Electronic Arts, better known as EA, was recently voted the worst company in America in a tournament on Consumerist.com. After more than a quarter of a million votes, America had spoken and the company responsible for gauging gamers beat of the Bank of America in the final round.
Did EA react to this news by changing its ways and treating its customers better? Apparently not.
iPhone and iPod Touch owners who opened up their Rock Band app today were treated to the message seen at right:
For reasons that are still unclear (it’s probably a licensing thing), the Rock Band app will stop functioning at the end of this month. Users who paid $4.99 for the app will have it taken away from them with little (or no) warning.
Making things even worse is the fact that EA is still selling this app, without any warning of its impending demise, for full price in the App Store. That’s just cold.
It’s not clear whether EA is violating Apple’s rules by taking away their app from everyone who bought it, but chances are that Apple won’t be too happy with this news. Subscription-based products exist in Apple’s ecosystem (such as magazine apps), but Rock Band was not sold as a subscription app. It was sold with the implicit notion that it would continue functioning indefinitely. Apple hasn’t commented on the matter yet, but this story is blowing up and a statement is likely forthcoming.
As for EA, the company is shielding itself from criticism exactly as you would expect the worst company in America to do. If you go to EA’s mobile support page, http://support.eamobile.com/, you get the message that “This site has been disabled for the time being.” Probably not a coincidence.