Apple requires iPod game buyers to repurchase for iPod classic, 3G iPod nano

“iLounge has confirmed with Apple that past purchasers of iPod games will have to re-purchase the titles to play them on the recently-released iPod classic and iPod nano (with video),” Charles Starrett reports for iLounge.

“According to an Apple representative, the games will need to be repurchased because they were ‘reformatted’ for the new iPods,” Starrett reports.

“Reformatted iPod games currently include EA’s Tetris and Sudoku, as well as Namco Networks’ Ms. Pac-Man. An additional 15 titles are yet to be converted for play on the iPod classic and new nano. Each game sells for $4.99, and no further guarantees of compatibility with other devices, such as a computer, iPhone, or iPod touch, are made by Apple,” Starrett reports.

Full article here.

Isn’t there some sort of natural law or something that turns righteous indignation into ridiculous dramatization when talking about figures under US$5?

Okay, okay, don’t bite our heads off! In the most extreme case, if you bought all 15 or so iPod games for your old iPod and you figure that you loved them all so much that you’ll eventually need to replace each and every one of them, then we’re talking about $75.

$75 whole bucks!!! Is there no justice in this world?! You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell! Grab the pitchforks and we’ll light the torches! We march on Cupertino tomorrow!

Yeah, it does devolve directly into ridiculous dramatization, no matter what. But, yes, we know, it’s the principle that counts. Apple, make this right somehow. And, while you’re at it, get somebody in there to explain Mr. Multi-Billionaire Steve Jobs how to treat regular paying customers because he’s obviously lost touch with that bit of basic good business practice recently.

The problem here is that the “new” games are pretty much the old games, but Apple wants to charge anyway. If Apple made substantive improvements to the games and upgraded them to real 2.0 versions, there’d be no issue. Apple should have figured out a way to make the games compatible with their new iPods and not charged game owners for the “reformatting.” Apple knows which users bought which games, right? So let game owners re-download the “reformatted” games free of charge.

Seriously, this should have never passed through Apple’s approval process (if there is one). Obviously to anyone who’s ever bought or sold anything, customers would be pissed, regardless of the prices involved. Come on, Apple get your act together, this sort of nickel and dimeing good paying customers to death over picayune iPod games is beneath you (disclaimer or not). It’s cheap; something that Dell or Microsoft would try to pull (if they could figure out how to collectively sell more than three devices, of course). Apple, you can do better than this, can’t you?

[11:15pm EDT: To reiterate, we think people should keep in mind that these are $5 games we’re talking about here while we also wonder just what the heck is going on with Apple to make such an obviously bad decision. Think about how the customer would feel, Apple. You’ve racked up two quick strikes recently. We’re watching.]


  1. Hm… its really not that bad. At nintendo, you buy VC games, ya gotta buy them all over again (5-10$) each for your new wii.

    Its baloney, yes. The worst, no.

    Though, I did expect a bit better from apple.

  2. You early adopter gamers are just a bunch of whiners. WHINE. WHINE. WHINE. If it was worth the $5 to put it on your old iPod, and you had the dough to pony up for a new iPod, then it’s worth the $5 to buy it again.

    What do you want? A store credit?


  3. Like PPC to Intel and Universal Binaries and OS9 to OSX. Times and operating systems change. At M$ you’d probably have to repurchase all your music to get an upgraded zune; wait a minute, that’s impossible because the zune got flushed.

  4. well I’ve got to put my 5cents in!

    I recently purchased an iPod Classic (Upgraded from an iPod Photo) and I brought the first game Pac-Man and was so excited that I could (finally!) play a game on my iPod. But low and behold, it didnt work even though the itunes store said it would.

    I wrote an email back to apple when I used the “Submit a report’ function when you receive the invoice from them and explained that even though they state (on iTunes and their website) that games do play on the Classic, not ALL the games work, especially I just paid AUS$7.59 for a game that does not work.

    They did reply in 24hours, they asked me to check if the mac was authorized and I had the latest iTunes, which I did, and then they refunded my money back as a iTunes store credit. They also pointed out that they have now re-designed iTunes iPod games to ensure us iPod Classic and new Nano can tell which games we can play on the new iPods.

    I hate to say it but I was impressed with the level of service and they listened to my feedback

    Well done Apple Customer Care!

  5. This is getting ridiculous. All of a sudden people think they are entitled to stuff for free. The games still work on the iPod you bought them for. It cost money to re-do the games for the new iPod. Apple has all rights to charge for the new version of the games.

    Get over it.

  6. So, if I understand correctly, these games were converted from one operating system to another, even if the end device is still an iPod. If you paid $5 for a Windows game, and then switched to Mac, wouldn’t you have to pony up the $5 again? They’re both computers, though.

    I think the “transparency” of Apple’s products is what is causing the real concern. Under the hood is an entirely new operating system for the new ‘pods.

  7. MDN, nice change on your Take. I think you nailed it on the head..
    Keep in mind though, there is a lot people with not alot of disposable income…they buy an iPod, which is a BIG deal to them, as there not the demographic to follow the latest and greatest…
    and for this to happen is really, really bad. I say this as a stockholder and a Mac Salesman. And for some people 75$ IS a lot of money, for such forced and unnecessary obolescence.


    I love Apple products as much as anyone else who reads macdailynews as well as maclife and macworld everyday.

    That being said… The MDN take at the end of this and many other articles is just plain grating. It’s like saying Office or iWork shouldn’t work on a new or upgraded computer.

    Apple makes great products and as a stock holder has done wonderful things in the last 4 years…. but it is a corporation that focuses on the bottom line as it should and just because it’s apple doesn’t give them a free pass on nickel and dimeing its customers.

    MDN… lighten up… you don’t have to defend EVERY little decision made by Jobs and Co.

  9. You are all a bunch of whiny babies!!! You need to leave Steve alone…right now!!! You all buy a new game system. i.e. wii ps3 xbox and have to buy new games on it… right?!?!?! Let’s see what a big deal we can make out of nothing!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.