Tales of Phantasia Being Removed From iOS Devices

By Ishaan . July 8, 2014 . 9:00am

A few months ago, Bandai Namco released a free-to-play version of Tales of Phantasia on iOS devices. Touch Arcade reports that this game is being removed from the App Store, and that, following its removal, the app will become unusable even for existing owners.


Namco posted the following notice to the App Store, regarding the game:


◆Notice of Termination of Distribution◆

We regret to inform you that we will cease distribution of this app on 08/28/2014 (Thursday).

On this date, the app and all associated services will become unusable. This includes In-App Purchase items already purchased and save data.

Furthermore, sale of In-App Purchase items will conclude on 07/29/2014 (Tuesday).

We apologize sincerely to all of our customers for this inconvenience, and hope you continue to enjoy our products and services in the future.


While it hasn’t been released outside Japan, an iOS port also exists for Tales of Hearts R, originally released for the PlayStation Vita. This game costs 3,800 yen, but it hasn’t been announced for release in North America and Europe so far.

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  • 古戸ヱリカ

    “We apologize sincerely to all of our customers for this inconvenience, and hope you continue to enjoy our products and services in the future.”

    Except for this one, obviously.

    • Spirit Macardi

      Yeah, kind of hard to enjoy their “products and services” when they keep pulling the plug on the only ones that are any good.

      • Rose Spinoza

        ToP IOS version was not one of their “good” ones. To be fair.

        • Spirit Macardi

          Well, microtransaction BS out of the way it’s still Tales of Phantasia at its core, meaning you’re still getting a good story and some memorable characters.

          Now if the decision was to instead remove just the microtransactions and sell the game for a flat price with everything included I’d be all for that. But instead they bring the entire thing down, which is an incredibly backwards way to go about it that screws over everyone who had invested time and money into this.

  • Fronkhead

    Crikey, Namco really should consider the long term implications of doing something like this.

    The game’s bad and imbalanced, sure, but if you’re going to implement a cloud based game (right down to saving) and pull it within about 6 months some responsibility should be taken towards users…

    Thank goodness their [email protected] Shiny Festa iOS games aren’t cloud based.

  • Spirit Macardi

    Is Namco trying to beat out EA for the title of worst videogame company? Because frankly, that’s the only thing that could explain actions like this.

    • Guest

      There’s no way they’re even close to being *that* bad.

      • Spirit Macardi

        I dunno, they seem pretty neck-and-neck from where I’m sitting.

        Both shut down studios for underperforming even though they were only following orders from the main company that they didn’t even want to go along with. Both own tons of IPs that they’ve either neglected or mismanaged. Both are obsessed with mobile games that nickle and dime for everything.

        The only difference is that many of EA’s questionable decisions have actually made money.

  • echokanon

    Why dont they just remove the server connecting DRM… Most if not all player dont need the daily bonus anyway

  • Godmars

    So, removing it without any explanation whatsoever? If you bought anything for it your money’s just gone?

    This is why I hate iOS gaming. A peek at what the industry wants.

    • Spirit Macardi

      This is exactly why I distrust cloud gaming and even digital downloads to an extent, because the industry as a whole has yet to prove that they’re interested in preserving what’s available.

      • Siberiansi

        I trust Sony for the most part, mainly because your games are safe even if the company decides to take them down, and you can download them as many times as you want. They still have tons of problems, but they’re pretty good when it comes to digital downloads.

        It sucks that they’re removing it when it was just released, but hopefully they learn their lesson and NEVER pull what they did with this game again.

        • Spirit Macardi

          I seem to recall even Sony doing that with a few games whose rights had fallen through like the R-Type games on PSP or anything with Marvel branding.

          Granted that’s not their fault, but it still shows that nothing is truly safe aside from actually owning a physical copy.

          • darke

            If you’ve bought the game on the PSN, you can still download it if the publisher loses the rights to sell it since you’ve already purchased a copy.

            The only instance I can recall where sony blocks re-downloads of previously purchased games, is where PSP games are used to break break out of the PSP emulated game and be able to run custom firmware. In which case after they release a firmware patch for the vita to fix it, they allow the game to be re-downloaded again.

            So it’s just as safe as owning a physical copy; in fact it’s even *more* safe then owning physical if you’ve got young kids around! No need to worry about $80-$100 snapped game discs; just need to worry about $2000 repairs to a plasma TV due to thrown controllers. :P

        • nekolife

          Safe until you have a hard drive crash. Watch what happens if you try to restore a backup without reactivating your console on PSN.

          Losing access to your digital library is still a very real threat on Sony platforms.

          • Siberiansi

            What happens? So long as the PSN isn’t taken down entirely, you should never be able to lose access to your digital library (outside of saves and such) if you have access to your account.

          • nekolife

            What happens when PSN is taken down entirely? Thought that was the point of this discussion. Your digital library is at the mercy of the platform holder’s whim.

          • Siberiansi

            I was talking about games that are removed from the PSN by the publisher, like Fate Unlimited Codes, they are still available to download by those who bought them before it was taken down.

          • Magicks

            Assuming that you don’t break your PS3 every six months. There’s an option to reset all account activations on your PSN account, which the option is only available every six months after use. That’s what I did when my old PS3 phat died, and I couldn’t remember which friend I had my account activated on.

            So your PS3 malfunctioning isn’t THAT much of a problem. And the only real threat of losing your digital library is if Sony’s side dies, or if you lose your account from getting suspended/compromised.

    • Fronkhead

      Not really, most of these cases are fairly isolated and the media spends more time documenting or complaining about them than covering the examples of great games which don’t do things like this.

      • Godmars

        We literally just dodged a bullet with the XB1 being an “always online” system, and even then both it and the PS4 still need to be online at least once to be fully functional with more and more of their libraries likewise dependent. EA, Activision and Ubisoft have all introduced online requirements for single player titles and even Nintendo is getting to DRM as bad as their internet implementation is.

        There are no “isolated” incidents. Just increasing ones because they change games from products with a one-time profit incentive for a company into a service with ongoing revenue options. Nevermind that they get to pull the plug anytime they want.

        • Fronkhead

          Oh, I agree with the above concerns entirely.

          Don’t get me wrong but you missed my point: I was firstly hinting that to dismiss an entire platform’s catalogue of games is crazy, and that we should be supporting the examples of games on these platforms — not just iOS — that do things right, rather than bring more attention to the ones that fail relatively speaking.

          And secondly you generalised the whole of ‘iOS gaming’ based on the bad examples of games out there, which isn’t particularly fair and would be akin to me dismissing ‘Wii gaming’ off the basis of cash generating shovelware being a part of it.

          Hence I didn’t touch Tales of Phantasia but would be happy to play games like Shiny Festa, Year Walk, Device6 and Threes!. Support those great pieces of software that do the right thing, without ignoring such games.

          • Godmars

            The problem with trying to support “good” action is that the modern business model no longer properly supports such consumer suggestions. Games are being designed by committee and surveys tailored by otherwise clueless business types who want certain results. mean they want complex/expensive mechanisms in place which tell them what they already want to know.

            They don’t want to hear opinions, just put something in place that gives them money.

          • Fronkhead

            Nearly all of the good examples I referred to were games from independent developers who were independently funded (kickstarter is a different kettle of fish since developers love appealing to the finders who are fans, who have replaced the publisher in the loosest sense) and thus supporting these sorts of games would lead to more of the same, regardless of whether they are on iOS or not.

            And to swing your argument against iOS gaming the other way, it’s just as bad a situation on other platforms: look at how developers making ‘normal’ games are by publishers.

            In fact, David Jenkins’ excellent and revealing interview with the Oddworld New and Tasty developers is highly relevant to this very discussion: http://tinyurl.com/koyfwj3

  • DesmaX

    Holy shit, now that’s just awful

  • kylehyde

    And then some people said that nintendo should go mobile, after seeing this I’m glad that Iwata said: “Not in my guard”

  • Go2hell66

    but if i’ve already downloaded it and its on my pc i can still play it right?

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      I believe the game requires an internet connection to work (DRM).

      • Go2hell66

        i dont remember anything like that

        nvm just tried it game has DRM godammit

        • MrSirFeatherFang

          Oh, you can’t save the game if you aren’t connected online… you can technically play the game offline… but you can’t save xD

          The Japanese ToP on iOS was discontinued on May 29, 2014 and now the game cannot start or even play the game. I only assumed the same will happen with us.

          You only have one save-slot and many save points are removed to encourage you to pay for those microtransactions. I’d like to play it solely for the new translation though.

          • Go2hell66

            you can’t even get onto the main menu without being online

          • MrSirFeatherFang

            Daayuum, well that sucks :x

    • Spirit Macardi

      If it’s a rom/iso of the SNES or PS1 versions you can. Because clearly that’s what Namco wants you to do if they aren’t going to make it available legally x3

      • Monterossa

        that’s what Namco always do to the Tales fans. I’m so glad that I’m not a big fan of this series.

        • Rose Spinoza

          Besides Phantasia, they’ve actually been really good at releasing Tales games lately….

          • Princess_Eevee9

            What really needs to happen is them being bought or merging with a more reliable company. Their attitudes towards their fans is atrocious.

  • Warukyure

    Now they are just begging for you to go back to your SNES emulator lol

    • Monterossa

      or the fan translate PS1 version.

      • Shirogane Takeru

        there’s also a GBA version remember?

        • Yuuki

          the gba version was more then lackluster and not worthy the name.

        • Brandonmkii

          Smart people try to forget that version exists.

        • Kroz

          …the GBA version….where you need to put a stop to Kangaroo

        • aizen310

          NO! THERE IS NOT!!!

          Takeru plz, stahp!
          Y U DO DIS?!

  • gk2012

    New Tales of Phantasia port incoming?

    Tales of Phantasia X 3D Full Voice Edition R HD.

  • Rose Spinoza

    Damn. That was quick.
    They probably decided to remove it so fast because the bad balancing and akward controls just inspired people to download the PS1 ROM. Heh.
    (and even then ToP is SUPER old-school design/story wise.)

    • Daniel blue

      The balancing issues were probably intentional – they raised the difficulty to a silly degree in order to convince you to pay REAL money for stat-boosting itens. The game also required an active internet connection at all times, which is just stupid for a single player RPG.

    • darke

      They probably ditched it quickly because it was completely destroying their good name.

      It’s one thing these companies don’t really realise is that ‘new’ companies that don’t have a reputation for good games can get away with shitty phone ports because they don’t have a reputation to destroy; long established companies can’t get away with it.

  • nekolife

    I should thank them for providing another example I can cite when explaining why f2p and in-app-nickel&dime should be avoided.

    • 하세요

      But I like my Bejeweled Blitz >:

  • AlphaSixNine

    This is a fine example why always-online games should never be allowed to flourish. Sucks for those who purchased the game.

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      You mean buy the in-game apps? (since the game is free xD)

      • AlphaSixNine

        lol didn’t know but yeah, for this case… but remember MS tried to make this always-on DRM common and this is an example of what could happen if that went through. :3

  • kuronox

    Tales of Phantasia X with Narikiri Dungeon X on Steam

  • I’ll admit, it’s super dumb that they’re making it so the app itself will be unusable. But ah well. It was a bad port, anyway.

  • Eder García

    really strange move

  • otakumike

    yep, this is a joke. I will now reconsider going digital only for my games.

    • JimJones

      So youre going physical only with iOS releases? Good luck with that champ

  • This is like the worst business practice imaginable but good riddance to this particular port

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    And this is why people say they want a physical copy of a game that they own. Feel sorry for those who did “in-game” purchases.

    Sorry Bamco…not a valid explanation.

    • Firehawke

      It’s easily possible to do the same thing with physical releases, sadly, so avoiding “digital only” won’t prevent this sort of thing.

      • darke

        Yep. Physical releases for the PC used to regularly have ‘online activation’ required before they installed; a lot still do.

        Wasn’t that what was originally planned for the XB1? Buy the disc at the store and all it was, was a large chunk of data and a digital activation code?

        If anything, this is a good reason to not buy digital on closed, DRM-encumbered systems, or systems that aren’t cracked so you can just download the customer friendly version when your purchased version expires.

  • DanijoEX ♬ the Cosmic Owl

    Taking down a game is one thing…but doing it without an explanation as to why is another…

  • Alex Cattaneo

    And this ladies and gentlemen is the biggest reason why i never and ever will buy digital games.

    • John Pena

      Exactly, screw digital games!

    • Ace Trainer Chris

      Except this kinda crap doesn’t happen with digital, offline games on strictly gaming platforms. Hell, this doesn’t even happen often for mobile gaming.

    • Alexander Marquis Starkey

      Except that this was done with Marvel vs Capcom and a couple of other games that were taken off the story, but the games were still playable afterward.

  • OneOkami

    I wonder if there is some legal red tape at play here. I’m not 100% but I feel pretty sure Apple is the one who has to actually hit the kill switch and it is something they’ve very rarely done in the past. I’d hope they didn’t approve of this without a VERY good reason.

    From what I understand, the kill switch was really meant for malicious apps that somehow managed to find their way into the store and onto personal devices, not for companies that one day decide they don’t want anyone to be able to use their app anymore.

    • Jason Ryer

      Apple gets 25% of overall revnue off the top for ios products.

  • NyaBoy

    Free to play system for a Offline JRPG…

  • Kornelious

    Well it’s one thing to remove the game but to DENY the people that payed the money to play it is ridiculous! What happened that caused this?

    • Arcana Drill

      …free to play.

      • Kornelious

        Oh……(Ahem) I still think it’s unfair >:(

        • Arcana Drill

          i know, wonder what caused them to remove it.

      • Timberman

        “This includes In-App Purchase items already purchased and save data.”

  • RunningWild1984

    lol idiot phone games

  • Chris Hodges

    Let’s pretend they only had this up and running long enough to make enough profits to create a whole new remake for the 3DS and/or Vita?

    • E.T.993

      Nah, they’ll port the GBA version on the Wii U VC.

      • Jason Ryer

        More then likely thats what they are doing.

  • Alter

    Bandai Namco begins to realize that making smartphone games is uncool, or something to do with piracy, well y’know smartphone is next easiest platform for pirates after PC.
    This won’t stop me for going full digital, i can just backup my vita games to HDD afterall.

  • Cless Aileron

    All I can is good riddance to this version. The free to play design it had was disgraceful.

    Even then, as someone who actually ended up basing his username from this installment, I tend to think ToP isn’t exactly an installment the fanbase is all that eager to play, no matter it being remade as many times as FFIV. Even without the abysmal free to play style it had, it’s an installment seen as not aging all that well and not missing much in the series.

  • Warboss Aohd

    Gee, i wonder why?

  • Philip Elthorpe

    If they’d tried porting it properly, there wouldn’t be this problem. Agarest Senki managed to be ported properly, so why not a game older than that by far?

    • 永次

      Agarest Senki is older than Tales of Phantasia X

    • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

      Pretty sure the problem lies in microtransactions; the GBA port featured an awful localization and it was still well received. This game was just butchered by schemes to rip people off their money~.

      • Philip Elthorpe

        The worst part was it was the Full Voiced edition that everyone’s wanted for years to be localized. If they’d taken the game, ported it to Vita as a budget release, and left it at that, they’d not be pulling it so quickly.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    Moral of the story? If you want to make real games, make them for consoles and drop the microtransaction BS~.

    • DaiRaiOh

      Sooooooo like when they made the game for consoles when it first came out?

      • Arcana Drill

        and when it was ported to the Ios probably by a small team, they were already making the 3ds game and Zestiria at the same time?

        People tend to associate smartphones with evil too much nowadays.

        • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

          Evil? No. Lack of quality? Sure. Let’s take Chaos Rings, for example. A game on phones heralded as an equal to JRPGs in consoles [by consoles I include handheld consoles too, by the way]. I played it and while it was nice in its first hours: the gameplay was retardedly easy, the graphics were subpar and the music selection was extremely limited~.

          It’s no match to regular games on the PSP / DS, let alone anything else~.

    • 永次

      The game is already in PSP since 2011.

  • Read about this on ANN, and the reason for removing this is a bit ridiculous.

  • Ric Vazquez

    It was a terrible port for mobile, so meh.

  • 永次

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, that’s great.

  • CirnoLakes

    Awwwwwwwww, why?

    I hope they put it back up. I don’t own an iOS device. But I was hoping to play it on mobile.

    • thnkgod4mentlillness

      Probably because it’s full of micro-transactions that you’re forced into buying, and it was a poor port in general.

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