iOS 7 (App Store teaser 002)

A bunch of premium iPhone, iPod touch and iPad games from major publishers such as Electronics Arts, Telltale Games, Capcom, Sega, 2K Games and many others have been removed from both the App Store and customers’ purchase histories without notice, TouchArcade cautioned.

As a result, those who had bought a game can no longer access or re-download it unless it was already installed on their device. No explanation for the removal from customer purchase history was provided in spite of media requests.

Some of the affected titles that are no longer available on the App Store and are missing from purchase histories include Capcom’s Ghost Trick, Electronics Arts’ Dead Space and a bunch of SEGA games. The majority of Telltale’s games have been removed from the store front as well.

“Although still accessible via purchase history, pulled Telltale games can no longer access In-App Purchases, even to restore already-purchased items,”explains TouchArcade.

“It’s highly likely Telltale’s games are pulled pending a fix, but it still points toward a big problem in the App Store.”

The exodus began a couple of weeks ago when 2K Games’s BioShock (pictured below) got removed from the App Store’s purchase history section after being pulled from the App Store several months prior.

BioShock for iOS (teaser 001)

BioShock released in the App Store in September 2014 so it was well past the refund period for most customers. “2K directed people to Apple for refunds, and Apple generally offered either nothing or an equally ill-fitting response of a handful of iTunes songs,” TouchArcade writes.

2K Games said Bioshock would be returning at a future date, without providing an explanation for the removal from customers’ purchase histories. Last month, super publisher Electronic Arts removed a bunch of classic iPhone and iPad games from the App Store.

Some of the removed games include hit titles such as Flight Control (seen below), the original Real Racing, Need for Speed: Shift, Flight Control and Mass Effect: Infiltrator.

flight-control

The company said it removed older games to focus its efforts on “developing new and exciting titles, as well as bringing new content and updates to existing popular games.”

These games are no longer supported or updated though customers who still have the now removed game on their devices “should be able to continue playing normally,” said EA.

While many of the pulled games from EA and other publishers are either outdated or have not been refreshed to support iOS 9 and work on newer hardware, titles which rely on In-App Purchases to unlock a portion of the game become totally inaccessible following their silent removal from the App Store.

The gaming-focused publication objected to the practice, saying the move sends a message to customers that App Store games “are temporary, no more permanent than a cookie or potato chip, and we are merely renting them for an undetermined and completely arbitrary period of time.”

Are players entitled to expect game updates for a reasonable period of time or should publishers reserve the right to remove titles from the App Store at any time, wipe them from purchase histories and disable In-App Purchases without notice, do you think?

Source: TouchArcade

  • Leonard Wong

    I believe this whole event has to come to a stop. It is bad for consumers and eventually bad for indie developers. It send a signals that the apps you buy may not be yours after all. It make ones consider whether to invest hard-earned cash to buy apps. The situation now is quite bad. Most people will just wait for apps to goes free. Developers need the money to live and then they will produce quality apss

    • Your Mother

      Buy from a 3rd party app store, problem solved.

    • Bugs Bunnay

      If you like the app please consider pirating.

  • Guy

    This crap is gonna start a (bad) trend for sure

  • n0m0n

    I think it’s time to challenge this policy and file a law suite.

  • Wow, this whole thing is horrible. How can they do that? You paid for the application, deleting it from the store as far as future sales makes sense if they are no longer going to update it.. but those of us who originally paid you might want to play a game later should still be able to go back into our history and download it. None of this seems right at all. (So far no app pulled I’ve purchased, I’m just saying this doesn’t seem right to do.)

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you. A dev dosent need to support a app if they chose not to. But if you buy the app you own it and it should be found in your history. And have had some if my games pulled. Makes me consider downloading my app to my mac as means of future proof. However, im big on using the cloud and for that reason tend not to buy massive hard drives.

      • AbareSaru

        You don’t own the app when you purchase you merely purchase a license. This license the allows you to run the software. You don’t own anything. It’s more like renting. Would have to check the small print on Apples T&C to see if there is a “whilst available” clause on there

      • smtp25

        you don’t own it correct but there is the expectation that you will always have it… a perpetual license rather than rental.

      • @dongiuj

        “If an app that you own is removed from the App Store, you will no longer be able to download it from your purchase history,” an Apple spokesperson confirmed to Pocket Gamer.
        “Own”

  • Javiers

    So why exactly are they doing this? I’m sorry this is the first time I’ve heard of this. Can anyone please explain?

  • kickinghorse99

    I think they are moving to Microsoft. Surface Pro/Book 🙂

  • Bugs Bunnay

    I see a big lawsuit coming up.

  • askep3

    People are already unsure about buying digital because they feel as if they don’t “own” the thing, this just strengthens that type of thinking.

  • John Spenillo

    Yeah I bought He-Man: the most powerful game in the universe, before it became free and now I can’t download it!!!!

  • ravinigga

    WoW premium gone. What now freemium(pay2win) actually pay2continu

  • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

    An error in the article: “Some of the removed games include hit titles such as Flight Control (seen below), the original Real Racing, Need for Speed: Shift, Flight Control…”

    Flight Control is repeated twice.

    • Bugs Bunnay

      Can you blame them for drinking during the day time? Lmao

    • Omar Garfio

      Repeated once. A single repetition is twice a word.

      • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

        Thanks for the clarification, I didn’t know that.

  • BooBee

    It’s BS!! I had Poker Night 2 & Back to the Future which I recently uninstalled because they don’t load. Both are Telltale titles and if they are not being fixed I should get at the very least a partial refund. Those damn games were not cheap, I paid like $5 for poker game and $10 for the Back to Future with DLC.

  • Shinji Ikari

    This is a joke i contacted apple and asked them plainly i want a refund for bioshock walking dead one and two wold among us. They said no i recently stopped backing up app to my computer. i lost all those game with like 40 dollars worth of DLC

  • James

    Not cool, man.

  • Wolfer

    Now they will loose a lot, because people who jailbreak will go to began to download apps from pirated places, or other places like app cake, etc. this is why pirates at the end win!!! Then the devs say , please buy my app. And you are going to answer, no because you are going to retired it months later or years from my account….so because you are a greede ah, Im going to pirated it!!!!

  • I don’t usually condone piracy, but I bought BioShock iOS when it first came out and now if I want to play it again I’ll have to go down the AppSync/IPA route because there’s no other way. Why couldn’t they keep the apps in the App Store, but set a limit so that it could only be installed on devices running certain iOS versions? Xcode has a feature that can implement such limits to apps.

  • iPhoneWINS

    capitalism

  • Jim Hart

    Bad move.

  • talkRAYdio

    Never ceases to amaze me how apple fan boys COMPLETELY MISS that APPLE is the issue. NOT the developers.

    please try and pay attention:

    1. Apple has stringent guidelines to keep an app in the store. Nazi like guidelines that make it impossible for app devleopers to serve you and I with real customer service
    2. If you choose to update an app, you cannot make it backward compatible with old iphones. Great example: YouVersion Bible app. they wanted to update for the iphone 5’s larger screen when it came out, but were told by apple that if they did so they must not make any other new features available for older iphones and ipads (nazis?). This left them without a serious update for several years while they waited for enough users to migrate to newer versions of iOS.
    3. there are strict guidelines on not updating apps over long periods of time, essentially requiring you to pull your app from the store or update it. if you pull it, your customers are angry. If you leave it in the store you have to update it and support it. apps are not permitted to die a normal death over time

    4. I’ve been warning people for YEARS about the ridiculous idea of allowing apple the ability to dictate what you can and cannot do with your devices… and I warned, when mountain lion came out, that 3 things were happening:

    FIRST: apple uses your “security” to justify the way it controls what you can and can’t do

    SECOND: if we allow apple to control what we do with our hardware, they will eventually start controlling what we can and cannot do with our software

    THIRD: this nazi like control would migrate its way onto mac desktops.

    and while this particular story isn’t about the desktop, that second and third parts are coming true with more stringent guidelines from apple now in the newest OS as well as this abhorrent idea of rootless OS’s (and then this article about software we pay for that we no longer have a right to download).

    we’ve lost our collective minds if we continue to allow apple to dictate what we can and cannot do with the devices we pay for.

    jailbreaker for life…

  • Ernie Marin

    And this is why mobile will always be just that, mobile. Once the company it’s done with a game they’ll move on, remove the game, replace it with a new one, and forget it ever existed. This is why I rather have a console or a PC, I can download and save my games and never worry that if for some reason I loose them I’ll never get them back. The sad part is that it’s not like either of them are loosing anything by just keeping the games at the store, for the most part all they need is to mod the game for larger screens, and lets face it most of the games removed where either ported games, or games that looked good enough for a PS1, so changing the resolution wouldn’t have been that hard.

  • Digitalus

    I understand Apple’s T&C’s stating that apps can’t be left to go stale as they may no longer function as originally desired on newer devices, but if they’re still working they should be allowed to remain on the App Store.

    I think it’s quite possible that some of these titles will return in some form or another updated for use on the Apple TV but if we have to purchase them again it doesn’t seem right seeing as we had purchased them already.
    On the other hand, consider apps like Tweetbot, whose dev releases major revisions separately with each iOS update which users have to purchase over again to upgrade; meaning we’re now on the 4th revision of the app and about $20 in. I believe it just points to the issue developers have with the App Store and it’s app update process.

  • Devin Hextor

    I’m going to get a refund for all my telltale, ea, and 2k games. This is bull shit

  • Eldaria

    Downside of DRM and having to rely on external providers. In the past you could pull out your floppydisks/CD’s and if you had the hardware to install it on you could install it again. You could even make a backup of your install media or getting it second hand should you loose it. But not any more, if you do that today you are a criminal.