I recently kicked up a fuss about Game Center:
- Game Center is still broken after six months — and that’s not good enough, Apple
- Broken Game Center issue will be resolved soon — honest, guv
- I made a video about iOS 9’s broken Game Center and you’ll never guess what happened next
If you follow the Apple or mobile gaming press, you might have heard Game Center is working again, as of the current iOS 9 beta.
I don’t usually install beta software on iOS devices, because you can’t dual-boot, and betas often have bugs and conflicts that render much of my work (testing apps and games) problematic. However, I made an exception in this case and installed iOS 9.3.2 beta 1 on my iPad Air 2.
Post-install, I immediately fired up Game Center, and although it was slow (and initially seemingly trolled me with a white screen for about five seconds), it fired into life for the first time in weeks. For the first time since last autumn, I can switch tabs within the Game Center app and access Game Center in Settings. You can see it working in a new video I uploaded to YouTube.
Now looking at the Games tab in Game Center is interesting. The system itself was clearly working in some capacity, since it lists all Game Center compatible games I’ve downloaded. However, I estimate that only one in ten has been populated with any data, and even then that only happened only sporadically. Most flatly state I have zero points and no high scores. Perhaps Game Center morphed into an ancient dial-up emulator without telling anyone.
Judging by the now 75-page Touch Arcade thread, other people seem to be finding this beta sorts the problem, across multiple devices. Only one person has so far reported an issue, and that vanished upon a restart.
So it looks like Game Center’s finally fixed. And, yes, this one does deserve a ‘finally’, given how long it’s been broken. I just hope the many devs caught in the fallout have not been hit too hard in the pocket, and also that Apple either starts being honest with itself. The company should either admit it wants nothing to do with gaming, and drop Game Center entirely (which, given Android’s rapidly improving equivalent, wouldn’t look good), or ensure from this point on the team keeps Game Center working.