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EA removes a bunch of games from mobile app stores (Android/iOS)

Henrar

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Apr 12, 2013
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Apparently, because there are new mobile operating system versions on the way (Android 6.0 and iOS9 and 9.1), EA decided again to remove some of their games, because they decided to end support and not update their games to work properly on mobile devices.

Right now, there are two games that were removed:
Mass Effect Infiltrator and Dead Space iOS (Android version is still up)
https://help.ea.com/sg/article/ea-is-removing-mass-effect-infiltrator-from-app-stores/

Those two games on newer systems had sound issues -> the sound effects didn't play apart from several menu buttons, their graphics rendering, gameplay and performance was normal.

So far, EA in its history removed quite a lot of games from both iOS and Android Stores:

http://help.ea.com/za/article/some-ea-games-are-being-removed-from-the-app-store/

Personally, I am pissed. I bought these games not so long time ago and now I cannot get a refund (or can I?). I cannot play them on the same hardware but with newer OS, whereas on a console I can and on PC I mostly can (and even if I can't, the openness of the platform allows me to hack it enough to play).

So what do you think publishers should do in such situations? Remove the games forever, close the support and don't even answer questions, or should they allow selling them in broken state in the same way Steam does on PC (for example: compare two versions of Dark Forces 2 on Steam and GoG, one is broken, the second one isn't).

Remove me if old.
 

killercow

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Apr 17, 2013
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Dead Space on iOS was such a great game and the prime example of a great adaptation of a popular console franchise to mobile devices.
Such a shame :(
 
Aug 29, 2014
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Pretty much this, this costs devs and companies money for Apple's fuck ups. So many of my apps break after a major update.
I agree fully. If every Windows update broke 10-20% of all applications, people would rightfully freak out. With iOS, this happens every year, and I've lost countless great apps I paid good money for (not only games) over the years. Yet nobody calls Apple out on it.

It's infuriating, and on the other hand makes one realize how competent Microsoft is in some aspects, with >15 year old programs running just fine under Windows.
 

Shiggy

Member
Jun 10, 2004
26,711
1
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Why would you be eligible for a refund? You can still play and download the game's on a device that's not been upgraded. Even then, you can most likely download it and play it in a bugged state on the newest Android version.
 

Tak3n

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Mar 30, 2013
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it comes down to cost I guess, if as a developer you need to do serious updating to get it working with the new OS, but sales are through the floor, and you can show those people who own don't play it any more, then one could argue if it OK for them to cull, but it is still a grey area
 

Blackthorn

"hello?" "this is vagina"
Sep 24, 2012
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There actually is a good chance you can get a refund. Every time I've had a problem with something in the AppStore/iTunes/iBooks I've received a refund and kept the item.
 

BigDes

Member
Jan 22, 2012
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This is my major concern with the digital/games as a service future.

Small slices of the medium's history just deleted.
 

Psyren

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Jul 23, 2015
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South Africa
This really is the main reason i haven't and won't consider doing any mobile app development in the immediate future. The API changes are far too drastic & too frequent, and i would rip my hair out having to fix every client's app due to API changes all the damn time...
 

Kysen

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Oct 6, 2012
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This problem is compounded by the amount of iOS devices that always jump to the latest OS version quickly. I haven't written any iOS software before but can any dev explain what is it in each update that breaks existing compatibility?
 

Henrar

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Apr 12, 2013
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This problem is compounded by the amount of iOS devices that always jump to the latest OS version quickly. I haven't written any iOS software before but can any dev explain what is it in each update that breaks existing compatibility?

With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus there was a problem with the resolution of the devices, and as for the rest -> they change API frequently and break a lot of stuff. Most popular apps are fixed during iOS beta phases, some less popular take time to fix. The others never get fixed and are usually removed from store.

Anyway, I requested refunds for both apps. Shame, I really wanted to play these games.

This is also the reason why I dislike mobile gaming, there's no incentive to create some backwards compatibility mode.
 

greg400

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Jan 3, 2012
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Personally, I am pissed. I bought these games not so long time ago and now I cannot get a refund (or can I?). I cannot play them on the same hardware but with newer OS, whereas on a console I can and on PC I mostly can (and even if I can't, the openness of the platform allows me to hack it enough to play).

So what do you think publishers should do in such situations? Remove the games forever, close the support and don't even answer questions, or should they allow selling them in broken state in the same way Steam does on PC (for example: compare two versions of Dark Forces 2 on Steam and GoG, one is broken, the second one isn't).
Dead Space iOS came out 4 years ago, if you want to play it then don't upgrade. You can still download old apps that are removed from the app store. Expecting content to last forever when a developer puts no effort into keeping up with modern API's is ridiculous. Somewhere along the line they're going to have to update their shit, personally I like that Apple is not like Microsoft because you end up with an OS that isn't using decade old technology to keep backwards compatibility for every lazy app developer.
 

Darak

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Jun 18, 2013
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EA already did that before in the app store (Bad Company 2). As others have said, compatibility between Apple devices or even OS versions is a hit and miss. The platform motto is 'maximum quantity over minimum quality' and this also applies to their SDKs.

Popular apps that still sell well will probably be updated, but most developers are stuck trying to follow a moving target. It gets worse the more apps you release over time.

Like always, the best answer both for developers and gamers is to stay away from mobile.
 

LurkerPrime

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Jan 6, 2014
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What's wrong with Dark Forces? :/
The Steam versions don't run at all without tweaks--at least for modern Windows systems. Dark Forces 1 needs DOSBox tweaks to run good, and Dark Forces 2/MotS both need heavy tweaks to even be playable. It's really a bummer. The worst part is, there's no indication of this on any of their store pages.

The GOG versions are essentially remastered by the GOG people, making it play nice with modern operating systems without any user-side tweaks required. At least, that's how it works for every other classic game GOG sells and I'd assume DF is the same. (I've never played these versions.)

The More You Know™!
 

Psyren

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Jul 23, 2015
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Dead Space iOS came out 4 years ago, if you want to play it then don't upgrade. You can still download old apps that are removed from the app store. Expecting content to last forever when a developer puts no effort into keeping up with modern API's is ridiculous. Somewhere along the line they're going to have to update their shit, personally I like that Apple is not like Microsoft because you end up with an OS that isn't using decade old technology to keep backwards compatibility for every lazy app developer.

4 years is not a long time for a video game quite honestly. You know what else came out in 2011... Deus Ex, Skyrim, Arkham City... But i suppose we shouldn't give a fuck about those games too because they're so old now, and the developers don't give a fuck about them either...

With the exception of games that are explicitly bound to a server to work, yes I expect my games to last forever. And while the onus lies with the developers to maintain their software to keep compatibility, the platform holders also have a responsibility to assist and at least make sure that stuff from the last year still works fine, considering that platform itself is closed off, and it's impossible for users to patch in custom fixes like you can with PC...

And not keeping backwards compatibility, deprecating parts of your API in a constant, rapid manner is exactly why IMO the mobile platform can never be used for any serious application development ever. I could expand on this point further, but talking about games specifically: Unless you treat your video games as just disposable, digital snacks, then you'll care about the ability to access something you paid cold, hard cash for...
 

greg400

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Jan 3, 2012
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4 years is not a long time for a video game quite honestly. You know what else came out in 2011... Deus Ex, Skyrim, Arkham City... But i suppose we shouldn't give a fuck about those games too because they're so old now, and the developers don't give a fuck about them either...

With the exception of games that are explicitly bound to a server to work, yes I expect my games to last forever. And while the onus lies with the developers to maintain their software to keep compatibility, the platform holders also have a responsibility to assist and at least make sure that stuff from the last year still works fine, considering that platform itself is closed off, and it's impossible for users to patch in custom fixes like you can with PC...

And not keeping backwards compatibility, deprecating parts of your API in a constant, rapid manner is exactly why IMO the mobile platform can never be used for any serious application development ever. I could expand on this point further, but talking about games specifically: Unless you treat your video games as just disposable, digital snacks, then you'll care about the ability to access something you paid cold, hard cash for...

Ironically 4 years is one year off a typical full console cycle. These games will work forever so long as you keep your old hardware and the current software it is running. Absolutely no different than having to keep your old console to play your old shit.
 

StereoVsn

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Ironically 4 years is one year off a typical full console cycle. These games will work forever so long as you keep your old hardware and the current software it is running. Absolutely no different than having to keep your old console to play your old shit.

Yes, PS3 and 360 only lasted 5 years, you are correct... /s. The fact of the matter is that iOS and Android are terrible gaming platforms because of how they treat backward compatibility. You can't guarantee that things won't break just a year after release as you could witness with iOS 8 and numerous games from say SE and Capcom.
 

FyreWulff

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Apple/Google need to make it so when a new version comes out, your apps don't automatically appear on the newer version's store.


It even got to the point that people used to be allowed to rate your apps in beta versions. You would get 1-starred for your app not working with a beta. :/

But they don't want to do it because "NEW ____ VERSION ___ WITH A KAJILLION APPS GOGOGO"
 

deathkiller

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Ironically 4 years is one year off a typical full console cycle. These games will work forever so long as you keep your old hardware and the current software it is running. Absolutely no different than having to keep your old console to play your old shit.

Consoles usually don't ship with a "break games button" that cannot be reverted back.
 

Psyren

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Jul 23, 2015
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Ironically 4 years is one year off a typical full console cycle. These games will work forever so long as you keep your old hardware and the current software it is running. Absolutely no different than having to keep your old console to play your old shit.

The comparison isn't really the same. If we look at the most recent internet-driven consoles of our time, we don't see drastic changes being made that flat out breaks everybody's games every couple of months. The core platform updates are relatively stable, and offer new enhancements for newly developed games to take advantage of. MS/Sony/Nintendo owe developers that responsibility of maintaining a stable development environment in exchange for the money they receive off every purchase made on their respective platforms...
 

greg400

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Jan 3, 2012
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Yes, PS3 and 360 only lasted 5 years, you are correct... /s. The fact of the matter is that iOS and Android are terrible gaming platforms because of how they treat backward compatibility. You can't guarantee that things won't break just a year after release as you could witness with iOS 8 and numerous games from say SE and Capcom.
Clearly you do not know what typical means, that last cycle was an anomaly and you know it.

Consoles usually don't ship with a "break games button" that cannot be reverted back.
Again, it's not that complicated. Don't hit the update button or jailbreak and downgrade if you really need to play old mobile games so badly. Old consoles have plenty of other problems that devices with iOS or Android don't have like physical media no longer working.

The comparison isn't really the same. If we look at the most recent internet-driven consoles of our time, we don't see drastic changes being made that flat out breaks everybody's games every couple of months. The core platform updates are relatively stable, and offer new enhancements for newly developed games to take advantage of. MS/Sony/Nintendo owe developers that responsibility of maintaining a stable development environment in exchange for the money they receive off every purchase made on their respective platforms...
Lmao"every couple of months", if your game is breaking every couple of months on iOS you are not following Apple's API protocol which means it wouldn't even be on the App Store.
 

epmode

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Jun 7, 2004
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In the coming decade we will begin to see a lot of the downsides of buying digital licences over physical discs

This has nothing to do with the content delivery method. It's because Apple and Google give 0 fucks about backwards compatibility. It doesn't help that many people consider apps disposable so relatively few people care when their old stuff breaks.

This really is one of the worst aspects of mobile gaming. I've already lost a few great games and there's no way around it.
 

jwk94

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Sep 1, 2012
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When they made surviving High school stop working just as they did a sale before shutting it down, they lost my service on mobile devices.
 

Psyren

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Jul 23, 2015
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Again, it's not that complicated. Don't hit the update button or jailbreak and downgrade if you really need to play old mobile games so badly. Old consoles have plenty of other problems that devices with iOS or Android don't have like physical media no longer working.

You really expect the mass majority of mobile owners to "not hit the update button" or to "jailbreak" their devices. Nice little fantasy world you live in there...

Lmao"every couple of months", if your game is breaking every couple of months on iOS you are not following Apple's API protocol which means it wouldn't even be on the App Store.
And yet we regularly get threads & hear news about games breaking down and eventually getting removed from the App Store, games people paid money for, and where developed by large gaming companies who have the resources to maintain their software. I guess everybody is breaking protocol and don't belong on the app store...
Lmao...
 

Tobor

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Sep 15, 2006
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If a company is not updating their apps, that's their problem, not Apples. EA especially can afford it.

anyway, this isn't a huge deal. We lose some old games, but the advances in Apis and functionally are worth it.
 

greg400

Banned
Jan 3, 2012
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You really expect the mass majority of mobile owners to "not hit the update button" or to "jailbreak" their devices. Nice little fantasy world you live in there...
No, the vast majority of mobile users don't give a shit whether Candy Crush 85 or a bad mobile version of Dead Space works for an eternity. The people who do care enough like those in this thread still have that option.

And yet we regularly get threads & hear news about games breaking down and eventually getting removed from the App Store, games people paid money for, and where developed by large gaming companies who have the resources to maintain their software. I guess everybody is breaking protocol and don't belong on the app store...
Lmao...
The majority of the games that get removed ARE from the big gaming companies because they don't want to update their shit. They're content with leaving a 480x320 version of Sonic 4 up there for example until the day that shit stops totally functioning regardless of how fucking poor that will look on newer models. Oh and by in large, most games that get removed are old as fuck.
Lmao...
 

OminoMichelin

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Feb 7, 2013
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And this is why I'm unsure whether to start working on iOS or not.
If a company is not updating their apps, that's their problem, not Apples. EA especially can afford it.

anyway, this isn't a huge deal. We lose some old games, but the advances in Apis and functionally are worth it.


Creating an environment where every year you have to update your app or see them break is absolutely Apple's fault. At least android has full support for legacy apps (though I still don't know if I HAVE to use the new permissions to make my app work on 6.0 or not).
And, leaving EA aside, what about indies? They don't have the funds or the time to go back and fix their apps.
 

Human_me

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Feb 15, 2013
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Mass Effect Inflitrator and Dead Space mobile were pretty great.
I would of loved them ported over to 3ds or Vita.
Heck I wouldn't mind porting them to PC if they sold them cheap enough.
 

greg400

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Jan 3, 2012
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And this is why I'm unsure whether to start working on iOS or not.

Creating an environment where every year you have to update your app or see them break is absolutely Apple's fault. At least android has full support for legacy apps (though I still don't know if I HAVE to use the new permissions to make my app work on 6.0 or not).
And, leaving EA aside, what about indies? They don't have the funds or the time to go back and fix their apps.

Most indie studios have their games working perfectly fine throughout every iOS version because they don't have a lot to focus on. They have a few games, they patch anything that may break and call it a day. This is in contrast to a company like EA that has a ton of different apps from different developers that end up focusing on different work they are forced to do instead of fixing their app. It may even be contract work where EA simply uses a developer to shove some game out there then they never hear from them again because the contract is over and therefore the app doesn't get updated.
 

StereoVsn

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PS2 console cycle was also fairly long. Look when the console got released and when Persona 4 for it got released. DS had a long life also.

The whole point of the console is that you don't have to worry about compatibility through all the years of firmware upgrades.

Apple just doesn't give a crap, although I bet you will see APIs more stable in their new TV OS. When you have games like Ghost Trick, The World Ends with You and other games. You had shit breaking after 1 or 2 years with iOS 8 release.

This is why you don't see many premium games on the app stores as there is no guarantee they will work for more then a year. Fat chance I am going to pay $20 for Chaos Rings or DQ8 on iOS when I wouldn't blink for that amount on 3DS or Vita.

And no, saying don't upgrade is silly. If you update PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox, WiiU, 3DS, Vita, etc... OS through the years, old games still work.
 

Henrar

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Apr 12, 2013
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Ironically 4 years is one year off a typical full console cycle. These games will work forever so long as you keep your old hardware and the current software it is running. Absolutely no different than having to keep your old console to play your old shit.

The difference between console and mobile phones is that when new firmware for console releases it doesn't break your games.

Did you know that BioShock iOS version has already been pulled from store, because the update from iOS8.3 to iOS8.4 broke it?
 

True Fire

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Oct 9, 2013
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Millions of video games will be lost for eternity in the next few decades. Studios will shut down, and their assets will disappear. So much intellectual capital will be lost. Mobile gaming as a service has a future, but mobile games do not. Eventually studios will change, and priorities will change, and old games will stop being supported.

It's why I think the Big 3 have the right idea by sticking to physical. And even they have mandatory Day 1 patches that will not be supported forever.
 

greg400

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Jan 3, 2012
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The difference between console and mobile phones is that when new firmware for console releases it doesn't break your games.

Did you know that BioShock iOS version has already been pulled from store, because the update from iOS8.3 to iOS8.4 broke it?
The difference between console and mobile is also that you don't have to worry about physical media not functioning. The difference between old consoles and something with a mobile OS is that you can get a refund on non-functioning games.

PS2 console cycle was also fairly long. Look when the console got released and when Persona 4 for it got released. DS had a long life also.

The whole point of the console is that you don't have to worry about compatibility through all the years of firmware upgrades.

Apple just doesn't give a crap, although I bet you will see APIs more stable in their new TV OS. When you have games like Ghost Trick, The World Ends with You and other games. You had shit breaking after 1 or 2 years with iOS 8 release.

This is why you don't see many premium games on the app stores as there is no guarantee they will work for more then a year. Fat chance I am going to pay $20 for Chaos Rings or DQ8 on iOS when I wouldn't blink for that amount on 3DS or Vita.

And no, saying don't upgrade is silly. If you update PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox, WiiU, 3DS, Vita, etc... OS through the years, old games still work.
Every Nintendo home console cycle has lasted roughly 5 years, Wii U is set to last 4.