November 27, 2014

Gameloft Policies Still Handcuffing Customers

We have touched on Gameloft’s policies a time or two here on AndroidGuys, mostly because they could use a little bit of help.  Regardless of how awesome their games are, the company could be doing better in many Android fans’ eyes.  Such is the case with an email we just got from one of their customers who points out that things have not changed much.

Our reader, George, has purchased seven games from Gameloft’s website over time, each at around $4.99 or more.  George went and snatched up a brand new LG G2X from T-Mobile yesterday, and wanted to play his games on it.  This is a beast of a device after all.  After reaching out to Gameloft regarding his inability to re0download the games, he was contacted by a representative who had this to offer:

Unfortunately, you can not get the games back on your new phone. According to Gameloft policy if you buy a game, you can re-download it to the same phone with the same phone number within 3 years of your purchase. If the phone model or number was changed by the customer’s own initiative, Gameloft has the right to refuse re-sending the game.

You can not re-download or transfer games which you bought on your old phone (HTC My Touch 4G) to the new phone (LG G2X), because we produce each game-build for one particular phone to ensure the best quality and to prevent piracy. If you want to have games on your new phone, I’m afraid you will have to buy them again.

Sorry for the inconveniences. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Our main reason for pointing this out today is because many Android owners have come up for a renewal or are ready to purchase a new handset.  Gaming enthusiasts tend to have high-end phones or the latest technologies.  We can’t imagine them being too pleased if they have to buy their games over every time they get a new device.

Our recommendation to Gameloft is a simple one:  Offer all of your titles in the Android Market.  There’s no reason we can think of to split your library of games across multiple channels.  In fact, we think you’d have a higher volume of sales if people were able to discover you there as opposed to going to your site to “see what else is available”.  You can still restrict what devices or OS releases can play the game, mention in comments how they are optimized for certain models, or whatever.

There are many out there who are cool with their policies and don’t care if they have to buy a game a second time.  But for those of you who are looking to pick up a new phone, beware that there could be additional charges on the horizon.



  • Anonymous

    Gameloft has a case of “Already got your money, dude!”-itis.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the warning. They already magically can’t find my phone # in their system when I went to re-download a game I got from them. This doesn’t surprise me and Gameloft won’t ever get another dollar from me until they sell in the standard market.

  • http://twitter.com/GrevensEpiphany Ramon Martinez

    Their policies border on the absurd. They claim to do things to prevent piracy, when all they’re doing is encouraging it. I would love to purchase Eternal Legacy and Dungeon Hunter 2, but they won’t sell it to you if you have AT&T (like I did for a while with the Atrix) or a G2x (like I do now). Therefore, if I really want to play the games, my only real option is to pirate. It makes no sense. Besides, a simple Google search will show you how heavily pirated their games are as it is, so the security measures clearly aren’t working. Sad.

    • http://twitter.com/daveloft Dave Loft

      You can purchase from the desktop, choose another carrier and pay by credit card. Once you have the APK its fairly easy to side load them onto your device if you know what your doing.

      • http://twitter.com/GrevensEpiphany Ramon Martinez

        I tried sideloading once on my Nexus One, purchased the original Dungeon Hunter, installed, played it, then wiped my phone to flash a new rom, tried to reinstall, and got the “This is not an original game” error. Never tried again after that, not willing to waste the money on a maybe. Release the game in a format compatible with my phone and I’ll throw money at you for it. Make me have to jump through hoops for it and I’ll just download it. It’s that simple.

        • http://twitter.com/daveloft Dave Loft

          I flashed Roms on my Nexus One and Galaxy S several times with no issue.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rnstewart Russell Stewart

    Looks like I’ll never be buying anything from these guys.

  • Themitchy

    Wouldn’t even consider buying from them given this policy.

  • http://twitter.com/udnaan Adnan

    Guy gives money to a cloning outfit. Cloning outfit wants more money. Guy is surprised. News at 9

  • http://twitter.com/xlonewolfx1 Jason

    That sucks should of backed up the apk on ur sd card.

    • geO-

      It doesn’t matter, I have backed all the .apk you can install them but they won’t run as the copy protection on the apps are tied to the phone model and phone number. Change either one of them and the application simply refuses to run

  • http://www.techno-update.com techno-update

    This just turned me. I will never buy a game from them again.

  • Bob

    I’m shocked that Gameloft can get away with this. Who in their right mind is going to pay for a game every time they change their number or handset. Can you imagine this happening on PC platform or a games console? There would be public outcry. I’m fairly sure than 95% or more Gameloft customers will never buy from Gameloft again once they find out about this. And people will find out eventually whether it is from these forums, a handset upgrade or phone number change. Once Gameloft have lot the vast majority of customers, they will change their tune but by then it will be too late.

    @Gameloft: Do yourself a favour and change your policy now while you still have customers. We all know you’ll change it eventually but it’ll cost you more the longer you wait.

  • Anonymous

    Since their games weren’t available via the Android Market, I never considered buying their games. This kind of policy is exactly how you drive people away from your company, regardless of how good their games might be. It’s a pretty garbage way to treat a customer, no matter if you buy one or ten games from them.

    I’m sure this will be the proverbial nail in the coffin for folks that are on the fence about buying games from Gameloft. The Android Market doesn’t really seem so bad anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, that is absurd. My condolences to that poor customer. I’m glad I just stick to simple games and don’t bother with Gameloft. What a bunch of tools!

  • Cliff

    So the reason they have this policy is to prevent piracy….

    Meanwhile they only reason I pirate their games is because of this policy.

    • http://twitter.com/daveloft Dave Loft

      While to many this is a legitimate reason not to buy, there is never a good reason to pirate you cheap a$$hole.

    • rez

      Sounds resonable. You can’t give a company money before they actually support your *basic* rights… Unfortanully, it’s the only way they’ll listen, as this policies doesn’t really prevent piracy, but just affect paying costumers… doesn’t matter what a few vocal zealots/trolls say, we cannot tolerate tis kind of disrespect with costumers.
      (This matter is even worse, as market downloaded apps may be affected by this drm on first run of an app, locking it to the especific device… this according to gameloft itself. There’s no reason to buy anything from greed folks like that…)

  • http://twitter.com/daveloft Dave Loft

    I have moved from a Nexus One to a Galaxy S to a new Galaxy S after the first one died and had all of my Gameloft games replaced. It is their policy, but has never been an issue for me.

    To George I would suggest calling them at 1-800-910-3186 or I can get you in touch with my contact at Gameloft who will take care of it for you.

    Also bear in mind many of their games are not yet listed as compatible with the LG Optimus 2X yet.

    • geO-

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your suggestion. I called the toll-free number you listed and contacted Gamelofts support line. At first the customer service representative simply repeated the company line about not allowing users who change their device and or phone number to re-download applications that they paid for.

      But I railed and insisted the he provide the software I paid for. I was courteous but insistent and after a lot of back and forth he finally relented. Good for me but unfortunately doesn’t change the horrible Gameloft policy. Customer shouldn’t have to plead for software they have paid for.

      I continue to urge everyone to contact support@gameloft and encourage them to change this ridiculous policy that turns Gameloft fans and supporters into detractors.

      I’m afraid I won’t make any additional Gameloft purchases from their site until they do.

      Regards,

      geO-

  • http://www.facebook.com/patty.pennow.healton Patricia Pennow Healton

    Was going to pirate some games just to tweak them but looked at the list of available and meh nothing I can’t live without. Sorry Gameloft, you just don’t have anything worth stealing let alone buying. Get a clue, buy a clue, borrow one from a friend but get on the Android market ok?

  • geO-

    Thank You Scott and Android Guys for helping spread the word on this issue

    According to Gameloft policy, “If you buy a game, you can re-download it to the same phone with the same phone number within 3 years of your purchase. If the phone model or number was changed by the customer’s own initiative, Gameloft has the right to refuse re-sending the game.”

    Let me start by saying that until very recently, I’ve been a huge Gameloft fan. Gameloft makes great games. I have purchased a large number of their titles across various software platforms.

    I understand why I have to repurchase a game when I want to play it on another platform. There are separate development cost involved for each title so I can justify the charge — although I’ve always wished developers would give a discount for users who purchase the same title across various platforms, but that is another issue.

    I recently contacted Gameloft’s support department regarding re-installing Android games purchased from their Website, on my new Android phone. The staff are refusing to allow me to re-install the games I had purchased, despite me sending them copies of my Paypal receipts for the purchases.

    Luckily, my purchases from the Android Market and from Apple App Store are protected. In those cases, the software was transferred to my new device once I logged into my account. Unfortunately, the majority of Gameloft’s Android catalog is not available on the Android Market and must be purchased directly from Gameloft.

    Until they change their policy, I’m recommending that Android users only purchase titles they can purchase directly from the Android Market or risk losing their investment in software purchases when upgrading their devices or even changing phone numbers.

    I also urge everyone to contact Gameloft directly [email protected] — urging them to change their policy.

  • Josh

    Gameloft sucks anyway and their games are blatent ripoffs. They are also employing badly paid chinese and vietnamese labor to develop them. Do not buy by Gameloft !

  • IceBeam

    Wow, so Gameloft are sick twisted greedy assholes who don’t care about their customers, eh? Good to know. Never buying from them.
    Btw, isn’t it against the rules of the Android market?

  • Daniel

    Yeah this is just going to make me pirate the game. I am used to iOS devices, I recently swapped from my iPhone and iPad to an Asus Transformer Pad and a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play handset. I flashed my phones ROM, and changed my service provider from Orange to T-Mobile. Now even though I bought my games for the Xperia Play in the first place it’s telling me I have no downloads. So this policy isn’t limited to new handsets. Even if you change SP and reflash your phone for whatever reason you still lose your games.