Jul 15 AT 11:29 PM Taylor Wimberly 79 Comments

The Gameloft Conspiracy: Why are the best Android games not found on the Android Market?

If you want to find the best 3D games for Android, don’t go looking in the official Android Market. French publisher Gameloft recently ported their 10 best selling iPhone games to Android (see video below), but you will only find a single one that made it to the Android Market (Asphalt HD).

So where is Gameloft hiding their Android HD games and what is keeping them off the Android Market?

The first part of that question is simple. If you want to purchase the Gameloft HD titles, you need to visit Gameloft.com and make your purchase through their site. My problem with that solution is that Gameloft’s store is hard to use, installs are limited to a single device, there is no system to update a game, and it’s a major pain to reinstall a game if you ever have to wipe your phone.

In the beginning, Gameloft limited you to a single download for any purchase you made through their store. We complained about this and Gameloft updated their store policies to allow users to re-download their purchases, but I have yet to get it working.

For starters, not all of my purchases are even listed on my Gameloft account and the ones that are, I have been unable to reinstall. Gameloft implemented some weird copy protection to limit game installs to a single device, but it actually blocks re-installing a game to the same device.

Good luck reinstalling your games if you wipe.

For example I purchased Modern Combat: Sandstorm and installed it to my Samsung Captivate. I later went ahead and wiped the phone and now when I try to launch the game after re-installing it, I am greeted with the error, “This is not an original copy”.

I could go on and on about my complaints with purchasing games from Gameloft, but my point is their store is still really new and it has a lot of issues.

The Conspiracy

So let’s return to the second part of my original question – Why is Gameloft keeping these HD titles off the official Android Market and away from potential customers?

We asked a Gameloft representative that question and they told us, “The Android platform is still rather new, (so) we are trying out different methods of distribution to see what works best.

After using both methods of distribution, it’s pretty clear the Android Market tops Gameloft’s web store in every way possible.

The Android Market allows me to instantly purchase and install the game on my phone, update the game when a new version comes out, install the game on any device with the same Google account, and allows me to reinstall any game with no issues. Gameloft can make none of those claims with their web store.

I understand trying out different distribution methods, but that still doesn’t explain why Gameloft just doesn’t do both and give their customers more choice when making a purchase. We know there are no technical barriers stopping them, because as we said earlier – they did release Asphalt HD to the Market.

To complicate matters, let’s look at AT&T who blocks the install of any Android application that does not come from the Market. AT&T has said they made this decision to protect the average customer from installing some rogue app by accident, but the reality is that it blocks users from buying apps from alternative app stores like Gameloft.

So why would Gameloft want restrict an entire carrier from buying their games? And why do they continue to hide their HD games on their site where the average Android user is not going to look?

From the outside, it just doesn’t make sense. Gameloft could release these games in the Android Market tomorrow and grab a ton of sales from all the new high-end gaming phones (like the Droid X and Galaxy S series), but someone up top has made the call to hold off.

I really can’t think of any logical reasoning behind their decision, unless there is some secret feud between Gameloft and Google.

Or maybe Apple has something to do with it.

Gameloft claims that sales of games for mobile devices accounted for 94% of its total profits in 2009 and the Apple iPhone played a crucial role in their growth. Income from the iPhone reached $24.5 million U.S. dollars in 2009 and about $10 million of that came in the fourth quarter (a 231% increase from 2008).

We know Gameloft and Apple have a cozy relationship because Gameloft has become one of the major players in the Apple App store, and they increasingly participate in media events hosted by Apple. When the iPad recently launched, Gameloft was ready with over a dozen HD titles.

Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but isn’t it a little odd that the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone is also the only carrier that is blocking their Android customers from purchasing games from Gameloft’s store? Is AT&T trying to cripple their Android experience by not allowing their customers to purchase and install the best Android games?

Conclusion

Google needs to work with Gameloft to get their HD titles in the Android Market. The current options for 3D games is pretty limited and Gameloft has the best Android lineup of any mobile developer. We finally have many high-end phones that are just hitting the market and Android needs these games now.

We already know that Google is really good at reaching out to developers, so I’m going to assume they have spoken at one time with Gameloft. For whatever reason, they have been unable to come to an agreement and Gameloft continues to hold their best HD titles captive from the Android Market.

Want even more proof something is wrong? Even Palm was able to come to an agreement with Gameloft and is currently offering all their HD titles in the official Palm App Catalog. Android is the only smartphone platform where Gameloft has decided not to offer their HD games in the official app market.

Since Gameloft has supported the official app stores for Palm’s webOS and the iPad, it makes no sense whatsoever for them to dodge the Android Market because “The Android platform is still rather new.

If you think Gameloft is going to have a change of heart and reverse their odd distribution choice, don’t count on it anytime soon. The company just sent out a press release to announce that HTC EVO and Nexus One users can get a free download of Let’s Golf HD, but it comes with a catch. Users must enter their phone number to receive a text message that instructs them to install an application which then redirects them to Gameloft’s mobile site where they can finally download the free game (sounds simple, right?).

At this rate, it doesn’t look like a real solution is coming down the pike. And with all the problems I’ve had with Gameloft’s store, I can’t recommend that other Android fans shop there.

Why do you think Gameloft is holding their HD games hostage on their web site and away from the Android Market? Is there a simple explanation for all this or is there more than meets the eye?

Show Press Release

GAMELOFT TO OFFER LET’S GOLF HD FREE ON HTC EVOâ„¢ 4G AND NEXUS ONE PHONES

Gameloft, a world leader in downloadable games for all platforms announced that Let’s Golf HD will be available for free download on HTC EVO 4G and Nexus One smartphones. Let’s Golf HD, as well as Gameloft’s other HD games on Android, take full advantage of the impressive touch screen and processing power of the HTC EVO 4G and Nexus One .

Let’s Golf HD can be downloaded at the below links for a limited time only:
HTC EVO 4G: http://www.gameloft.com/android/htc-evo-games
Nexus One: http://www.gameloft.com/android/nexus-one-games

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Rnmnx

    At&t wants you to have a suck ass Android experience. Or should I say closed experience? Isn’t Samsung bringing out a Market also? Just conjecturing.

  • http://Website eClipse

    I don’t view my Android phone as a gaming device – its a productivity tool, so I could care less about >who< makes games for it, since I'm not buying them.

    I run in a Google-centric crowd with a lot of friends who have Android devices, and I have never had a conversation which involved games.

    • http://Website Daniel

      No problem with your choice (I’m not a phone-gaming guy either), but you really didn’t contribute anything to the discussion. I also don’t use Facebook, but that doesn’t mean I post on articles about Facebook apps saying that I don’t care and that others shouldn’t either.

      • http://Website eClipse

        Well, perhaps you should, since articles like these tend to put questions in people’s minds that are not appropriate to the platform, which may impact adoption as a whole.

        Bottom line, if you’re buying a phone to play FPS games, you’re doing it wrong.

        • http://Website Magius

          God complex anyone? Not for you “eClipse”, you had far too many.

        • http://Website Matt

          Or MAYBE…

          If you’re buying an open platform and trying to tell people what to do with it, you’re doing it wrong.

          That is very much an Apple ideology, by which you tell people what they can and should do with the device. On the other hand, there is a stark contrast to Android, which in PRINCIPLE is open to “anything”. (obviously there are limitations, but that’s the idea)

          So maybe you’re doing it wrong when you tell someone they are doing something wrong with their “open” device…or even just with “their” device, really…

  • http://Website dude

    “The Android platform is still rather new, (so) we are trying out different methods of distribution to see what works best.”

    By “what works best” they don’t mean for you. They mean what works best for them. You can refund official market apps in 24hours. You can rate them poorly. You can download them several times without buying them again. Gameloft probably doesn’t want you to do any of these things.

    And the solution is simple – if their store sucks, don’t use it. If there is a market for 3D games on the android someone else will step in.

    • http://Website volapyk

      I agree. Gameloft probably prefer no refunds and no reinstalls. Still it makes little sense ad they would most likely sell a lot more titles from the market. It all seems a bit fishy. I for one am certainly not going to buy anything from their shop under current terms.

      • http://Website Derek

        They also want you to have to buy a new version for each phone. They dont like the fact that you can put it on numerous phones as long as they are on the same google account.

  • http://mattdemers.com Matt Demers

    To be honest, we probably will never know; to hastily blame it on Apple just sparks fanboyism and speculation that doesn’t get the truth out. Yes, they’re cozy with a company that’s making them shitloads of money: if they were -that- cozy, they’d sign a exclusivity agreement.

    Really, I can’t see a reason why they wouldn’t go on the marketplace, but we can be sure they’re figuring out a way to maximize their profit, like they did for Apple products.

    • http://Website ari-free

      It doesn’t make sense to put all that work into making a game and then not wanting to sell it. If there was an Apple conspiracy, they wouldn’t make the games in the first place.
      You know what i think is the real reason? Gameloft is a French company and Market still doesn’t offer paid apps for many countries.

      • http://Limitedpaymentsupportinmarket Yogaboz

        I think you’re correct in assuming markets lack of payment support outside of the US. I don’t know if Google offers development distros of android which includes Market with payment support, but the reason might be that Gameloft hasn’t gotten around to root their Android phones to enable payment in market.
        Or it might be illegal i France for all I know.

        I’m from Norway, which also isn’t supported by Market. Googles official response to request for payment support in Market is, Norway is a small market so it’s highly prioritized. By dragging it’s feet with implementing this basic feature, quite a lot of people are rooting their phones (which is legal in Norway). Again this leads to an increased amount of piracy.

        I find it quite ridiculous that a large and technically proficient company like Google is unable to produce basic international support in their store. Especially since this will cause so much long lasting problems. If you’ve rooted your phone once, and learned how to acquire and install pirated application, theres a big chance that you’re not going to stop when you get payment support.

        The sad thing is that Norway isn’t some technologically backwards country. We’ve got a number good micro-payment solutions which they could have partnered. Hell, most smartphone buying Norwegians would probably have used paypal if there was an option. But as of today. The only way to earn money on Android applications in most of Europe is by using ad supported applications.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah I really have no idea. Apple has the cash reserves to just buy out Gameloft so who knows. Or maybe the bidding war for Gameloft has already started and we don’t know about it.

      • http://Website ari-free

        But I don’t think Apple is really into killer games otherwise they’d have bigger screens, physical game controls, nvidia gpu’s, etc in their iPhones/iPods. The last thing Apple wants is a spec war driven by games. They’d rather have casual games such as Angry Birds and farmville.

        • Snafu77

          I agree. I think Apple’s history with their workstations and laptops are a sure indicator about their feelings toward gaming. They don’t give a damn.

      • http://Website Paul

        “Apple has the cash reserves to just buy out Gameloft so who knows.”

        And Google has the cash reserves to buy out Gameloft and Apple, so I’m sure they could convince Gameloft to sell their HD apps in the Market.

    • http://Website snafu77

      I think their decision was made due to piracy and not wanting to pay whatever percentage Google wants for apps sold. I can’t really blame them on either front. I can blame them for having a stupid/crummy distribution method. No way I’m spending money on ghostware. You never know when you may need to replace a phone or wipe it and I’m not going to repurchase the same software every time that happens. It’s a friggin smartphone. Issue licenses and verify that only one device is using the license at a time and you just plugged your piracy hole. You have to spend money to make money so if that type of backend mgmt is too much for them they should just give up.

    • z0phi3l

      But had you read the article thoroughly you would have noticed it was also conjectured that Gameloft might have a problem with Google and their policies, namely full refunds of purchased app within 24hours of purchase.

      At this point all I know is that Gameloft is really screwing themselves with their close-minded policies involving Android

  • http://Website ari-free

    google should invest in gameloft instead of zynga if it truly cared about killer games.

    • http://Website Snafu77

      With their relationship with Apple I don’t think Gameloft would be interested in that. Next thing you know Apple would pull another Admob stunt.

  • http://Website Chancy

    Here is the truth point blank. Google needs to push Android gaming out themselves. They can play that “open source” bullshit out for only so long but if they don’t commercialize it (advertise, get exclusive deals with developers, push out for more games etc) more, then Android gaming will simply die off slowly. It is on the verge of becoming the N-Gage of mobile gaming: Something a lot of people once thought was cool and then a few years later look back, shake their heads and just kind of laugh.

    • http://Website Tom

      I doubt Google cares if their platform is known for highend gaming. While I don’t know for sure, I’d guess the vast majority of android user plays, at most, casual games.

      • http://Website ari-free

        Verizon cares. They made a deal with EA to bring NFS shift to their new droids.

    • http://Website motaz

      agree, google need to push gaming in android a bit, since its now on zero level compared to what the appStore have, and its kinda too simple to do, a couple of games in each category would do it.

  • http://Website j3pr0x

    That’s a shame. Initially, I thought of two reasons: 1.)fragmentation, and 2.)dismal ROM/storage in Android devices. 1.) is a minor issue and besides, the top-selling phones right now are all on 2.1 (2.2 soon), so this will be an invalid argument before they we even find out the real reasons. 2.)is no longer valid (from the Droid to the latest phones).

    I know they’re not as big as Gameloft, but Newtoy still refuses to port apps to Android too. I’ve been longing to join in my friends’ Words With Friends games…

    • geniusdog254

      I agree, I want to play Word’s With Friends with my buds.

      I miss Pocket God too :(

  • http://Website Tom

    Just a far-fetched guess: perhaps because half or more of the world is blocked from purchasing paid apps from the Android Market?

    • http://Website Daniel

      As I said right below, if this is your sole reason, you really have nothing to lose by releasing both on the Market and on your personal store. There’s certainly more involved, and we can be sure piracy prevention is involved, or they wouldn’t have done such elaborate contraptions to reduce redistribution.

  • http://Website Daniel

    I can easily see a few reasons: sidestep Google’s 30% share, prevent piracy (Market apps can’t have the kind of copy protection bullshit they’re doing, but then piracy becomes significantly easier), prevent the 24h refund rule.

    Not that I agree with their decision, but the point is that you can come up with reasons not to support the Market. There’s also the bonus of possibly supporting more countries (the Market is in a truly sad state ATM in this regard), but for this one they wouldn’t really lose anything at all by releasing apps both on the Market and on their store.

  • http://lettersfromdave.wordpress.com daveloft

    This is a pretty old story, I’ve been writing about this on my blog for a month. I have forwarded it to you.

    You seem to be missing the latest update to the DRM. You can reinstall it all you want and if your moving to a new device just email them and they will send you a new download link.

    • daveloft

      Really, you down rank for having more information on the subject, pitiful.

      • geniusdog254

        I thought I was the only one that noticed you can redownload them and reinstall them.

        I had to get my Evo swapped and I just used the same apk off my SD card and it worked fine.

        (ps: I agree, people on here seem to downrank for no reason)

    • http://www.myspace.com/hermyhalloween hermyhalloween

      “In the beginning, Gameloft limited you to a single download for any purchase you made through their store. We complained about this and Gameloft updated their store policies to allow users to re-download their purchases, but I have yet to get it working”

      You seem to not be reading the article. Perhaps that’s why you were down-ranked. Though I have seen people slam others, time and again, for no good reason.

  • http://Website Bob

    it is to save 30 percent. Is that so hard to understand ? 30 percent is a huge chunk of money and if that allows them to shave off on pricing or to allow more profits for them which they can then channel into more games, what is the harm ? why should android copy everything from apple ? isn’t the point of android to have more choices? and when somebody chooses another option, you guys shout from the rooftop that it is wrong. The fact is if gameloft games are useless, this experiment will fail. Let the market decide folks.

    • http://Website ari-free

      It is a great advantage for a well known company to not have to pay a share to google or Apple and sell direct to consumer. Why go through thousands of useless apps and games when you could just go to EA.com or gameloft.com and get the games right there?

    • http://Website Vladimir

      It’s not wrong that gameloft is trying the alternatives,
      but it’s wrong that their alternatives suck.

    • http://www.myspace.com/hermyhalloween hermyhalloween

      A good point, surely, but taken in context it is a moot point.

      By hiding your games probably more than 50% of potential customers will miss it. Probably much more than that. So saving 30% on each sale, but making half as many sales, can’t be a savings at all. Double (or more) the sales, less 30% of the profit, can only be better.

      My notion is that that company got green-eyes, thinking only about profit and neglecting the bigger picture of context.

  • http://Website Peter Eccles

    In the UK I can see at least 5 games in the Market. To be honest the game play isn’t great.

    • geniusdog254

      Thats because none of the HD games (with the exception of Asphalt) are on there. Its just their old crappy Java ports

  • http://Website ben

    Has anyone had any luck getting That free download of lets golf to work? Just tries to make me pay!

    • http://www.simplethoughtproductions.com Josh Chesarek

      Once I installed their bookmark and then use the book mark app to goto their store I saw the download link and it worked. Golf is pretty nice. There is a bug on Hole 9 in england where you go out of bounds when you shouldn’t. Annoying as its the best place to aim your drive.

  • http://stefan.rusek.org/ Stefan

    I don’t think there is a conspiracy, I think the problem is simply that the Android Market is a sub-par experience for publisher outside of the US who want to publish outside of the US. You can’t even buy apps in all EU countries, let alone publish them.

    • http://www.majauskas.com giedrius

      I agree with Stefan. only dozen or so countries are accepted as both paid developers and shoppers in Android Market. Once that will change, we will see more and better games in Android Market.
      That is probably one of the biggest problems of Android: lack of unified app payment solution in all markets Android is available in.

      • geniusdog254

        I would agree with you completely, but if that were the case, why would they publish Asphalt HD?

        I think it’s more to do with the 30% cut El Goog takes. I’m an independent dev in the Market and when I make $.69 off a $.99 app, it is a lot more than it seems. If I sell 20 copies, I make ~$14.

  • http://Website hector

    “The Android platform is still rather new, (so) we are trying out different methods of distribution to see what GIVES US MORE MONEY.”

  • http://Website none

    I think you scrapped only one side of the problem.

    Second is… paid applications from Android Market are limited only to several countries. Why should Gameloft limit themselves too? All they want is to sell their products to lots of ppl.

    IMO the problem is with Google and their sick policy of limiting Android Market in lots of countries only to free apps. We can say, that Android devices are now available globally. According to Google (http://market.android.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=143779) these countries are better part of the world:

    * Australia
    * Austria
    * Canada
    * France
    * Germany
    * Italy
    * Japan
    * Netherlands
    * New Zealand
    * Spain
    * Switzerland
    * United Kingdom
    * United States

    So, let’s think why Apple has so many income and so many developers? As a developer myself, living in a country that Google doesn’t like, I don’t have any motivation to develop paid apps and publish it on Android Market. My only options are independent markats and developing my own app store, like Gameloft did.

    PS. Tho I have to agree, that Gameloft policy of one-purchase-one-device is not a consumer friendly.

    • Tes

      It’s been said above…why does everyone assume it’s “one or the other” as if the possibility of having the system they have now AS WELL as offering it on the Market is way out there in space in terms of ideas?

    • http://Website Jay

      I have heard over and over that Google hates certain countries and won’t allow you to purchase apps through the Android Market. I, personally, am sick of hearing this. Do you really think that Google DOESN’T want your money?

      I don’t think it’s Google that’s the problem here but the countries that you live in. There are so many different laws and regulations for Google to adhere to that it may be taking some time to make the Market available in your country. For example, since the Market is such an open place there are some adult oriented apps and in certain countries that may violate some decency laws. There may be problem how the money gets transferred for payment. Does your cell phone carrier get a cut of what you pay for an app? What about personal information? How is that collected and stored and does that violate some law your country may have?

      It appears the general sentiment in the comments are that Google is deliberately snubbing other countries. This makes no sense from a business perspective. Especially for a company as expansion minded as Google. Check to see which Google services are available in your country. You may not have all of them. Some of them may not be linked together the way they are in the United States. China, notoriously, has issues with Google and certain Google services there are limited or denied.

      To be frank, I don’t know why there is a delay for paid apps in the Market in certain countries. I can’t say for sure that Google isn’t deliberately excluding certain countries. I believe that doing so doesn’t make sense and I believe that Google are trying to do so.

      By the way 30 percent per app purchased isn’t all that bad of a price as these things go. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the way it sounds if your app doesn’t sell it doesn’t cost you anything, right? Imagine you, a developer, had to create your own distribution system. You need servers, server software, database management system, all of which must be administered, you have to process payments and returns/refunds, you have to pay some system to transfer the money to you get (i.e. Paypal, ACH, etc.), you need some sort of system to track who bought what, and you need to send update notifications, and so many other things I haven’t thought of. This is just to distribute your apps. To me 30 percent per purchase doesn’t seem all that bad especially when I can spend my time developing new products or updates.

  • http://XDA Paul Hettler

    I love it! A&M is doing us all a favor and bringing this to the front so that gameloft may see the light and SUPPORT THE MOST CAPABLE MOBILE OS THERE IS! PERIOD

  • http://www.gunnarlium.com Gunnar Lium

    As an android user from Norway, I see can certainly see the merits of providing an alternate distribution channel. For the the time being, we do not have access to any paid apps in the market.

    Although I agree that installation from from Gameloft.com is slightly more complex than directly from market, I managed to get Assassins Creed downloaded and installed in just a few minutes.

    That being said, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t provide both options, Android Market for those who prefer Android Market, and Gameloft.com for those who can’t/won’t buy through the market..

  • http://Website Steffo

    Gameloft are offering their games to all android phone owners globally, android market offers paid apps to less than half off the android phone owners in the world.

    I live in Stockholm Sweden and bought my first and probably last android phone last summer and 1 year later I still can’t buy apps from the market.

    This goes on in country after country and if you guys are worried about the future of android you should look into this problem instead of worry about the inconvenience of having to visit Gamelofts web site to be able to buy their games.

    As long as this issue with the market consists you will see more game and app developers find alternative markets to sell their products and you will definitely see a lot of android phone owners abandon the platform after their first phone.

  • http://Website sonic

    Personaly I think it’s more to do with googles 24hour refund policy as most of these can be completed within that time without to much difficulty, if google bend over for gameloft and relinquish this I am sure these games would hit the android market. But if google then do this for 1 developer it opens the flood gates for all developers effectivly null and voiding googles own refund and store policy.

  • http://Website tqp2001

    I don’t buy the apple conspiracy, more likely to argue there are a lot of regions where buying from the market is still not available.

    That said my personal theory is they don’t like the possibility of using a purchased game on every device registered on one google account. They want you to buy it for every phone separately, and buy it again if your faulty device is replaced and so on.

    The useabilty of their own market is appalling and I will never ever buy a game there, as good as they may be. You have to struggle and beg with customer support to get an update that just makes the game playable on your device, that’s inexcusable.

    Galaxy S here, definitely in the market for HD games. Right now the competitors get the business, playing Crusade of Destiny and Zenonia, purchased in the market.

  • http://Website sonic

    Many of you are blowing on about only being able to perchase apps in specific countries, don’t forget google as a whole have to adear to each countries laws individualy (china and censorship come to mind) and we all know that Android is still very new, when working out legal contracts with countries to allow them to operate this can and dose take years. Look at the list and think about how lax these countries are when it comes to trading……

  • http://Website grellanl

    They got away with this crap in the old days of dumbphones running Java midlets, and the like. And now they’re hoping to replicate the same thing here.

    Remember Gameloft do have all their apps published on the iPhone market (and they do very well there), but of course that’s the ONLY way to get apps onto those devices. I suspect that the Market commission rankles with them, and they’re hoping to go direct to customers on Android and avoid paying this entirely.

    Thing is, getting 100% value from a very small number of sales (as they will see through this direct channel), is gonna be a *lot* less than 90% of the value of the *large* number of sales they could hope to see on the Market. There’s been many comments from many seasoned analysts, to the effect that anyone trying to bypass the official markets in this fashion is *doomed to fail*.

    There is potentially an argument for having direct-download as a *secondary channel* to address markets not currently covered by the Market. But that’s still a lame stopgap.

    I’ve emailed Gameloft, I’ve messaged them on Twitter about this. I want to buy their games, and I *will* do so as soon as they appear on the Market. But I will *not*, under any circumstances, support their current arrangement.

    While we’re on the subject, what’s the story with Popcap games? I *so much* want to buy Zuma, Peggle and a *proper version* of Bejeweled…

  • http://Website epitomia

    For one, there is a reason that is painfully obvious: paid apps availability worldwide is pathetic. I’m in Singapore, and if Gameloft does publish their games only in the Market, I will never have the chance to play their games such as Asphalt. Thankfully, they have their own online store.

    So if Google wants more games to be developed in the Android platform, they will have to bring paid availability to as many countries as possible – and fast. Otherwise, the incentive just isn’t there.

  • http://Website Miguel

    Regarding the free Golf game. I went to Gameloft site yesterday, after watching your video on the Samsung Galaxy video out feature. The Sandstorm game looked pretty darn good for a phone app, so I decided to check it out.

    When I navigated my Nexus One to their site, it automatically recognized my phone and a link was visible offering me a free Golf game. All I had to do was download their Gameloft Bookmark app and install it, which I did. it’s not really an app, but just a Bookmark that that appears in my Apps Tray. It just opens up the Android Browser and goes straight to their site. i didn’t have to give my phone number or wait for a SMS.

    Then I was able to download and install the Golf game without even giving my name or anything. I will admit that their site is really not well-designed. You’d think a company with such great looking phone games could afford to higher a talented mobile site developer.

  • http://Website Derrick

    I would agree with many that the refund policy is one reason Gameloft stays out of the market. I would also guess that there may be something around the copy protection that they use that may not work through the market. Looks like they have a much safer way to distribute their software so that a rooted phone isn’t able to copy and share the apk?

  • http://Website joey smith

    I bought 2 games from them, $5 each but was charged an extra 2 times. I tried to contact them via email and they said they couldnt do refunds, only could give me 2 more games for what they called “free”. I don’t want any of the games, i bought the ones i wanted. Bastards.

    • Snafu77

      You realize that is theft right? Notify your credit card company immediately. Vendors aren’t allowed to steal your money. Tell them you are going to notify your state Attorney General’s office and the BBB.

  • http://gadgeticmusings.com/ Soul_Est

    Why didn’t they try releasing their games in the SlideME Application Market? Sure, they want control but this is too much.

  • http://Website Seriously

    Buying from Gameloft makes me feel uncomfortable as an Android user because ALL trusted content should be available through the Android Marketplace…..I like their prices and their games seem ok but I will continue to use Nesoid and other old-skool emulators to play great games rather than buy a few so-so games from Gameloft….Also, having reviews, comments, trials, and the ability to refund are the reasons why no marketplace= no buy for me…..Besides, nothing beats old-skool gaming!

    • http://Website Paul

      Their games are OK? They have, by far, the best 3D games on Android and they are one of the reasons high-end Android game development is taken even the least bit seriously. Where would we be without Asphalt, Sandstorm, or N.O.V.A.? I don’t like having to buy from their site (though I understand they’re concerned about not being able to sell Android apps in many countries), and I respect that you prefer low-end Android games and emulators, but you can’t just denigrate Gameloft. They’re doing a lot for Android.

  • http://Website adrian

    i went on gamloft.com when i had the droid incredible and bought dungeon hunter. all i did was i used astro to back up the apk and so when i got rid of the droid INC i got the Moto Droid and all i did was reinstall the apk via astro and saved my gameloft folder on the sd card and it worked perfect did this with also nova and asphalt. SO if you buy, make sure you back up apk on sd card and you can reinstall as much times as you want with no problem ! this was BEfore they change it

  • http://www.emagenstudios.com Jesse

    I wanted to purchase Dungeon Hunter but I wont for this reason alone. I ended up buying Zenonia instead. When Gameloft decides to move their games to the market, I will make a purchase.

  • http://www.openfeint.com Eros from OpenFeint

    This is a FANTASTIC conversation. It seems like everyone in Android Gaming is trying to figure this stuff out right now. We’re planning on bringing a whole grip of good content from our developer community but we’re also struggling with the best way to use Marketplace. Seems like noone is actually buying content on that store right now, so not surprising that Gameloft is trying something different. But question for you power users: Are you actively buying content on Marketplace? Why or Why Not? Please teach us…

    • http://Website tqp2001

      My galaxy s is my first android, and before that I only bought one single app for a phone. Right now I bought already 5 apps and 7 games in the market in two weeks of ownership. That is a lot more than I thought I would. Buying is easy and fast, and I like it how most of the games have a free/demo/lite-Version. I check it out, if I like the gameplay (or usability in case of an app) I buy it, easy as that. I certainly will not buy from a store outside of the market, because I will not waste my time hunting updates or struggling with customer support. Been burned once by gameloft, won’t get burned a second time. Oh, and in case copy protection is the reason for an outside store, for a pricetag of 5$ I certainly would not search for a dubious download source and possibly get a backdoor or trojan on my phone as well.

      Summarizing, personally the only real legitimate reason for an outside store I can see is providing a second distribution channel for regions where buying is not an option.

    • http://Website Paul

      The biggest problem with shopping on the Market is the inability to find apps. I’d really advise you to prominently display QR codes taking you to the app’s page in the Market on an app’s page on your developer website and whenever you send out a press release announcing a new app. If possible, encourage sites that review your apps and link to your page to also include the QR code. That way, it’s easy to just scan the code, get to the app in the Market, and buy it. Searching the Market can be difficult, and browsing is downright impossible so QR codes are ideal. On a related note, I’ve heard good things about OpenFeint and your commitment to Android and can’t wait to check out some of your games once they’re released.

      • http://Website tqp2001

        That’s one argument that I have read pretty often and I just don’t get it. Being a new android-user I certainly won’t claim I’m a proficient user but even I already discovered appbrain. Perfect solution for me, but there are other similar apps for different flavors.

        You don’t seriously want to argue it’s easier to search for an app by googling and sifting through several different stores and websites to compare apps and games than having a single directory like appbrain and/or competitors as a frontend to the market?

  • http://Website David

    I’m actively buying things on the market, but I prefer to try before I buy.

    I think the Xbox Arcade system where you can download a trial and pay to unlock it if you like it.
    Episodic gaming also works for me and is one reason why I’ve bought each of the Mystiqe titles as they come out.

    I also buy apps that are useful, but offer free trials e.g. Personal Assistant, better keyboard.

    I don’t buy apps/games that essentially replicate the experience that is being given away for free by another developer.

    For most games/apps I’m to busy to give them a thourough test in the 24hr refund window, so I prefer a trial version that will give me a few days to evaluate it.

  • http://Website deeb215

    fucka Gameloft…where’s my play station emulator! i’m not jumping thru hoops for these games that aren’t that great to begin with. MHO

  • http://Website gameloft sux

    Well after purchasing HAWX and then finding out I had to buy it again after a wipe I decided to just pirate all their games. Working fine with no problems..and I have them all nicely backed up.

    Fuck you gameloft.

  • http://Website ari-free

    If they really cared about games, they would’ve welcomed Flash instead of kicking them out. They just made Flash an exclusive app…for android.

  • http://Website Jombo

    Well, I bought my Android phone last august. Living in Finland I have no possibilities to buy anything to my phone. The solution is simple, I am now on waiting list for the new iPhone.

    It’s amazing how Google ignores so many markets with their otherwise brilliant solution.

    And don’t expect Angry Birds (4 months on nr 1 position in almost all iPhone countries) to come to Android Market at all, as it has been done by a Finnish company with no possibilities to sell it in Android Market.

  • http://ppcgeeks.com Kuban

    Eclipse your an idiot. First off if your looking for a good productivity tool then you should be running windows mobile because its simply designed more for the business end. Apple is a giant cliche` that people fruitlessly seem to bow to. And android, android is somewhere above the both of them.. i like android. Android can offer a powerfull platform with good software. Until about 9 months ago apple just figured out how to copy and paste. android allows 3rd party apps on every network except at&t and thats pretty clear as to why. Devices are currently running hardware that are more advanced than laptops 8 years ago and they fit in your damn hand. Why WOULDNT you want to game on it? I have an evo 4g, nice beautiful 4.3″ HD screen. My first thought when i got it in the mail was i wonder what gaming would be like on this thing. The hardware is there, the software is there, just do it.

  • http://Website RobState

    Root your phone. Take the 5 minutes it takes to alter the SQLite DB that limits you to APP store Applications and do the hack. Install anything you want from Gameloft, who (giant sigh) really do have the best titles…and suck it up and quit crying. If you buy an Android tablet spend the extra $4.99–if that’s not too rich for you…I have almost all the Gameloft titles on my Galaxy S phone, I hope my $30.00 bucks helps to motivate them to port more titles over (Like IronMan, which is awesome on my cruddy little iTouch).

    I agree that its “not fair” but they are in business to make money and if that means politics to please Apple and whatnot, well that’s business…

    For Gosh sake, can some moer companies please step up…where the hell is EA in the MID/Smartphone market!!!

  • http://Website P B

    EClipse, you are a retard

  • Cg

    Is it just me or are gameloft games a re work of ps2 era games? Re packaged to look slightly diffrent but just a complete rip off. If they want to limit themselves to the sheep at apple let them. I bet they had beta max video players.

  • DerpySancheZ

    Alright…