What on Earth is going on with Rock Band for iOS?

Owners of EA's Rock Band app for iOS are being told that the game will effectively expire at the end of the month.

(Credit: CBSi)

Owners of EA's Rock Band app for iOS are now discovering a nasty surprise: a message telling them that the game they bought has just weeks to live.

Reported by The Guardian, and first spotted by RockBandAide, the software — which is still for sale at AU$5.49 — yesterday began serving up a pop-up message that says "Dear Rockers, On May 31, Rock Band will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!"

EA is no stranger to killing off some of its games after several years. Just last month, for instance, the company announced the shutdown of nearly a dozen of its titles made for home gaming consoles. However, the reasoning there is the work required to keep them up and running on the server side.

"As games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level — fewer than 1 per cent of all peak online players across all EA titles — where it's no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running," the company said at the time.

That same page lists Rock Band for Android, iPhone, Palm and feature phones as a title that was set for an "online services shutdown"; however, this newer message suggests that users won't be able to use the app at all.

Rock Band for iOS launched near the end of 2009, and currently offers a multiplayer feature through Facebook, though you can also play through Bluetooth. EA also sells add-on tracks in the form of in-app purchases, which can tack another AU$10.49 to the price tag if someone were to have purchased them all. Two years ago, EA launched a sequel called Rock Band Reloaded.

EA elaborated on the move on its help site. Here's the explanation verbatim:

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.

It's in the wake of this that EA issued a curious statement to CNET, declaring the message a goof:

"Rock Band for iOS will remain live — the in-app message users received yesterday was sent in error," the company said in a statement. "We apologise 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."

That doesn't explain the help site message, but we'll update you when we know more.



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