Gameloft releases 10 new Android games and gets it all wrong
As of yet to my dismay gaming hasn’t really taken off on Android. With the segmentation created by the variety of hardware and the popularity of the iPhone, it’s always been a second consideration for most developers. But with recent news such as Android outselling the iPhone last quarter within the U.S. and the release of such great phones lately. I figure it was only a matter of time before developers started to take notice and would start putting the effort into releasing quality titles that take advantage of the latest and greatest Android handsets.
So I was happy to hear today that Gameloft has announced that they have made available 10 high end 3D games for Android phones. Unfortunately my happiness soon faded as I took a closer look. Not at what they were offering, because the games selection looked great. My issue was with how they were offering these games and ultimately how well they worked.
My first issue came when I read that they would not be made available on Android’s marketplace, you had to buy it directly from them. It seemed like a step backwards but I went ahead and clicked on the link. It wasn’t long ago I was running Windows Mobile and this sort of thing was pretty normal. When I got to their site I was greeted with a nice looking interface. All 10 of their games were presented at the bottom with a large banner over top focusing on one game at a time. Video footage was played within an image of the Google Nexus One. It all looked good and I thought maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
So I clicked on the BUY link for the game I was interested in and proceded to the next page. At this point I had to select my country, province and the carrier and then it gave me the payment options. I chose to use credit as opposed to going through the carrier. After that it wanted me to select my phone from the list generated by what Bell has to offer that. My unlocked Nexus One I ordered online was nowhere to be found. This is the kind of business model everyone used before the iPhone came out and it never worked. They need to get their games on the Android marketplace if they want any chance of succeeding.
I thought they couldn’t have failed any more than they did, but I was wrong. I’m now reading that most of the games run poorly and many of them just don’t work at all. I guess this why they didn’t go with the marketplace as it has an easy 24 hour refund policy. Unfortunately gaming on Android has taken a step backwards today. I really would suggest completely avoiding Gameloft in till they release something of quality.
I did hear that EA will be releasing Need for Speed Shift on June 4th to coincide with the release of the HTC Evo 4G. Most likely it should work with any Android phone with similar specs like the Google Nexus One and any other Snapdragon based handset. Hopefully for every other Android gamer it works with lower end hardware as well. A couple things have me worried about this game. It could be made available only to the Evo 4G and even if it hits the marketplace it may only be available in the US. Currently no EA games are available to me in Canada. I’m going to stop here as I will cover more of my complaints of digital distribution in another letter to come. Thanks for reading.
Check out my “Favorite Android Games” for a list of games that don’t suck and are all readily available in Canada on Android’s Marketplace.