Mar 15 AT 7:04 PM Taylor Wimberly 53 Comments

Gameloft in search of solution for AT&T’s blocking of non-Market apps

Gameloft has already ported several of their Android titles to the Tegra 2 platform, but customers with a Motorola Atrix 4G are unable to purchase them because AT&T blocks the installation of non-Market applications. The only way to get Gameloft’s new games is through their online web store, so none of AT&T’s Android phones can access them.

We were keeping an eye on Gameloft’s mobile site to see if they would come up with a workaround and today we noticed a new survey for Atrix 4G users. The poll says, “AT&T has blocked their Android devices from allowing 3rd party downloads for security purposes. If this policy were changed would you download HD games from Gameloft to your mobile?”.

AT&T is unlikely to change their policy because they are trying to protect their users from installing potential malicious¬†apps from unknown sources. Earlier this year the policy was defended and I somewhat agree with them.¬†“AT&T selected Android Market as the exclusive source for applications because it forces developers to be accountable for the apps they submit. If the Android community has issues with an app, the app can be flagged and removed.”

A quick Google search provides easy instructions for installing non-Market apps on AT&T devices (without the need to hack them), so I see it as a non-issue for most Android users.

Gameloft’s problem with the official Android Market is the lack of support for targeting specific devices. The Android Market only allows developers to upload one installable file per application, but Gameloft has versions of their games for each graphics platform (PowerVR, Adreno, GeForce) and wants to provide an optimized install file for each device.

Other developers have been able to support multiple types of devices with a single installable file, so I’m not sure why Gameloft hasn’t been able to figure this out. It doesn’t appear that Google has any plans to change their policy, so I don’t expect new Gameloft games to appear on the Android Market anytime soon.

What do you think Gameloft should do? If AT&T changed their policy to allow non-Market apps, would you download HD games from Gameloft to your mobile? Or would you only purchase games from the Android Market?


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 Gabriel

    I have the solutions along time ago….
    put your games on the damn android market!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://Website UniqueNatr

      It would be nice but anything on the market can be hacked to be free. They would lose money. It’s really hard for developers out here for just that reason alone.

      I’m sure you can get some free now & I’m not encouraging you to but I’m also sure it’s minimized compared to how it would be if all their games were on the market.

      Be more so upset with your carrier as to why they take away a native feature from android. How do you do that? You purchased it & it’s native but you won’t allow it? That’s like buying a phone but the carrier will tell you who you can call & when. There has been no issue with downloading 3rd party apps. They should make it clear we make our own choices & should be ready for the implications. If they’re worried about their fire walls then they need to step up security.

      • http://Website Gabriel

        thats very true unfortunate, but its good to see google evolving in that area and adding security to the market, they are doing ultra slow, but hey better slow that none

        • http://Website UniqueNate

          Even if Google steps up their security it will still be unevidable. Even Apples Store is being pirated when it comes to apps. They make all that $ back & some in their over hyped sells.

          I think Gameloft is just playing it safe.

      • http://Website eric

        Thats not the reason, or better not be. The android market probably gets half a billion hits a week. Even if 1/3 of the potential buyers pirated it, that wouldn’t even come close to the new customers.

      • http://Website Micah

        I would argue that it has actually caused more piracy than reduced it. Many people won’t buy from a place other than the market, but still want to see what the fuss is all about. I seriously doubt drm stops piracy or even slows it down in the slightest. It’s ridiculously easy to pirate iphone games, not everyone does. Some people don’t know how to and some people just wont. The same this with android, it being on the market or not, for piracy reasons, is just plain stupid.

      • http://Website kooms

        Search around. Their games can still be hacked from their webstore.

      • http://Website Edzilla

        By going to thepiratebay and searching for “gameloft android”, I could download any of their games.
        Not being on the market has NOTHING to do with piracy…

      • http://Website Eric Rossman

        Who is hacking the google market apps for free? I’m not, and I believe that the majority or paying customers are not as well. Quit perpetuating Gameloft propaganda, Google responded to this saying that this was actually about Gameloft not wanting to share a single penny of revenue with Google. Apple would take a solid 30% cut from all app profits, Google will take upto 15%.

        Are you just stating that it can be hacked? I agree, given enough time and resources anything can be hacked, great argument there. There will always somebody that takes the their saved copy of a market-paid-app and shares it with others. Report these people.

    • http://Website YOU POOR JERKS


      • http://Website latreides

        Really? So your iPhone (unhacked) let’s you install 3rd party applications from sources other than the app store? You must have one of those new iPhones that don’t actually exist yet.

        • http://Website latreides

          (And by that I mean on the same AT&T carrier that we are discussing, of course.)

      • http://Website YOU POOR JERKS


        • WickedToby741

          This must be severely amusing to you to feel compelled to act like a moron. I’ve personally had no problems with my Verizon Android phone and I’m sure many others can say the same about Sprint and T-Mobile. Soon, when I upgrade to the Bionic as soon as it comes out, I’ll be cruising the 4G airwaves thats aren’t crowded by iPhone users. I’ll be enjoying Flash videos one my phone and exercising such things as choice on my phone.

          I know this is hard to comprehend because Steve Jobs does your thinking for you, but Android is actually appealing to some, and because of the choices I am presented with using Android, I can avoid this situation entirely by choosing to not purchase an Android phone from AT&T. If theres something you don’t like on iPhone, you’re stuck with it because you have no choice. Of course for those who don’t enjoy things like freedom and customization, thats perfect.

          You just keep living in the Walled Garden where its safe and you don’t have to have the brainpower to think for yourself (which is good in your case) because every choice is made for you by Steve Jobs. Well I guess you have the choice of bumper color. I’m going to keep playing outside and enjoy such things as the ability to think and act for myself.

        • http://Website YOU POOR JERKS


          • http://Website Trolling alert!

            What the… Can you stop copy and paste? Oops sorry, i didn’t know you are “closed source” so you are not allowed to type what you want to say… Pathetic apple users, controlled by S.J.

          • http://Website YOU POOR JERKS


  • Nushio

    I wouldn’t buy apps anywhere but in the Android Market.

    The solution is actually simple, if they really wanted to sell, they’d move there, and figure out whatever kinks need ironing. Other high profile games like Dungeon Defenders and Spectral Souls managed to play fine on multiple devices.

  • Cory Trese

    Go Google, go AT&T.

    I COMPLETELY agree with them.

    Android is about choice and one of the choices is not having a choice.

    AT&T has the same deal with iPhone. Don’t like it — rock on over to Verizon and download all you want.

    • http://Website jmasters

      Exactly, that is precisely why I am on Verizon.. At&t is trying to be like apple.. limit users choices..

      Imagine if windows went to where you could only install apps/programs from Microsoft Market.

      Computers would not be as far as they are..

    • Richard Ahlquist

      YEAH AT&T protected everyone from those malware apps last week didn’t they! Oh, wait, no, the policy was worthless. AT&T users who were not rooted still got infected (and rooted LOL) and suffered right along with everyone else.

      The policy isn’t about protection its about control. AT&T wants it.

  • http://@ganilb Anil Gorthy

    We all know how tough it is to get your own way w/ Carriers and I don’t think either AT&T or Google are going to make any exceptions. I’d interested to know why Gameloft can’t have one version for various devices. Yes, I understand their games must have been optimized (/customized) for those processors but I think they should build the games for the basic processor may not give the best experience but at least it works!

  • http://Website Omeer

    WOW I’m not even on AT&T and they grind my gears like no other with all these restrictions and such. How do actual customers cope with their BS? And perhaps the biggest enigma of all, how do they keep getting customers?

    • WickedToby741

      I agree completely! With all the great offers on Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, I don’t know why anyone would pick AT&T with all of their ridiculous policies. Plans that aren’t unlimited, capped 4G speeds, and no outside of Market app installations without a work-around. Yeah, the Atrix is a great phone, but still, I can’t find any reason to justify switching to AT&T, especially with the Bionic coming to Verizon which is very close in specs to the Atrix.

  • http://Website sivarter

    Hers an idea….put ur games on the MARKET. Im on tmo so i dont care, but why try and change someone else, when your the ones that need to change.

  • http://Website Mark

    Here’s an insanely wild idea. Put your games on the market. >_>

  • http://Website npaladin2000

    Other apps upload specific packages for specific devices. Qik comes to mind. No reason Gameloft couldn’t do something similar if they wanted to.

  • http://Website ari-free

    Gameloft should bring their games to the Amazon appstore because Amazon will have bigger sway over AT&T.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      The Amazon app store would also be blocked on AT&T devices since it will be a non-Market app.

      • http://Website ari-free

        yes, but Gameloft would have more ammunition against AT&T’s policies if they signed up with a market that was more secure than google’s. AT&T will also have to deal with all those Angry Birds fans.

  • http://Website monkeydroid

    Is Gameloft seriously asking this question? Stupid. Put your games in the damn market or release a gameloft market app in the android market if that’s possible. Gameloft, you are dumb. Really really dumb. Fo’ real.

  • http://Website ScuroRaven

    1. They need to put their games on the market.
    2. It is NOT AT&T, it is Motorola. ALL none Motorola AT&T android phone allow sideloading.

    • WickedToby741

      No, it IS AT&T. The Inspire, Captivate, X10, and Aria all have this feature disabled as well as Motorola phones on AT&T. Motorola phones on other carriers ALLOW this feature.

  • Scotter

    Those of you saying, “They need to put their games on the market,” maybe didn’t read the full article which explains why they can’t do that?

    Optimization for certain processors is a big deal. These guys are programmers. They are not stupid. Those of you offering [retarded] solutions like, “Just develop the game for the lowest common denominator processor,” are, I’m guessing, not programmers and/or maybe you are sporting a G1 phone.

    One of the reasons many of us chose Android is because we don’t want some big company making all the decisions [for our own good] for us. If you want [illusionary] safety over freedom, go get an iPhone.

    • http://Website nt

      So why not simply release the multiple GPU versions of their games as seperate products on the market?

  • http://Website alex

    i am on At&t and i get the hd games through gameloft… you just have to sideload them…. would be nice if they were on the market though cause i like to be lazy, but its not that big a deal…

  • http://Website Derek

    I agree with the AT&T policy and not b/c I work for them but b/c the average consumer is dumb. There is not a day that goes by I don’t help someone do something stupid like explain how to remove the battery or turn on the phone. I have some customers ask how to root their phone so they can change the wallpaper, these are the people this policy protects b/c who knows what they would download if it said something like “install for free toast”. If you know Android then you know how to bypass these things. Keep in mind it may be a pain to people like us but to the other 90% its the only thing keeping them from destroying their phones or coming in to ask me more dumb questions. I half serious.

    • WickedToby741

      The feature is disabled by default on all Android phones and when you select to allow non-Market apps you get a warning. I know people can be dumb, but this is a feature of Android and the user gets sufficient warnings. If a user is able to navigate through the menus and flip the switch and accept the warning that comes with it, its their own fault if they install malicious apps. I don’t want to be placed on a leash because a certain percentage of the population can’t read the warning and comprehend the fact that they should be careful about installing apps from outside the Market.

  • mac08wrx

    Easy answer…..hell to the no…..if you want me or anybody to enjoy how great a game or app you have made then why the f would you make it difficult for them to get it. So far i have fond every app i could ever want both in app store and not in app store. But thats me. What about the average user who is new to Android you just left a bad taste in there mouth with your bs. ATT & GAMELOFT get off yoir high horse.

  • http://Website ben

    I thought they were putting them on tegrazone?

    • http://Website Moo

      Tegrazone is not an app market its more like a search community of tegra approved apps/games. But the apps/games link to the app market when you try to download. Hence even if it’s on tegrazone it won’t link to the app store because their games won’t be there.

      So apparently it must link to their own online store.

  • http://Website Darkseider

    Here’s a novel idea. Put your games on the Android Market like everyone else.

  • http://Website Quentin Dewolf

    these mysterious evil apps that they keeping users from do not exist. only a knowledgable user is going to install out of market apps. let us do what we want which is why we got an android phone. if one wants a big brother like control on their life then buy an iphone.

  • WickedToby741

    While I don’t agree with Gameloft not offering their games through the Android Market, its their choice and Android allows them to make that choice without penalty. AT&T is blocking a crucial feature of Android by not allowing the installation of non-Market apps. The feature is disabled by default on Android phones anyways, so anyone knowledgeable enough to turn it on should be knowledgeable enough to know that installing apps outside the Market could be dangerous. Sure, there are ways around it, but that doesn’t change the fact that AT&T is disabling a key feature of Android.

  • Ryan F

    Two Words.

    Android. Market.

  • http://Website Eric Rossman

    Tell Gameloft to raise the price for the the google market, but just put the games in the market!! It is easy for other developers to put games on the Google market with restrictions as to the version of Andoid OS and device class.

    Asphalt6 in Gameloft store = $4.99
    Asphalt6 in Google Market = $5.75 ($4.99+15%)
    –something like that

    If Gameloft wants money, having the disrtubution of the Google Market will make their profits skyrocket.

    There is a huge number of people who still flock to iOS devices just because Apple smartly pushed devlopers to create good games for their store, this is where the Google Market falls horribly short. Developer should be making games cross platform compatible, disregard who’s OS you are on, make apps that let everyone play together iOS, RIM, Android, WP7.

    As a life long gamer I really want decent gaming on Android. Android OS should be besting or or at least matching iOS in gaming, but no we get developers like Gameloft who do not want to play nice, and choose to hold out for every cent of profit.

    Also, I hate giving out my credit-card info to yet another site as well.

    -sorry for the rant -taking slow deep breaths ………

  • http://Website Eric Rossman

    I do not believe AT&T will ever change their policy. I do want only one market to buy apps from. Lets just fix Gameloft.

  • http://Website Robert

    I think that trusted game and app certificates for sites should be updated regularly to a database that would prompt you to give the ok to download after it checks. Also gameloft should still put these on the Android Market and in the description, put which devices the games support. This would make the most sense. The gameloft hd games look to be some of the best for smartphones.

  • http://Website Ripthejacker

    I have a BB Torch. I’ve enjoyed it since August of last year as it does everything I want for work and home. That’s not to say i haven’t experienced quite abit of android envy since then. I decided I’m finally leaving blackberry to jump ship to android. The torch2 is dropping in June with a 1.2 ghz processor…really RIM? The industry standard this year is dual cores and your just now dropping a single core 1ghz cpu on your top of the line models? So I look around and I find the Atrix which looks amazing only to find out my stupid carrier is now limiting that device also. So i guess I’m not only leaving BB but also AT&T. I just hate being limited when others aren’t, whether I’m going to use that specific feature or not. The Evo3d looks pretty nice.

  • http://Website Jacob Infuse!

    In my oppinion gameloft can just not sell the games and make no money or put it on the market and make some money off there apps. i would pay for the applications i mean there only like $4.99. so i say gameloft should just put them up on the market cuz im sick of waiting for there bad ass games!!!!

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  • Geo

    I like the restriction because it keeps me from making the mistake of downloading inferior gameloft titles.