Editorial: EA, it's time to stop screwing iOS gamers

EA has done it again: they're giving iOS gamers the short end of the stick, charging for an update that any other developer would give away free. Rather than just issuing a patch to bring Tetris for iPad up to speed with the new Retina Display, Pocket Gamer points out that they've decided to switch it out with a whole new game, which means that customers who want to play the game at full resolution will have to pay again.

What's even worse is that the game now comes with even more in-app purchases, including an exorbitant subscription. That's on top of the $6.99 for the app, which replaces the $7.99 app that's been a top seller on the App Store for the past few months. And, believe it or not, this is actually the third version of Tetris they've released!

Before the previous version of the game appeared on the App Store and introduced in-app purchases to the gameplay, there was yet another version that only required a one-time fee to play. I'm lucky enough to have that version, and although I know I'll never get to see the ultra high resolution blocks offered by the new version, I think I'll be able to live without them.

EA just doesn't seem to understand the concept that iOS gamers are not mindless drones who will buy the same game again and again, regardless of quality control, or whether that game actually even works. I can only hope that gamers hold out on this version, and hopefully send EA a message that they're sick of this, not only with Tetris, but with the total lack of quality control evident in their iOS titles.

What's that, you say? EA has other bad iOS games? Why, yes, they've created quite the little hall of infamy for themselves. Take Command & Conquer: Red Alert, for instance. A great game in and of itself, it took EA over a year to fix a serious flaw that caused constant crashes, but that didn't stop them from selling it to countless unsuspecting gamers, myself included, in the meantime.

Just over the past couple of months, we've seen two EA titles pulled from the App Store, because they simply did not work. Battlefield 3: Aftershock suffered from fatal connectivity issues that rendered it unplayable, and The Simpsons: Tapped Out suffered from similar problems. Another Battlefield game, Battlefield Bad Company 2 for iOS, reportedly contains similar issues, but remains on the App Store.

I mean, seriously, it's bad enough to see anyone release so many unusable titles (believe me, this is way beyond the lackluster gameplay we're usually complaining about) on any platform, regardless of whether or not it's a 'major' gaming platform. But EA, with all of their resources? We all knew they had issues from time to time, but woah! This may sound pretty harsh, but believe me, they've earned it. A smaller studio would have probably had their titles pulled from the App Store by now.

Honestly, EA has some good properties, and they have also released some pretty good games for iOS. But really guys, step up the quality control a bit, and cut out the deceptive tactics. Sadly, I don't have much hope that that'll happen – even if the people who have already bought the game don't pony up for another round, you'll probably find enough new users to keep your scheme going, and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see an even worse version of Tetris in a few months.

Image via EA

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