UPDATE: Gameloft tweeted that N.O.V.A. 2 is coming to Android at a later date than the iOS launch of December 16th.
PREVIOUS: So now that we know Gameloft is making new games for Android again, I think we have a pretty good idea of their next big surprise for Android. Gameloft is doing some amazing things for iOS, but Android will soon have more powerful hardware and then they will really be able to raise the bar for mobile gaming.
I think it is highly likely we will see Gameloft produce a flagship title for the next-generation of Android hardware and that game is N.O.V.A. 2.
The game has not been officially announced for Android by Gameloft yet, but I think we could see it within the next month. I have nothing to back this up, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a demo of the game at next month’s CES when Sanjay Jha holds his first media event for the new Motorola Mobility and whips out the Tegra 2-powered Honeycomb tablet.
We already know that these Tegra 2 products (Etna, Everest, and Olympus) are Sanjay’s baby so he must want some statement apps and games to show off the power of this new class of devices. NVIDIA said their Tegra 2 offered 5x faster gaming performance over the current generation so we know their games could look better than anything we have seen on iOS so far.
I used to think there was some Gameloft conspiracy involving Apple that was preventing these games from coming to Android, but I think it was the youth of Google’s app store that slowed the adoption of the platform. The last time we asked a Gameloft representative why they kept their best games to their online store they responded, “The Android platform is still rather new, we are trying out different methods of distribution to see what works best.”
Now that Google has started updating the Market (with some big changes like the 15 minute refund window and upping the app size to 50 MB), we can find no reason for Gameloft to continue to ignore it. They are a business that wants to make money and if the Android Market finally offers them that opportunity they are going to dive right in. Now is the time for Gameloft to establish their brands on Android before the big players start to move in and eat up their market share.
If you are a gaming fan, check out the teaser videos of N.O.V.A. 2 and then tell me if this game is worthy of being a Honeycomb launch title. I’d pay $4.99 for it, how about you?