EA isn't pulling the plug on 'Rock Band' iOS

Rock Band for iOS will remain alive a playable despite a pop-up message that appeared yesterday alerting the game's owners that it will no longer be playable by the end of the month.

Rock Band for iOS will remain alive and playable despite a pop-up message that appeared earlier today alerting the game's owners that it will no longer be playable by the end of the month.

The message, which appeared when the Rock Band iOS app was opened, read: "Dear Rockers, On May 31, ROCK BAND will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!"

The message did not clarify whether the game would remain playable in offline mode.

The game's publisher, Electronic Arts, issued a statement today saying that the message was an error.

"Rock Band for iOS will remain live – the in-app message users received yesterday was sent in error," the company said in a statement.

"We apologize for the confusion this caused. We're working to clarify the issue that caused the error and will share additional information as soon as possible."

The clarification from EA replaces the explanation they had in the FAQ section of the website which stated that they were "suspending support for ROCK BAND after May 31 and focusing resources on other EA titles."

When Polygon contacted EA and asked how the error occurred and if there were any reasons they wanted to discontinue Rock Band for iOS, we received the same comment they provided in their statement, which did not address our questions.

This means that those who buy the app do not own it.

We spoke to a specialist in copyright and consumer protection from the University of New South Wales, Professor Bruce Gordon, who said if EA did not make any guarantees to consumers in their terms and conditions, then they are completely within their right to pull the plug on the game if they so choose.

"The Apple App Store would undoubtedly have terms and conditions that would indicate that they are providing the goods on the basis of the suppliers (EA)," Gordon said.

"I would emphasize strongly that the most critical element is the terms and conditions upon which the consumer purchased the app originally. From these contractual arrangements, you can look to see if there are any guarantees."

The Rock Band for iOS terms and conditions on the Australian App Store explicitly state that by purchasing the app, the consumer is granted personal, limited, non-exclusive and non-transferable license to use the game. The license commences on the date the app is purchased, and ends when the consumer disposes of the license or when EA terminates the license. This means that those who buy the app do not own it – rather, they pay for a license to access the game – a license that EA has the right to terminate without notice.

Section D of the terms and conditions explicitly states: "EA reserves all right, title and interesting the Application (including all characters, storyline, images, photographs, animations, video, music, text), and all associated copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights therein". This reinforces that the player does not own the game, which is why offline play would not be available if EA were to choose to can Rock Band iOS.

We will update this story when EA releases more information.

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