Gameloft, the prolific iPhone development studio, has ported 10 of their more successful games to the Android platform. These games (including Assassin’s Creed, Dungeon Hunter, N.O.V.A., and more) saw good critical reception on the iPhone, and it’s always nice to see more development for the burgeoning Android Market.
In a somewhat questionable move, all but one of these games (Asphalt, which has been available for a while now) cannot be found on the Android market. Instead you’re required to purchase them through Gameloft’s own website. Gameloft has said that they’re pursuing alternate delivery methods in order to find an optimal way to get consumers their games, which unfortunately comes with a couple of downsides in this case.
When Gameloft first released the games they were burdened with cumbersome DRM measures, and people were only allowed a single download. Thankfully these restrictions have been removed and consumers can now download their games as many times as they’d like.
Gameloft’s decision to bypass the Android Market also limits their potential consumer base. Everyone who owns an Android powered phone knows to check the Market for applications. By selling their games through their own portal, Gameloft’s games don’t get nearly as much exposure.
The other downside to keeping their games off of the Android Market is that they can’t get automatically updated. Users are notified when Market installed applications have updates available, but those who install applications from other sources will need to check that source to see if there are updates.
Ultimately, making consumers purchases games through a separate portal is inconvenient. We can only hope that Gameloft sees this and eventually make their games available through standard channels.