Established in 1999, Gameloft has to be one of the most renounced and celebrated names in the mobile gaming industry in the last decade or so with games such as Asphalt, N.O.V.A, Real Football, Gangstar Vegas, City Mania: Town Building, Brothers in Arms, Disney Magic Kingdoms under its belt. If you’ve been somewhat familiar with mobile gaming in the past decade you can’t deny the sheer volume and quality of Gameloft’s firm grip on the gaming industry. However, in recent times Gameloft isn’t as influential in the mobile gaming community and nor does it have its old shelf of honour to its name.
The reason for the slow decline of Gameloft or rather losing its well-earned throne isn’t something straightforward. That’s precisely why we’ll discuss the various factors behind Gameloft losing its throne in this how Gameloft is losing its grip on mobile games
The legacy of Gameloft
Gameloft is of the most graceful game developers in the early days of mobile gaming developing innovative and true to its nature games with minimal micro-transactions if at all and a strong ethical ground against having ads in-game. The famously described philosophy was – “ Why encourage our players to leave our games for a competitor?”
Every franchise they touched turned into gold be it N.O.V.A, Alpahalt, Brothers in Arms or Real Football. Gameloft’s ruling over the mobile gaming industry peaked around 2014-15 and they were the mobile gaming company, the untouchables, in the few numbers of developers that actually listened to the player base and made strategic changes accordingly, the undisturbed kings of the mobile gaming during that period of time
A new era treated Gameloft’s tactics differently
Gameloft made a brave and against-the-flow decision to keep ads out of their games. This is a respectable decision but the new era of mobile gaming treated this brave decision differently as Gameloft was denied a lot of profit from ads that other games enjoyed and so their budget definitely increases many times than Gameloft’s.
They kept firmness on their word but the clear indication was this type of business in the mobile games industry wasn’t sustainable anymore. However, having low profits and running on red did not stop Gameloft from keeping their word but that didn’t last very long as GAS (Gameloft Advertising Solutions) was formed to integrate ads into games.
The acquisition that brought a change
Gameloft was running on red and dilution of the rights was the only way. By the end of 2015 and the mid of 2016, Vivendi had acquired 95% of Gameloft which indeed saved the company but brought with it many differences in vision.
Gameloft had to give into the modern trends of gaming to keep the lights on. The sequel to one of the best mobile games of last decade N.O.V.A 3, the much anticipated Nova Legacy turned out to be a bit disappointing for the fans. Lower graphical fidelity and a low focus on the campaign and comparatively a bigger number of microtransactions contributed to the game becoming less attractive and appealing to the old audience.
However, in the next games under Vivendi’s acquisition, Gameloft did maintain the quality that they used to and all things seemed alright til then.
The rapidly changing industry affected Gameloft
Gameloft always made premium games that mostly ended up being not free to play and had a proper focus on the campaign, something we don’t see these days often. However, as the mobile gaming industry moved towards free-to-play games with battle passes and in-game purchases that ranged from cosmetic to gameplay effective, Gameloft’s premium games stopped getting the attention and throne they were used to. The sales started to see a downward spiral which made the mobile giants a bit more uncomfortable and unsure to develop other premium games.
Abandonment of fan favourites
As the sales numbers started to drop Gameloft halted updating its fan-favourite Game’s updates for a long time which was years at a time. In this competitive mobile gaming era, constant updates and the addition of season-specific events are the things that keep gamers engaged and keep the player base intact.
Therefore a huge gap between updates can be something of a bummer for most gamers. One of the best games ever on mobile N.O.V.A 3 isn’t supported on modern devices anymore due to a lack of compatibility updates which makes the state of Gameloft even more concerning and makes Gameloft lose its grip on the mobile gaming industry.
Is there a way of redemption for Gameloft
Things do not seem as bright as it was for Gameloft anymore, however, recently Gameloft has started bringing new updates to games that weren’t updated for a year or longer. The latest release from Gameloft namely Heroes of the Dark seems to be a decent and modern addition to the mobile gaming catalogue of Gameloft and did receive a lot of positive reviews on the Play Store with a solid gameplay loop. The steps Gameloft has been taking recently seem to be in the right direction which makes the old fans of the mobile gaming giants all the more hopeful once again.
Gameloft still shows that they have the quality they had before with a new code of modern pain and a shiny new game Gameloft might be on the track to still compete with other mobile gaming giants.
The sky-high ups and lows of Gameloft are pretty apparent in this discussion of how Gameloft is losing its grip on mobile gaming. However, the loose grips can be restored with more focused and regular updates, redeeming some old IPs that were lost in transition and now aren’t playable on modern devices. The quality that Gameloft maintains in all of its games is something to get inspired from but the refusal to change with time had cost the mobile gaming giants big time and the recovery seems to be on the way.
To wrap this up, we’d like to reiterate that the premium quality and campaign modes as signature features in Gameloft games are still missed to this day and the return of those games definitely for the majority would be a welcome one.
What are your thoughts on Gameloft’s current situation? Let us know in the comment section below!