We all know that Gameloft is the Nintendo of the mobile platform. Headquartered in Paris, France, Gameloft is the juggernaut of the mobile gaming industry, along with EA. So let's take a quick look on their games before - and their games now. I will only be covering the Gameloft games that I have played - and of course, Modern Combat.
Gameloft produced exceptional quality games. You only need to look at 2009 and 2010, where four juggernauts dominated mobile gaming: Asphalt 5, Modern Combat: Sandstorm, and the first N.O.V.A game. And what were these games like? They were console-quality. Asphalt 5 and 6 had a chaotic racing experience dangerously close to beating the likes of Need For Speed, or Gran Turismo. We move on to Modern Combat: Sandstorm. The Call of Duty-inspired first-person shooter was THE best first person shooter at the time, and still remains one of my favourite games on mobile platform, despite me giving Sandstorm a mediocre review at first because I was spoiled of console. And lastly - the first N.O.V.A game - my favourite out of all the games I mentioned just now. Brining Halo to mobile and properly innovative with vehicles and futuristic weapons, N.O.V.A was IMO the go-to shooter for mobile at the time.
The juggernaut soldiered on with great titles for the mobile like Gangster Vegas: Miami Vindication, which was the closest thing to Grand Theft Auto on mobile. We had Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus, my favourite Modern Combat of the lot. Providing the fastest paced gameplay of any Modern Combat and some of the best graphics on mobile at the time (and has aged quite well), Black Pegasus lived up to the reputation set by Gameloft in earlier years. We had N.O.V.A. 2: The Hero Rises Again, which is my favourite N.O.V.A to date and raised the bar set by its predecessor. Asphalt returned with a bang with Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, the fastest-paced racing game at the time and had great graphics, with addicting, fast-paced gameplay that remains a popular choice by today.
At this point, every mobile gamer knew about Gameloft, and their expectations for their games were very high. And while the Asphalt series took a nose-dive for this year, other fantastic-quality games glossed over the disappointment. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation - the closest game to replicate Call of Duty in the series's history. With fast-paced gameplay, a set of 21 beautiful, high-performing weapons, with military support and skills, basically perks, Fallen Nation was the killer Gameloft app for that year in my opinion. The first Six-Guns game came out, and has a huge cult-following to this day, despite being classified as old as a dinosaur for today. Two more fantastic games - in the form of Order and Chaos: Online and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard - also hit the mobile platform to impress mobile gamers all around the world, regardless if they weren't a fan of the genre.
While the quantity of Gameloft games plummeted in 2012, the games released were 95% high quality. We had Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour = the most content-packed and beautiful game of that year, and the most content-packed and beautiful Modern Combat. Gameloft's Asphalt series came back with a bang with Asphalt 7: Heat, my favourite racing game on the mobile platform. Extremely fast-paced, intense, and gorgeous. N.O.V.A. 3 hit mobile store shelves and became one of the most popular mobile games of that year, with great graphics, a decent storyline, and a solid multiplayer offering.
Asphalt returned with Asphalt 8: Airborne, the most popular racing game on mobile. Great graphics, awesome stunts, realistic damage effects, and fast-paced action, Gameloft delivered hard with Asphalt.
Gangstar Vegas returned, with a great experience from start to finish.
However, earlier in Paris:
Gameloft boss: We are extremely good at making great games. Everyone knows that our games are superbe.
Gameloft official: Yeah, yeah, our games are superbe. So what are you trying to demonstrate?
Gameloft boss: Well, for 2014, we shall make 90% of our games terrible and filled with in-app purchases. So we get great amounts of de l' argent from new players that heard that our previous games were superbe. So we get massive profits from terrible games.
Gameloft official: (Strokes his beard). Hmm, we shall strike the world with our so-called good games! I understand! We tell all our divisions, all across the monde, that they have to make terrible games with in-app purchases.
Gameloft boss: We can do that! Santé!
And so it followed. The juggernaut of the mobile gaming industry started making hateful games like the endless Despicable Me Runner, more IAPs in their games, added overpowered stuff to games only achievable with in-app purchases. The original devs of Modern Combat, Gameloft Montreal, were sacked because of that meeting and Glu Mobile 2 took over for Modern Combat 5: Blackout. Not as fast-paced, poorer graphics, lame weapon designs, a lack of variety plagued this game even when it came out. And now you have to spend USD$25 for the most overpowered weapons. Six-Guns were spoiled by this, Asphalt 8 started becoming lamer with IAPs, and they took off their old projects like Modern Combat Sandstorm because they didn't want to show the new fans of mobile gaming the superior quality of their games in past-years. Worthless games that no one cares about like some random game where you have to search clues to catch suspects, to overpowered items in their games in updates. Poor customer service, random occurrences where people would lose all their progress on their Gameloft games, and an overall lack of innovation, Gameloft truly became greedy.
That concludes the sad evolution of Gameloft. They really need to become the Gameloft that we knew 3-4 years ago. Please, make it happen.