Now that it is commonplace for Android devices to have fast processor on fast systems-on-a-chip with great graphics processing, we should be seeing great 3D games for Android, right? If you look in the Market, such games are few and far between. So where are they hiding?
Recently, Gameloft, maker of many successful games for the iOS, claimed that they were going to port their 10 best iPhone games to Android. Only one of these is actually in the Android Market, Asphalt HD. They are all hiding in Gameloft's online store.
There are a bunch of problems with this. To begin with, it is really difficult to reinstall your apps. Ones that you paid for. Also, there is not system in place for updating them. If you wipe your phone (a common occurrence when running hacked ROMs), a message will pop up that claims that it is not an original version of the software, and that you should buy it at Gameloft. Anti-piracy measures are important, but when they prevent you from installing something that you paid good money for, they are ridiculous.
So their store has a few kinks that need to be worked out. But why would they keep their games off of the Android Market? When directly asked, a Gameloft representative responded, "The Android platform is still rather new, (so) we are trying out different methods of distribution to see what works best." I call BS.
With the Android Market, I make a purchase and it is tied to my Google account. If I wipe my phone, I can reinstall with no real issues.
Further, Android phones from AT&T have so far been unable to sideload- that is install apps from outside the market. That means that anyone who bought their phone through AT&T will be unable to play (buy) Gameloft's games. Certainly they don't want to exclude an entire carrier?
It just doesn't make sense. There are now some great Android phones that want to play 3D games, and they are using the Android Market as their primary, if not only, source of apps. Gameloft could really make some money by putting their games in the Market.
There may be a very good explanation for this, it could just be bad marketing, or maybe there is something sinister going on behind the scenes.
What needs to happen now is a direct intervention from the great Google. Google has a great history of reaching out to developers, especially when something is needed or missing in the Market.
I know you want your 3D games, and Gameloft may be the place for them. I'm just asking that you do your part to try and improve the experience. You could actively choose not to purchase from Gameloft, or better yet, send a message to their customer support when you do go there and buy their product. They are much more likely to listen to you if you are already a buyer.
In other news, they just posted Let's Golf HD on their online store for Nexus One and EVO 4G.