Two more apps to be removed from all three mobile OS platforms

by jovan1984

bing-rewards

This past year has been a bad one for the mobile phone industry as several high profile apps such as Vine have been removed from the Windows Store, App Store and Google Play.

Now, you can add two more apps to that list.

On Monday, SongArc announced that it was removing its app from all three mobile platform stores very soon in an announcement on Facebook.

Dear SongArc Players,

I’ve been putting this off many for months now, trying to find the right words. But there’s no good way to say it… SongArc is coming to an end.

Why? Well, we couldn’t make it working financially, and life went on. Adam, our lead developer and designer moved to a different country. David, our other developer started to work with self-driving cars (how cool is that?). I got a job as head of research and development, focusing on Mixed and Virtual Reality. We just didn’t have the time to follow changes on the different platforms, and as operating systems evolved, couldn’t find the time to keep the apps up to date.

We had an incredible run. Starting off on Windows Phone, we’ve been the #1 music game for more than a year. We launched on iPhone and Android, and even exhibited at South by Southwest in Texas. We had some amazing partners and advisors from Hollywood. Some amazing bands have given us permission to use their songs and offer the songs for free for all our players to enjoy.

But most importantly – we had you, our most devoted fans and players. The whole game was built around you. And up to today, there are 2,378,000 players! And – wow – You have created 245,000 sheets and expanded our library to 160,000 playable songs! Rated the sheets over 400,000 times to help others to a better experience. And you have played these songs and sheets over 11 million times! That’s a lot of music touching a lot of people.

But the server costs are high, and we can’t cover it forever. We tried to make SongArc work financially. We even had an investor, and turned SongArc into a startup. We tried in-app purchases. We tried to turn it into an advertising platform for bands, because we strongly believe that if you play a song in SongArc, you learn to appreciate the song and the artist at a brand new level. It’s almost as if you were playing and instrument. We tried everything we can think of business-wise, short of being super aggressive with ads or in-app purchases.

We are no longer able to support the game, and we feel it is not fair to ask money without proper support. So, we are making the game entirely free starting today. Every user – new and old – will receive the Fan Pack. If you feel like you just paid us and it is not fair that the game is now free, you may ask the Store you got the game from (Windows Store, App Store or Play Store) for a refund. All of these Stores have a refund policy in place, and we will not oppose any refund request. We will keep the servers running for a few more months, but at some point, we will have to shut them down, too.

On a more positive note, we want to thank you for your support. If you have been one of our early beta testers, and first sheet creators – thank you! If you have paid us and helped keep the game running so far – thank you! If you sent us feedback that made the game better – thank you! If you created a sheet that others played with – thank you! If you have told your friends – thank you! If you have just downloaded the game and enjoyed it – thank you.

A special thank you goes out to our partners, families and friends who believed in us. Traction Tribe, who gave us our seed investment. Wendy Starland and Chris Clemence for becoming our trusted advisors and helping navigate the maze of the music industry. Laszlo Horvath for his friendship, help, and many-many introductions all over Silicon Valley. Nasz Csaba of Warner Music for his help and connecting us to the right people. Incredible bands and musicians, like Brains, Magic Cats, PASO, Rapscallions, Subscribe, The Law Band, and Wendy Starland who gave us – and you – their music free of charge to play with. These musicians are amazed by the thousands of sheets created for their songs – each your own artistic interpretation, finger dance that enriched their art. This was truly a new way to interact with fans. And our friends, Jeff Wolfe and Tamas Deme who have created most of the “official” Sheets for these songs. And of course, many, many others who have helped us along the way.

When a chapter closes in one’s life – such as SongArc did – we often ask ourselves: was it worth it? Was it worth all the sacrifice, sleepless nights, work, fun, laughter, tears? Was it worth dedicating more than a year of our professional lives to this game?

We are honored to have touched your life through the power of music. It is incredible to know that we have put smiles on literally millions of faces – faces of people from all over the world, most of whom we never met and never will.

I’ll say goodbye with a story about Kent, an early beta tester. He’s a musician and a huge music lover. His town was hit by the super typhoon in 2013 in the Philippines, and barely got out of his house alive. Years ago, he’s given me permission to share his story, but I just couldn’t bring myself to use his tragedy for marketing. Now is the perfect time to finish this post with some of his words:

“As a musician (i play with my band when work schedules allow), i always carry and listen to my music library everywhere i go, and pairing that with SongArc makes the experience all the more better.

All our personal belongings, washed all over in salt water and mud, inside was like a blender, as closets, cabinets fell over the current knocking them over as we struggled to make our way to the door. Our family got out alive, by standing on and holding on to window sills, drain pipes from the roof, and electrical wires from the posts as electricity had gone out a couple of hours before.

Not everyone was lucky. When the storm passed, 22 people died in our village alone, families trapped in their homes, elderly who could not force their doors open.

As i replaced my phone and got my music library in my new phone, it would be the only gaming option i had. I didn’t have to give a second thought to get SongArc again. I listen to music a lot, and SongArc provided a distraction from the painful memories of losing all we had.

Thank you once again for making a one of a kind game that puts a new dimension to my love of music. It does indeed bring joy and peace at this time of my life where i experienced such devastation.“

Thanks to all of you who have downloaded, played and enriched our game, thanks to the wonderful people I met and thanks to the incredible learning opportunities, the answer to the question is: yes, it was worth it.

András Velvárt
SongArc CEO and Co-Founder

And early today, Microsoft announced that they will be removing the Bing Rewards app on Monday, May 22, from all three mobile app stores.

From MSPowerUser:

The company recently started showing a notice to users of the app, saying “We’re ending support for this app in May, but you can keep earning!”

It seems like users will still be able to use the app to earn rewards, but Microsoft won’t be providing any more updates to the app in the future. It also isn’t clear when exactly Microsoft will drop support for the app, or whether it has a new app coming for Windows 10 Phones as of yet. As Bing Rewards has been renamed to Microsoft Rewards recently, we might see a new app from the company in the future but don’t keep your hopes up.

Commenters also confirmed seeing the exact same message like the one shown in the screenshot on the Bing Rewards app on their IPhone and Android phones.

With all the recent app removals from the Windows Store, App Store and Google Play, it is plainly obvious by now that the smartphone industry as a whole is slowly but surely dying. This can no longer be denied by anyone, regardless of which mobile operating system they are using.

Windows Central
MSPowerUser

Advertisements