Gameloft Keeps Getting it Wrong

Gameloft just doesn’t get it.  They’ve tried twice this month to launch their games for Android and appear to be working backwards.  This time around we’ve learned that the DRM and app protection is unlike anything we’ve seen on the platform.

Short version: Any games you purchase from them are good for only one install on one device.  That’s it.

Long version: Dave Loft emailed us today to let us know about his ongoing battle with the game maker.  After running low on space with his Android phone, he uninstalled it to make room.  Later, when trying to reload it, he ran into a bit of trouble.  He reached out to Gameloft and received the following response:

“…according to our refund policy, once the game is successfully installed, we cannot resend it for any reason, unless you buy it again. One purchase entitles you to one download of the game to one phone number and on one phone model only. If you delete or otherwise remove the game from your phone, or change your handset, you will have to buy it again.  About updates, I’m sorry, I have no information.”

Our recommendation to you guys is to stay away from Gameloft until this policy changes.

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About author

Scott Webster
Scott Webster 6775 posts

Scott has been running AndroidGuys since 2007 and loves nothing more than reading up on the latest smartphone rumors. His other mobile efforts can be found on Android Update (CNET) where he covers Google's mobile platform.

  • Andrew Champ

    That goes against Google's Marketplace policies, and is something no one will put up with. They need to go about it differently.

    • jorenko

      Exactly what I came here to post. Here is Google's standard Distribution agreement.

      Look at point 3.6. I suppose it's possible that Gameloft negotiated an alternative, but I don't think it's likely.

  • dan

    Wow, screw buying their games then

  • Ed Caggiani

    Dang, wish I had known before buying Dungeon Hunter (which is amazing, btw). They make great games, but these policies are draconian and goes against the openness that it Android. Here's to hoping that the 2.2 update to my Evo won't require a wipe!

  • androidfan

    Are they selling their games on the market place as well? I can't find them.

    If they are only selling their games from their website with this policy then I think that's a pretty bad move.

    If they sell their games on android market , then I will just buy them from there since all android market apps have the 24 hour refund policy and the ability to restore previously downloaded apps.

    • Matt

      they have games everywhere, 1 vs 100, assassin's creed, uno, the settlers, derek jeter pro baseball, etc….

      • Matt

        although i just tried reinstalling a couple of the games I have from the marketplace, and I can play them still, What is the process that causes this? Does it have to be a specific version of Android and higher, or something else?

      • androidfan

        Weird, I don't see any of those games on the market place. Running 2.1 in America.

  • Rich

    That's terrible. Explains why their games have to be bought from their site, rather than Android market though. Goes against the whole idea of Android.

  • daveloft

    Here is my original post on this information.

  • James

    Their games are shit as well..
    Let's hope they wise up..

  • Davest010

    So then anyone who roots their phone and regularly installs modded ROMs is completely SOL. Smooth move, Gameloft – totally exclude the most active, dedicated portion of the market for Android.

    • Tyler

      Actually anyone who regularly installs modded ROM's will likely be using titanium backup (or similar) to simply restore the apps after the flash. Seems like this is the workaround in this case, after installing, be sure to make a backup with titanium so you can re-install it whenever you want.

  • daveloft

    I’ve been tipped off to a method on how to reinstall the game. Just install with the phone in airplane mode. Do this where you have WiFi, but make sure you have WiFi disabled at first. If the game needs any files allow the game to enable WiFi and it’ll download what it needs to finish the install. Once its done your good to go. Enjoy!

  • reddragon72

    Tyler and Daveloft. What happens is the game checks to see if it's code, which i unique for each game bought, is checked, and if the server sees that the game has been installed once then the install will fail regardless of the phone or account. Daveloft, I have tried this and it does indeed work. I bought the games and then when I uninstalled a few and tried to reinstall them I received the error of "not a genuine copy". After reading online I tried the airplane mode with WIFI off and it worked. I do not condone this as it does go against there EULA but there current policy is like buying a DVD and only being allowed to watch it once. I'm sure a legal matter will be brought up against them on this soon.

  • @ursimon

    yes, it sucks; dont' buy it

  • Snoops27

    Gameloft ?? Sounds like something you play with in the attic. They will soon find themselves "insulated" from any income as far as Android users are concerned if they don't wise-up !!

  • googie

    hi i but alot of games from gamelot

  • volley_ball_is_cool

    yeah, gameloft is cool but those policies are not good.

  • spary

    Too bad the games were screwed up. At least they allow you to re-download purchased games now:

  • khay

    great post!! thank you for info :p

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  • Mygraine

    updated my droid x2 to gingerbread and now i cannot play the gameloft games i purchased! same device, i didnt delete them only installed the update. they need to just go all games on the android market and step up like big kids.

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