Gameloft Takes a Slightly Different Approach to Distribution with Try and Buy Android HD Games


Gameloft made the bold decision to offer the majority of their high quality, full 3D games for purchase through their website alone, forgoing the Android Market and creating headaches for all involved. While certain games like Asphalt HD can be found in the market, Gameloft seemed set on allowing the greater part of their catalog to be purchased via credit card from their website and then downloaded via a link messaged to your phone. As you might imagine, this didn’t work out too well so Gameloft went back to the drawing board and came up with a new way to get games onto your phone.

You will still need to enter a phone number to receive a link to download a game, but now that download comes before purchase as part of a free trial being offered on their Android HD titles. If you like the game, you can choose to purchase it in-app and have the amount charged to your carrier bill. That should clean up some of the fuss, making sure the game is already on your phone before you even buy it and then streamlining billing. Only time will tell if this new method proves to be more successful than previous attempts.

For all the griping about the Android Market, Gameloft is proving that it still remains the easiest and most viable channel for locating and downloading content easily to your phone. Whatever the reason is for Gameloft’s decision, it so far has left a large part of the user base untapped.

[via Android and Me]

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  1. Why did they choose to put the names of the phones on the bottom instead of the software names?

  2. Thanks Gameloft… for complicating things for potential customers. You certainly won’t be getting my business.

  3. ughhh… I don’t want to pay with my carrier bill, if that is the only option for me then I’m not buying your game.

  4. Assassins creed… Reads messages, sends sms… Why?

  5. Why not offer it both ways? In the Market for those of us with access to paid apps and this model they have now for those who don’t have access.

    For some reason they don’t like the Android Market. I would imagine they would dominate the games section of the market had they decided to distribute their games that way.


  6. I can’t seem to get a text message with a download link? How long did it take anyone else? I would imagine that since the paid game aren’t available in every country, distributing them like this might be better for them. I really think that Google needs to put some serious time into the Market and fix it up.

  7. Ummmmmmmm….. I’m using a Captivate on AT&T, what can you do for me Gameloft? Tell me will your link give me a game or a link to an APK I can’t use? Can I get that on my Desktop so at least the Androidguys program will let me slip it in under the AT&T totalitarian radar?

  8. After I’ve read reports of people not being able to reinstall Gameloft games that they bought after resetting their devices, I am staying well clear of this silly paranoid company.

  9. Isn’t this the same company that once you bought the game if you reset your phone or whatever then you had to buy it again? I can’t remember but I don’t care how good their games are they won’t be getting my money either.

    So hey if you think your stuff is so great that I am going to jump through hopes of fire just to pay and play your game then you need new management.

  10. Just put the damn games in the market and quit trying to be special. If the games are good people will buy them. They will be featured and they will bubble to the top in sites like appbrain. They will be sorry if Google ever buys appbrain. They will have missed the chance to already be dominant on the site.

  11. lol Gameloft. Whatever your reason, Android users hate you. The end.

  12. Personally I applaud Gameloft for this move. Until Google offers a better market I’m surprised more developers aren’t using this model for distribution.

    I have 3 of their games on my Galaxy S and have had no trouble reinstalling after a phone wipe, despite doing it several times. Just back up the original download. I wish they’d offered this a few days ago before I purchased Real Football 2010, though, as I might have thought twice before getting it. It’s ok but I doubt I’ll play it that often.

    I think the biggest thing Google could do to improve the market, apart from making it fully available to everyone, is Gift Cards. Put them in shops and stores and get away from having to use a credit card. Then my sons could buy their own apps and games when ever they wanted.

  13. Carrier Bill? Not interested. Does it even work outside the US?

    Bought a game from Gameloft using their stupid system, spent ages trying to get it to work for the two or three days that followed without any success and Gameloft telling me to just try another game.

    Managed to get the game working on the 4th day, from a less legit version.

    Won’t be buying another until they are on the Market.

    These games might be iPhone ports but they would fly to the top of the Game charts on Market. I don’t know what they are thinking :-/

  14. Well I’ve bought 2 games through Gameoft’s website… It’s a SERIOUS pain in the ass.
    The market itsn’t perfect, but dang they’re really just being silly. Everyone should email them to highlight the point!!

    As someone mentionned, they should offer it both ways, but not shun the market altogether. Maybe they don’t like the 24hour trial period google allows… I mean seriously, what happens if people realize the game sucks!! Yikes, they’d actually be allowed to get a refund without jumping through hoops!! Oh the shame!

  15. Less complicated for people in countries without a paid marketplace, or a place like Korea with a paid marketplace but no games (regulations, ugh).

  16. So basically, if your bill is paid by your place of employment…your fuc***?

  17. I just downloaded the Sandstorm game and it is by far the best cell game i’ve ever played. DLing the demo was easy and trouble free but I have no idea what awaits me when I purchase it and after I reset my phone as people above have stated… sounds like a bad way of operating.

  18. Well this model might be useful for those who do not have access to paid apps. So i ain’t writing off this method of selling apps just yet

  19. This is awesome for me. I am currently living in Taiwan and we don’t have access to the paid market over here so getting quality games can be hard.

    It probably should be in the market too but for the rest of the world (which includes a lot of countries with high levels of android sales), jumping through a few hoops is not a problem.

  20. Whatever! If I want to play games I’ll use a Xbox or PC. I just can’t see wasting battery life (not great on most Android phones anyway)playing games on my phone.

  21. @jon

    Well done. That’s a real good attitude to take to the largest developer on android when the platform is struggling to attract devs in the games department.

  22. To Dan: no problem, enjoy your minesweep and solitaire in the metro while I play a cool 3D game.
    To Mike: you can pay with a credit card… You didn’t figure that out yet? Dang…
    To Mark: Reads messages, sends sms, Why? It’s not to spy on you, little paranoia here. It’s for the pay by premium SMS option.
    To Dr.Jeckyl, Gorge of the Jungle, Matt and others : You can now reinstall forever on the same device, this is freaking old problem back in early July… I’ve tried it, works perfectly now! Get over it, it’s so July…
    To jon: perhaps, they sucks at first but they are still, at least to me, the best by far game dev on Android. They seems to have fix their lame start, so I’m happy I gave them another chance.
    To Dr. Jeckyl: Why not offer on Android Market. The reason is SUPER simple. When you submit a game on Market, it needs to be a simple build, and you can’t take advantage of your handset strenghts. That’s why they make one build specifically tailed to your phone, something that Google Market doesn’t do. That is why games on Market sucks, period. Why do I know? Well, I simply mail them because I also thought it was stupid. Now, I’m impressed…
    To Doug: Some people have a live outside of their basement and therefore have little time to play video game in the metro, bus or train. Go outside, there is a lot of beautiful things waiting for you!

  23. “For some reason they don’t like the Android Market.”
    Well, maybe for their refunding policy? AFAIK Gameloft is only a Publisher. That means developers are willing to cooperate with Gameloft rather than offering their games in the Android Market. Never heard of a refunding on pc games either, so why should they do it for mobile platforms? Now there’s a demo, so you can try it first. If you wish you should still be able to buy it from their website via your credit card.
    The only thing left is, that you aren’t able to download it again or move them to a new phone (for example if your damaged device gets replaced or you buy a new one).

  24. Buy a PSP if you want mobile gaming.

  25. Bill to your carrier bill? Seriously? No thanks Gameloft. I’ll surely be passing, unless I can purchase via credit card or paypal.

  26. Why do you people keep bitching about not being able to reinstall after a reset? How often do you really reset your damn phone anyway? It’s not like you do that every 5 minutes. Hell, I’ve never done a factory reset. There is no need for it. But if you must for some stupid reason, just backup the download file on an SD card or something. Quit bitching about not being able to reset and install.

  27. Oh jees, who cares if it is billed to your carrier, you pay for it either way. Having demos is certainly better than the previous situation. I have downloaded three demos already and it is really nice to try out the games.

  28. Gameloft makes great games, but their games are designed very poorly with regard to their media firles.

    I downloaded dungeon hunter and found ALL the audio and graphic files in the gallery and media folder and couldn’t remove them other then removing all the media itself which is quite frustrating. I dont understand how a company prices a game $5 yet can’t do the decency of adding a simple “.” before the media folder so it doesn’t show up in my music folder.

  29. I don’t care about all this since gaming on the iP4 and Android sucks. I’ll start caring about Android gaming when they hook up with Sony and create a Droid X sized PSP including a slide out controller wholly designed by Sony. And the hardware specs better be good.


  30. One more thing, the thing better have dual analog controllers instead of only one like on all the PSP’s so far.

  31. And the thing better have shoulder buttons, too.

  32. Actually, you can re-download your games for free from gameloft, from here (For UK):

    (You don’t have to fill in all the fields)

    And they should install and run fine, if you are using the same phone to play them. But, I’m not sure how software updates e.g. 2.1 to 2.2 can affect this.

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