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.