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While many of the pulled games from EA and other publishers are either outdated or have not been refreshed to support iOS 9 and work on newer hardware, titles which rely on In-App Purchases to unlock a portion of the game become totally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