May 2nd, 2012

An interesting message has popped up recently for those who purchased Rock Band on iOS. The game, published by EA, is apparently going to be unplayable the last day of this month, and it’s not by accident. In a sense, we really don’t own these apps, we’re simply licensing them. For whatever reason, EA decided that everyone’s time was up.

Since this doesn’t happen very often, the assumption is that EA’s hand is forced due to licenses expiring with the music labels who provide the music for the game. EA could always extend those licenses but it’s hard to say if they’ll be going that route. I wouldn’t worry about this becoming a common theme for the time being, but it’s unsettling nonetheless.

While it’s not completely similar, this reminds me of a post I made a while ago complaining about developers who can take paid apps off the Android market Google Play Store with no way for users to redownload the app later on.

I argue that software should be more like hardware, and while that is mostly true for desktop operating systems and downloadable games via consoles, the same doesn’t seem to play to the mobile realm.

Sure, subscription-based services are a whole different beast but when you pay a one-time license for an app you should be able to keep that app for as long as you want. I could go on all day about how I feel about all of this, but I’ll elect to digress. Even with EA’s hand possibly being forced due to music licenses, do you think this is right? [via iSource]