Remember those 10 awesome 3D games that Gameloft released last week? Several did not work or failed to download, but Gameloft informed us the titles were accidentally published early and would be fixed over the weekend.
Gameloft just relaunched their Android store, so I thought I would try purchasing a couple titles to try on my EVO 4G and see how they compare with a Nexus One running Android 2.2.
For starters, I noticed the games were more expensive in Gameloft’s official store. Asphalt 5 sells for $4.99 on the Android Market, but Gameloft ups all their new titles to $6.99 on their site. That is on the higher end for Android games, but Gameloft has the best 3D graphics on Android and I thought the price was justified.
Right now, Gameloft only lets you purchase the titles if you claim to have a Motorola Droid. All these games work on other Snapdragon phones with at least Android 2.1, so I’m not sure why Gameloft has limited them to the Droid. When making a new purchase, customers will have to register an account with Gameloft and fill out their payment information. After a user purchases a game, Gameloft sends a text message to your phone number with a link to download the title.
My first purchase was the new 3D Assassin’s Creed. After filling out all my information, I waited and waited for a text message with the download link, but it never came. I searched the Gameloft site for several minutes and found no option to resend the message so I was forced to request a refund. This was done by filling out a form which required I dig up my unique customer ID and order number from an email. As of the time of this writing, I’m still waiting on my refund.
Before giving up, I decided to try purchasing a second title. This time I opted for N.O.V.A., the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. To my surprise, I received the download link almost instantly and easily installed the game on my EVO 4G. The game looked great for a first person shooter, but it was sluggish in some areas on my EVO.
I’ve noticed a big performance boost with Android 2.2, so I attempted to install N.O.V.A. on my Nexus One. Unfortunately, Gameloft limits you to one download of the game installer. No problem I thought, I’ll just copy the install file over manually. This also failed because Gameloft has implemented a copy protection check to limit purchases to a single device.
I know it’s Gameloft’s right to distribute their software however they choose, but I was disappointed by the single device limit. This is the opposite of the Android Market which allows you to re-download and install any purchase that is linked to your Google account.
Right now, it is hard for me to suggest that anyone use the Gameloft store. I was told during Google I/O that these titles would eventually make their way to the Android Market, but Gameloft wanted to experiment with different distribution channels first.
We appreciate that Gameloft is trying new distribution methods (especially for those who can’t access the Android Market in other countries), but I think it really hurts them right now to avoid the official Market. Hopefully Gameloft will listen to their customers’ feedback (Hi guys!) and get on the ball with bringing these exciting titles to the real Android Market.
Have you tried purchasing an Android game from Gameloft? If so, please let us know how their store performed for you.