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You Don’t Own What You Buy: The Tetris Edition

In the convoluted realm that has become copyright, licensing agreements, and SaaS-style everything, we’ve had something of a pour serial of posts that are concentrated on the bewilder concept that we no longer own what we buy. Between movies simply being disappeared, features on gaming consoles being obliterated via firmware update, and entire eBook platforms simply ceasing to work, the benefits of handing over very real dollars have never been more fleeting.

This has been ingrained to the point of public reaction to this sort of thing amounting to that of placid cattle being present the massacre room. So, when Electronic Arts alerted those that acquired its iOS Tetris game that, amaze, this game is just going to not work any longer soon, public outcry wasn’t even on the menu.

Players opening either game on their iOS machines are now greeted with a pop-up message that’s also included in the “What’s New” section of both Tetris Premium and Tetris Blitz’s indices in the iOS App Store warning them that the countdown on each name has officially begun:

Hello Fans,

We have had an amazing pilgrimage with you still further but sadly, it is time to say goodbye. As of April 21, 2020, EA’s Tetris( r) app will be retired, and will no longer be available to play. Kindly note that you will still be able to enjoy the game and use any existing in-game items until April 21, 2020. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of this play and we acknowledge your ongoing aid. Thank you!

Hey, thank you for having buying our game and, great news, you’ll get to play what you bought simply a little while longer, mmkay bye-bye! Gamers, at this degree, are quite used to beloved plays abruptly being unsupported after a few years, meaning that the game won’t be updated, won’t work on modern operating systems, and might not have an active online gamer platform when assistance runs out. What’s less common is for the game to have been constructed in a way that is completely unplayable, full stop, when the publisher flicks a switching.

So why is this happening in this case? Well, because EA doesn’t actually own Tetris. It only licenses the name to publish plays. And, The Tetris Company has entered into a brand-new licensing agreement for exclusive mobile play publishing with a different company.

Last year, The Tetris Company, Inc. and N3TWORK announced a multi-year agreement where N3TWORK will be the exclusive developer and publisher of new Tetris( r) plays for mobile devices worldwide, omitting China. EA’s announcement that it will retire its Tetris( r ), Tetris( r) Premium and Tetris( r) Blitz plays as of April 21 is a result of this agreement.

The Tetris brand continuously aims to bring fans play experiences that are fresh, innovative and fun. We are excited about these new varies for Tetris on mobile and plan to share more news with followers very soon.

All of which I imagine is lost on the average person who bought EA’s Tetris plays, thinking that buying them intended they owned them. Can you imagine requesting the average gamer if they would have constructed that same acquisition if they realized that their game might simply disappear and cease to work if the Tetris people made a decision a brand-new licensing agreement with a different publisher?

This is a mess and it’s probably occasion for customer groups to look into some kind of consumer protection rules that would either avoid this sort of thing or, more likely, stimulate advising customers that they aren’t actually buying the product more prominent than some subsection paragraph buried in a EULA.

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Read more: techdirt.com

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