Report: Rock Band iOS ending May 31

A notice in the Rock Band iOS App claims it will no longer be playable after May 31. EA hasn't issued a statement, and Harmonix seems as surprised as anyone else.


The iOS version of Rock Band appears to have an expiration date, and even Harmonix isn't sure why. A notice in the app reportedly states that the game "will no longer be playable on your device" after May 31. The game doesn't offer an explanation, and the product page makes no mention of the expiration.

A Reddit thread shared the image, to an unsurprising response of widespread anger. The app is still on sale for $4.99, so new purchasers may face a rude awakening. As many in the Reddit thread noted, this is similar to a move earlier this year, when EA pulled the Tetris iPad App, and subsequently launched a new one that had to be repurchased.

"EA Mobile is responsible for the publishing and hosting of Rock Band on iOS," a Harmonix representative told Kotaku. "We're reaching out to them to better understand what's happening with the app."

Shacknews has contacted EA regarding the notice, and will update as more information becomes available.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 2, 2012 1:30 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Report: Rock Band iOS ending May 31.

    A notice in the Rock Band iOS App claims it will no longer be playable after May 31. EA hasn't issued a statement, and Harmonix seems as surprised as anyone else.

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      May 2, 2012 1:31 PM

      Well that's some BS. I wants my money back.

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      May 2, 2012 1:32 PM

      seems odd. internet gonna rage on this one.

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        May 2, 2012 2:29 PM

        Did it rage out when Tetris was pulled out and offered again for repurchase?

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          May 2, 2012 2:54 PM

          There was some rage but that one was a little different - the original Tetris, if you still have it on your phone, still allows you to play. And the way Apple's cloud thing works, if you purchased it you can always go back and re-download it, even after it's been pulled from the store (you can even get "banned" apps this way, like VLC and Tris).

          Rock Band here is telling you (if we're interpreting it correctly) that you simply will not be able to play at all, even offline, after 5/31.

          I guess they figure having a game with half the features missing because they went offline is worse than a game that simply won't run at all. Especially since they sell an upgraded version of it as well, but who the fuck would buy that now? People can still play the original Rock Band on their PS2 for fucks sake, why shut down the phone one?

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            May 2, 2012 3:00 PM

            I don't think you can get banned apps. Whenever I restore a device from iCloud, it tells me that it couldn't download some apps because they are not on the store and I have to restore VLC from iTunes locally.

            Apple does have a killswitch that will actually stop an app from working on all devices, but I don't think they've ever used it.

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          May 3, 2012 2:02 AM

          No, we have to protect our artistic integrity in the industry!

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        May 2, 2012 3:39 PM

        Omg such entitled gamers thinking they can actually keep playing something they paid for!

        Yes, sarcasm and poorly used "entitled" in one!

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      May 2, 2012 1:33 PM

      So reddit is now a credible source for news?

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      May 2, 2012 1:53 PM

      You bought the game but don't own it. EA at its finest.

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        May 2, 2012 3:42 PM

        It's not just EA; this is the future of software published by any company.

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          May 2, 2012 3:46 PM

          It's not just EA; this is the future of software published by any AAA company.

          fixed it for you

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      May 2, 2012 2:17 PM

      THEORY: Way back when EA got sued for not making it clear on the Ultima Online packaging that a subscription and Internet connection was required, they started putting a message on their packaging that said they only guaranteed servers for this game until X date (usually about a year or so after launch). If the game was really successful, of course, they'd keep servers going but if the thing was a dud they wanted to set a timeframe for them not running master servers anymore. If the game had dedicated servers then it could live forever of course, but the wording of the disclaimer made it sound like the game simply might not work after a certain date.

      Maybe they built this same thing into Rock Band and forgot about it. Maybe they were just going to push out the date with successive updates.

      But yeah if this is how they're going to roll then I'll probably not buy any more iOS games from them.

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      May 2, 2012 2:27 PM

      There's also a mention of Rock Band on this page.

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      May 2, 2012 2:50 PM

      Shame. Strange how the world preferred Tap Tap to Rock Band on iOS. RB for iOS was so well done. Tap Tap was... crap.

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      May 2, 2012 3:08 PM

      This scares me into wanting to redownload all my rockband songs to my new xbox hd through that transfer site on

      Dont want to lose all my music to some stipulation.

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        May 2, 2012 3:24 PM

        Ugh, take the fucking game down then if they can't play it past the 31st.

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        May 2, 2012 3:32 PM

        So, if the servers are down you can't play even if you have the content on your device?

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          May 2, 2012 4:15 PM

          It appears that you can if you turn on airplane mode. Unless they hardcoded an expiration date in when the game was last updated back in 2010.

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        May 2, 2012 3:45 PM

        I couldn't tell you the last time I bought or supported an EA game, and I doubt I ever will again.

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      May 2, 2012 4:05 PM

      So what exactly is going to happen? The game will start up, throw an error and quit out, or what then?

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      May 2, 2012 4:47 PM

      I'm okay with EA killing servers for Multiplayer on older games. No one plays several year old sports games. This seems weird and fucked up though.

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      May 2, 2012 5:42 PM

      holy back pedal EA!

      i love that they call it an "error" when they had an entire support page up for said "error." i also love that they took down the support page, as if someone out there didn't screen cap it.

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        May 2, 2012 9:11 PM


        "Guess we can't get away with it yet. We'll try again in a year!"

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        May 2, 2012 9:43 PM

        yep, the page I posted above has been deleted. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

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          May 2, 2012 9:55 PM

          It's really pathetic and makes me angry that companies thinks gamers are this dumb. :(

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            May 3, 2012 2:15 AM

            don't even believe they think gamers are dumb, the product managers are just completely out of touch with their user base and treat apps/games like traditional brick & mortar store items with a defined shelf life cycle of 1-2 years.

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              May 3, 2012 2:24 AM

              then when things go off track "Zey send in zee cleaner" and think everything is fixed again. Filed under: "When big corps raise their ugly head"

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            May 3, 2012 2:32 AM

            "It was an error that we announced the closure in clearly and in two separate places!"

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        May 2, 2012 9:56 PM

        and for the 'what possible legit causes' speculation this would also suggest the issue couldn't have been licensing related as was speculated by some since there's no way they'd have been able to ensure that was resolved that quickly

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        May 3, 2012 2:40 AM

        Too much good karma would have been acquired by holding their hands up, Dahahahanese - Imagine what that would have done to their street cred!

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