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EA disabling games that were paid for

  1. May 2, 2012 #1
    It turns out that when you pay for a mobile app, you're not actually buying the game. You're just paying for the company to allow you to play the game as long as the company sees fit.


    The mobile version of the game Rock Band is being disabled on users devices on May 31st. The weird thing is it's still being sold in the app store. As far as I can tell, it's not just that the game will no longer be supported, but it will be completely disabled.

    Can you imagine if other purchases worked this way? Imagine if Chevy put a boot on your car and removed the engine because they no longer were selling that model. Or imagine if a musician got into a dispute with his record label, so the label came to your house and took away the CD you purchased.

    It's a wonder how this is legal.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2012 #2


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    Sounds like Amazon's ebook policy, owing to the DRM they have the right to delete items off of people's devices that have been legally bought (though thankfully DRM seems to be on the out now that the big six have realised that all it did was give Amazon a potential monopoly).
  4. May 2, 2012 #3
    And they wonder why people prefer pirated products :uhh:
  5. May 2, 2012 #4
    That is why people download pirated stuff in the first place. =/
  6. May 2, 2012 #5


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    You mean you didn't actually read the User Agreement?

  7. May 2, 2012 #6
    Sometimes, those User Agreements are only available to be read after you purchase and install the game. I don't know that this was the case here, but many games don't have the agreement available pre-purchase.
  8. May 2, 2012 #7


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    I think you are probably misinterpreting this in that it is probably more of an online game than you realize. On the site you posted, the users are speculating about the licensing of the music running out, which only really matters if the license stays with them and isn't transferred to you. That makes the license cheaper, but means it isn't permanent. More directly, if the music itself isn't stored on your device and you need to download it every time you play, it takes more than just "support" from the parent company for the app to function. They have to be a permanent content provided for it. Tons of applications work that way, especially including gps mapping apps, MLB baseball, online games in Facebook and multi-user online games like WoW (though I'm not sure if WoW still has a single player option....).

    Still, this relates to why I'm not sold on cloud computing yet. I want local control of my content - I don't want to have to rely on being able to access a Google (or Turbo-Tax) server in order to view my own files.
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  9. May 2, 2012 #8
    Other purchases do..

    ever see what happens to an owners Ferrari when they don't drive it?

    They can take the thing back if they see fit.
  10. May 2, 2012 #9
    Ferrari takes their car back? I hardly think so.
  11. May 3, 2012 #10


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    According to people posting comments to the original story

    Searching a bit to see the mechanics of this I found
  12. May 4, 2012 #11


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    This from EA Games:

    EA hasn't quite got the hang of how the gaming environment has changed:
    Game Giant Forced To Play Catch Up
  13. May 4, 2012 #12
  14. May 4, 2012 #13
    Interestingly enough. EA actually posted confirmation that they were suspending support for that game on their official channels. Then redacted that information. You can see it by checking out this page:

    https://help.ea.com/article/will-rock-band-no-longer-be-available-on-mobile-devices [Broken]

    Then google "ea faq update rock band" and check the display message of "Yes, we will be suspending support of ROCK BAND after May 31 ...", since for some reason, google is not offering a cache of this. The above link is updated on May 2 though. Pretty lame EA.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  15. May 4, 2012 #14
    Suspending support is one thing. Remotely disabling the game would be something completely different.

    This is actually going to be an issue in the future of gaming. I occasionally go back and play old video games (~10 years old) for the sake of nostalgia. They still work, because I still have the disks. However, with some new games (I'm looking at you, Diablo 3), the game requires you to play through the company's servers. There is no offline mode at all, and more than just a constant internet check as DRM, they're actually keeping some key calculations on the server. So, if they ever decide to shut down their servers, it renders the game unplayable.

    Internet connectivity checks can be hacked away, but in order to play a game like Diablo 3 offline, you'd have to get your own game server.

    This is a disturbing trend to me.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  16. May 4, 2012 #15
    Oh they're just getting warmed up. The next gen systems for playstation and X box will link games to an online account, that way you won't be able to buy and play used video games without having to pay a fee to reactivate a used video game. So much for the days of trading video games with your friend when you were a kid.
  17. May 4, 2012 #16
    I can't agree more, but I don't see much chance of it changing, I buy less than one game a year now, but I don't think they noticed.
  18. May 4, 2012 #17


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    Just to clarify, games requiring an online server have existed at least since 1999 (Everquest). The fact that these types of games are more popular now is not an indictment on the industry, it's just the kind of game that people want to play
  19. May 4, 2012 #18
    I remember EQ, in fact I still play it, mmorpgs don't bother me.

    Needing a net connection to play Starcraft II vs my friends or single player is the sort of thing that I don't care for.
  20. May 5, 2012 #19
    PS Vita already does this. If you buy a used game, it costs you like 10 bucks to get "online access" to play it online. DRM honestly makes me want to pirate stuff that has the DRM removed, since I can't buy it that way. That's saying a lot, since I don't ever download things.
  21. May 5, 2012 #20
    no LAN for SCII is perhaps the single most idiotic video game decision ever made
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