Rock Band and Eliminate Shutting Down This Month

Dear rockers, EA has issued a statement saying that the message that greets gamers when they open the Rock Band app– which says the game will become unplayable on May 31– was “sent in error,” and that the game will continue to be playable. Whoopsies. Read the full statement after the break.

“Rock Band for iOS will remain live– the in-app message users received yesterday was sent in error. 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.”

To us, this seems like a very specific message to have popped up on accident. Unless Rock Band was hacked by a malicious goofball looking to start a controversy, or EA did have plans to shut down the game but decided not to once fans on the internet got mad, we don’t know what to make of this situation either. Maybe they’ll release another statement in the future once they figure out what happened. Then again, maybe they’ll hope we forget about it and move on.

EA and Ngmoco have both announced independently that they’re closing up shop on popular games they released in 2009. That means both games will be unplayable on your iOS devices, even if you have the apps downloaded on your device. The games are EA’s Rock Band and Ngmoco’s Eliminate.

Ngmoco is slated to pull the plug on Eliminate’s servers on May 25, while Rock Band will become unplayable on May 31. Rock Band, of course, is the mobile version of once-incredibly-popular franchise, while Eliminate was one of the first major freemium games on iOS.

No reasons have been given for either game’s shut-down, but presumably the cost of running Eliminate’s servers has outstripped the income the game was bringing in. Rock Band’s impending unplayability is a little more puzzling, but may be due to licensing issues with the songs. In any case, this move is not likely to win back anyone who recently voted EA the worst company in the world.

Possibly the most offensive part about this is that Rock Band is still on sale for $4.99 in the App Store, and the marketing material makes no mention of the game’s upcoming doom. Eliminate is no longer available in the U.S. App Store.

If you’re dying to play Rock Band after the kill date, you can always download EA’s 2010 follow-up Rock Band Reloaded to satisfy your urge to rock. Of course, who knows when or if that game will be shut down, too. If you’re looking for an Eliminate-like online shooter, you can always purchase the great Archetype, or wait for N.O.V.A. 3 to hit later this month (and watch the multiplayer trailer to tide you over).

We’ve reached out to both EA and Ngmoco for comment and will update this article when and if respond.