A couple of weeks ago Mac App Store apps disappeared from the purchase history tab, making re-downloads impossible. It was a bug, Apple fixed it, and purchase histories were restored. Now a similar bug has been fixed on the iOS App Store, and purchase histories there are also being restored.
Just like with the Mac App Store, iPhone and iPad owners began noticing apps and games were missing from their purchase history earlier this week. Since the App Store is often a black box, lots of speculation followed. Fortunately, the simple answer in this case was the correct one.
Not all apps are back yet, but should be as the fix rolls out.
Note: Developers can still remove apps permanently if they choose to, for example if web services shut down or the code no longer works with modern devices. In those cases, when the apps wouldn't work anymore anyway, there's nothing to be done, even by Apple. It's the developer's call.
Otherwise, if you noticed you couldn't re-download some old apps and games, hang tight. They're on their way back!
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.