Everyone’s undoubtedly seen the image that’s soared in raging popularity: “On May 31, ROCK BAND will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!” If you’re one of the thousands of mobile users who spent a fiver on the pocket-sized music app, then you know what sort of uproar EA caused with this message. The most hilarious part of this whole thing, though? EA quickly backpeddled and tried to make a lie on the fly, claiming the rather specific message was an “error,” and they’re “working to clarify the issue that caused the error.”
How nice of them—except they also published a message on their FAQ stating that they’re pulling support for Rock Band, and players who’d already downloaded the game may continue to do so until May 31. Fantastic.
Of course, this whole situation brings up the question what the heck EA was thinking when they thought this would be even a little bit of a good idea. The only thing I can personally think of, short of a highly descriptive fantasy of taking the money and running, is that Rock Band may perhaps become part of a bundle or some other sort of similar setup, and perhaps Rock Band users would in fact not be able to play through the original app but would be able to play through the new setup. Then again, it’s EA, so even if this were the case, they probably would try to get you to buy it all over again.
Even if EA fully goes back on this and tries to pretend the “accident” never happened, this definitely brings up huge concerns with regard to its growing PC platform, Origin. It wasn’t too long ago that EA ripped all of its content from Steam and other PC platforms for the sake of making them Origin-exclusive. Now you have to wonder with this incident, what if you’ve just filled your library full of fun EA games, such as Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, all but the last five minutes of Mass Effect 3 and so on… and EA pulls the plug on your fun. Just spent a couple hundred bucks? Well, you would have just as well flushed it down the toilet if they render their servers useless.
I know, it’s not the first time that such a dark thought has graced the gaming world, but this is certainly the closest we’ve ever come to completely losing access to a game in all ways because the publisher decided they would no longer support it. Even in the case of Demon Souls, there’s still a single player aspect you can enjoy, and Rock Band’s not an MMO, so it really isn’t expected to just not be able to play the game again one day.
We’ll keep you updated with the EA debacle as more information heads our way.