers! We heard back from our friends at EA, and yesterday’s panic over the kill switch on Rock Band for iPhone was premature. They tell us that the in-app message was an error, and you can buy the game with confidence if you feel so inclined.

Their PR department told us:

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.

Thanks, EA! That’s great to hear. But we’re still not taking back your Golden Poo.

(Updated) EA’s Rock Band Game For iPhone Will NOT Self-Destruct In 29 Days


Edit Your Comment

  1. PSUSkier says:

    Rogue employee perhaps? I mean, that was an awfully specific message to accidentally broadcast to everyone who bought the game.

    Also, I think this goes on record as the latest (earliest?) Consumerist post I’ve seen.

  2. prismatist says:

    The fact that such a remote kill switch is even possible makes me even more not ever going to buy an EA game, if that were possible.

    • Kitamura says:

      We don’t actually know if they have a kill switch or if that’s just some feature they have to be able to transmit messages to all users that someone may have potentially abused.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        Actually we do. They had a version of Tetris you could buy, then they released an updated version. The old one was killed and you had to rebuy the new one.

    • majortom1981 says:

      All IOS apps have this kill switch. ITs an apple thing not an EA thing

  3. oldtaku says:

    It’s just a great reminder that they can do this AT ANY TIME.

    You think you’re buying it? No, you’re just renting it till they decide it’s not worth it any more.

    • vastrightwing says:

      You sir are correct. I was thinking this exact same thing. It may have been a “mistake” in this instance. Sleep well knowing the EA has the ability to force your game to stop working at its pleasure.

      I don’t like this trend of software companies making you pay a lot of money for a license they can revoke and then not give you your money back. I like the analogy of buying a book and then the publisher sending someone to your house to recover the book without giving you your money back.

  4. mstrmike says:

    So hurry and buy Rock Band! Pay no attention to the creature on the wing of the plane or the giant iceburg, either. Enjoy these bulging cans of food and this lunchmeat with the lovely rainbow shine.
    In a very short time Rock Band is going to be less supported than an Octomom-John Edwards variety show.
    Tap while you can!

  5. pridkett says:

    This makes me wonder if they were trying to get away with it and hope that nobody noticed. It seems to incredibly specific to just say it was sent out in error.

  6. WB987 says:

    A company that locks games with DRM beat out a company that forecloses on people’s homes and contributed to an economic collapse? And no Monsanto or companies that do real damage? “Man, that Xe Services sends people to die and sues families if the soldier doesn’t go into dangerous areas, but that USPS lost my check last month!” I guess that speaks to Consumerist demographics more than the idea of “worst company.”

    • Peffse says:

      Still bitter about that, eh?

      Just face it, people don’t like their entertainment tampered with.

      • WB987 says:

        What is there to be bitter about? I’m pointing out something that I just learned and I find absurd, but I can imagine from your response that many people also felt “bad video game ending” is not equivalent to “caused worldwide economic meltdown and taking part in the funneling of wealth way from the middle class.”

    • vastrightwing says:

      This is all part of the plan: get people so addicted to their entertainment that it’s easy to steal their money without them noticing it. Great plan, it seems to be working.

    • MMD says:

      More likely, it speaks to social media’s ability to inspire ballot box stuffing.

  7. We Have a Piper Down says:

    Shit, you didn’t take that sitting down like we’d hoped. OK, just kidding, you guys! LOL! My bad! MISTAKE! PSYCH! Ha ha.

    Tell me that wasn’t a test to gauge reactions to something like that.

  8. erinpac says:

    They mistakenly confirmed the message as well and mistakenly set a date and mistakenly explained it as refocusing their resources?

    If that were true, they’d have an awful lot of employees just making stuff up…. I guess that wouldn’t be surprising, but it still sounds more like they changed their minds.

    • erinpac says:

      Still on their help site right now:
      ” 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.”

      I don’t see how they could make the same mistake in multiple places and press statements.

  9. longfeltwant says:

    False messages in phone games is worse than ruining the world economy or knowingly putting gigantic ecosystems in danger.

  10. Turn-n-Burn says:

    This is nothing new. EA has sold multiple game apps, then removed them from the store completely to be replaced by the newer version. That way, you need to re-purchase the app if you delete it/get a new device. EA is a complete pile of golden poo for sure.

    • RandomAdjectives says:

      Yeah, I found out a month or two ago they did this with Tetris on the iPhone. Could’ve sworn I had it, but it was asking for a dollar in the App Store when I went to reinstall it. I checked my receipts yesterday after hearing all the Rock Band stuff and it turns out I bought Tetris in 2009 for 5 bucks.

      I’m more upset that Tetris on the iPhone sucked more than being out 5 dollars, but that’s still pretty shifty.

  11. thielonious says:

    I hope the Internet doesn’t let EA sweep this under. We should give them hell until they give an honest and transparent reason for the original message. Could they really be just a bunch of stuffed suits that see us all as renewable sources of income or are they actually human beings that are having a little trouble steering the overgrown Katamari ball EA has become? I used to buy games BECAUSE of the EA logo, now I avoid them when I can.

  12. jimbo831 says:

    I’m not buying this “mistake”. It sounds like they got more negative reaction than they anticipated and just tried to play it off as a mistake afterwards.

    • BigDragon says:

      I completely agree. EA is hyper-sensitive about their public appearance. This got them more negative PR than they had expected thus the reversal.

      Imagine if there was the same negative PR about Battlefield 3. They might actually fix the game. For now we’re all stuck getting killed behind cover, fighting against people using bugged weapons, and unlocking content that isn’t actually available for use.

  13. JonBoy470 says:

    This is, I suspect, how it went down:

    EA: Rock Band is done, let’s pull the plug on iOS May 31.
    Apple: Wait, wait…. Um, No…
    EA: But but…
    Apple: Um, still no…

    I have every confidence that EA was actually going to pull the plug, and that Apple informed them, in no uncertain terms, that they were, in fact, not going to do so. Apple is very conscious of the “user experience” associated with their brand, and won’t tolerate the likes of Electronic Arts hosing that up. Thus they reserve the “kill switch” for their own use, mostly for apps that violate their terms of service (tethering apps don’t last long, for example)

    Besides, the “Purchased” feature of the App Store (Introduced in iOS5) allows one to re-download previously purchased apps, even if the developer has withdrawn it from the App Store. That said, EA could shut down whatever servers they have supporting Rock Band, which would probably greatly reduce the play value of the game…

  14. cyberpenguin says:

    Whether it was an error or not, one thing they can’t deny is that date-specific kill code was written into the app that they have complete control over. Not Apple. Not you. EA can kill your paid app whenever they want.

  15. jsweitz says:

    Get an android.

    Just root your phone, install titanium backup and you can save/reinstall apks forever straight from your phone or save them to a computer. If you’re not rooted just find and download the apk files to your computer so you can sideload them forever.

  16. thesalad says:

    I read this as..
    “Dear everyone.. We’ve heard about the complaints, and we’ve had apple calling us non-stop about this issue. We’ve been forc.. er … This was an error, a bug in our software notification system and wasn’t meant to happen.. the janitor or someone else that can’t speak english did it”
    *whew* Ea collectively wipes sweat off of brow stating “ahh Tibor, how you’ve saved us so many times.”

  17. DrLumen says:

    I would not be surprised if the game (or at least some users) still gets deactivated at the end of the month.

  18. Telekinesis123 says:

    “Sent in error” What a load of crap that is.