It’s official, as of May 31, 2012, the original Rock Band iOS app will no longer be playable, with the servers being shut down and support being dropped.
Even though Rockband Reloaded is a pretty fantastic app that we’ve taken the opportunity to recommend, many players still prefer the original (not to mention those who have made a sizable investment into the app which had a USD $9.99 price-tag and even more on extra tunes).
While I think most people can understand the need to evolve and the incredible expense that comes from maintaining old servers and supporting out of date apps, particularly when it comes with the added benefit of newer apps getting more attention, it is frustrating that EA has yet to weigh in with an official explanation behind the deprecation of this app. It isn’t the first time either, they pulled a similar slash and switch maneuver with the original Tetris for the iPad last year.
This move is also one of the more publicly aware occasions to bring up a problem that many in-app purchasers likely hadn’t considered: are the investments we are making into virtual swag (from songs to smurfberries) completely without protection? Could the apps that encouraged us to spend money be gone tomorrow with no recourse? Apple is going to have to pay some attention to this, because a considerable revenue stream is enjoyed from in-app purchases and these kinds of risks may make would-be spenders a little wallet-shy (not to mention the purchase prices for the apps themselves, though many are freemium style where your admission is free but the rides will all cost you afterward).
Even though it carries more than a little cheese-factor, I fully intend to play a few rounds of “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer on my iPad tonight.