Gameloft VP of Americas Answers Android Gamers’ Pressing Questions – Also, What I Think [Opinion]


Over the years, Android users have formed a sort of love/hate relationship when it comes to mobile games publisher Gameloft. At first, frustrations arose from the lack of Gameloft titles made available in the Android Market (Gameloft distributed the majority of their games from their own web-based app store). This was a huge hassle seeing how purchased games couldn’t be reinstalled on new devices, for instance, when upgrading or switching to a different phone.

More recently, they’ve come under fire from users over a lack of supported Android devices from their apps in the Google Play Store. Gameloft has also jumped head first into the “freemium/free-to-play” based gaming model which struck a sour note with many gamers. The problem is, more often than not, a freemium title often requires in-app purchases in order to progress (think of it as having access your own free arcade cabinet, but you still have to put quarters in it to play).

Gameloft VP of Americas Baudouin Corman tackled a few of these hard-hitting questions in a Q&A session. Glad to see he’s at least dealing with his customer’s complaints head on, rather than avoiding them. Here are just a few of the questions Android users have been asking Gameloft, as posted on the company’s blog:

Why doesn’t Gameloft support more Android devices?
For customers, I imagine it’s frustrating if one of our games isn’t available for your device. There are a lot of devices out there with different screen sizes, different firmware, and different specifications. We want our games to work on as many of them as possible, but we also want each player to have an optimal playing experience. We optimize our games for each device and with hundreds of devices on the market and more coming out each day, we sometimes have to choose our battles. But we’re constantly revising our publishing list. Did you notice we recently added the Transformer Prime?

Why has Gameloft moved to a 100% freemium strategy?
We haven’t! When we first started making free-to-play games, I think there was fear among our biggest fans that we were abandoning the core gamer audience. Some people assumed that we would stop making AAA core games all together. We’re very excited to bring games like The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises to market. I think we’ve found a healthy balance. Games like N.O.V.A 3 and Ice Age Village appeal to different audiences, but both audiences deserve the best quality.

Why don’t Gameloft games come to Android at the same time as iOS?
This is something we try to do. It’s a goal in 2012 to have simultaneous launches across iOS and Android. No one is more disappointed than we are when that doesn’t happen. For example, Asphalt 7 was supposed to release on Android at the same time as iOS. Last minute unexpected technical issues have caused a delay. We refuse to release games before they’ve completely gone through proper QA, and I think consumers would rather wait a bit longer than play a game that isn’t fully polished.

Looks like Android fragmentation is something game publishers — as well as Android users — just aren’t used to yet. Different devices feature different chipsets, screen sizes, resolutions and the like. Can’t say I’ve ever complained when an app or game hasn’t been compatible with my device because I understand the situation: developing for Android is tricky business.

When it comes to Gameloft’s freemium model (a trend in gaming I’ve grown to loathe), I think if gamers want less freemium and more paid-premium titles, the best way to make your voices heard is by speaking with your wallet. I’ve often seen grumbles from readers here on the site whenever a new game is released with console quality visuals, but features a higher $7 price tag. The bigger the game, the more man-power went into developing it. Engineers. Sound guys. Those dudes in leotards covered with ping pongs. Ugh, I really hate where I’m about to take this but… Back in my day, I paid $74 at Target for The Legend of Zelda on Super Nintendo. Yeah, that game was only 8MB. $7 will barely get you a #3 combo off the value menu at Mickey Dee’s. You want publishers to start taking the Android platform seriously? Be willing to spend a little more for quality titles.

While I tend to stay away from freemium games, I do believe there is a right way of going about them that many developers haven’t been executing. Yes, pull in more gamers by offering your title free of charge. Keep them playing with compelling and addictive gameplay. But, offer in-game items that can be purchased for a nominal fee that either make the game easier to play (potions, better weapons, level ups), and/or enhance gameplay and unlock bonus content. In-app purchases should never be required to complete a game. That creates nothing but nerd rage which 9 out of 10 doctors agree, is the worst kind.

What do you guys think about Gameloft’s answers to these questions. Do you feel like Android gamers should cut them some slack? How about freemium titles, or iOS users getting games before we do?


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I think the mobile platform is still premature, when mobile platform will be more powerful than 6 year old consoles (which is a year or two away if not less) the mobile platform will be a 3rd platform for real AAA titles along with pc and consoles. mobile platform is a year or two from being directx 11 compatible, almost the same time as next gen consoles (ps4 xbox 720)
    we then might see more $$$ titles.
    or cross platform activations like with steam are possible too ( like pc/ps3 portal 2 game)

    1. Isn’t windows phone 8 going to have DX11?

      1. software wise most likely remember there is two versions arm and x86, but hardware wise ARM processors are 2 years away, unless I’m missing something the only x86 Mobile CPU is by intel and current version is not dx11 either, and its next mobile CPU is coming by end of next year.

  2. If their games work on the transformer prime, why don’t they work on the transformer pad tf300

  3. I agree completely Chris!!!! I am always willing to pay for a good quality game and I loathe the freemium model to the point, that I just won’t even download them! I have frustrations with that as well though. I had purchased a couple of EA games a while ago (one of them madden) When I upgraded my phone to a nexus, all of a sudden these games were not compatible. Sadly, to this day they have not updated these titles and I have wasted 15 bucks between them! this is something developers need to be aware of because I will not buy another EA game at this point!

  4. I don’t understand the hatred against Freemium games. It’s not just a mobile gaming philosophy anymore. A lot of MMORPGs use this process instead of monthly subscriptions.

    Now, I do agree that requiring in-app purchases to complete a game that you have to pay for up-front is a bad tactic and I’ve seen a couple games in the Play Store and in Amazon App store that are paid apps with ads and in-app purchases required to complete the game. Those games should be avoided completely.

    Back on point, freemium policy is not completely bad and Gameloft seems to be better than most in not going least in games like Order and Chaos, which I play most of the time.

    1. It comes down to how it interacts
      with the game play…I downloaded a football game from Gameloft because the
      Madden game was running slow so I was looking for an alternative, Once I
      downloaded the game I noticed the game play was faster and the graphics were
      sharper but after a few plays they gave me an option to purchase more plays
      which I found odd. Why should I buy more plays? I rather pay for secret teams
      than a pass play or a special team play. So that is my reason for not jumping
      on that bandwagon

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