Disney has removed two free-to-play mobile ‘Star Wars’ games from Apple and Google App stores without alerting developers or players in advance.
The two games in question are ‘Tiny Death Star’ and ‘Star Wars Assault Team.’ The former was a business simulation game made through a partnership between Disney and indie developer NimbleBit, best known for their mobile game called ‘Tiny Tower.’ The latter was a turn-based combat game made by an internal Disney Mobile Studio. Both games had been out for less than a year.
While the removal of both games seems understandable seeing as how companies often take down service-based games or apps for a variety of different reasons, the removal of NimbleBit’s ‘Tiny Death Star’ raises questions of ethics.
Ian Marsh, co-founder of the NimbleBit, had told Game Informer that they had not been notified at any capacity by Disney of ‘Tiny Death Star’s’ sudden removal.
“We’re very disappointed to see Tiny Death Star shuttered less than a year after launch,” Marsh said to Game Informer via email. “We had no prior knowledge that the game would be removed and no longer even have a contact at Disney after the recent layoffs. Suffice to say if you’re a developer looking to partner with Disney this might not be the partnership you’re looking for.”
As of writing, Disney has declined to comment to any publications on whether or not they had contacted NimbleBit before removing ‘Tiny Death Star.’ They also have not addressed how long both of the ‘Tiny Death Star’ and ‘Star Wars Assault Team’ will remain playable to those who have downloaded them previously and have made investments playing them via in-app transactions.
However, Game Informer has reported that Disney stated the removal of the two games was a part of a move to drive focus towards their combat strategy mobile title ‘Stars Wars Commander.’