Gameloft is one of few companies that qualifies as a top-tier game publisher in the Android realm, and it looks like they’ve got big plans for all of their upcoming games. Plans of a very specific nature: PocketGamer reports that Gameloft will be placing in-app purchases in every game it releases for the remainder of the year, on every platform, for both smartphones and tablets. The company made the announcement during its financial report, adding that all its upcoming games will also have social elements.
In-app purchases are basically the downloadable content (DLC) of the mobile world, and they’re a polarizing subject to be sure. Essentially operating on a “freemium” model, most games with in-app purchases are free, but require small payments to add new levels or get otherwise unobtainable items. Many games allow you to advance at an accelerated pace with purchases, such as exchanging small amounts of real money for in-game currency. Some of the most popular games on Android, iOS and Facebook operate in this manner and are extremely profitable. A good example from Gameloft’s stable is The Oregon Trail: Settler, now #36 in the list of the most popular free games on the Google Play Store.
Social additions are a mixed bag as well. Many games will connect to users’ Twitter or Facebook account to send out automatic updates on the players; progress and achievements are delivered to friends and followers (often with maddening frequency). Search Twitter for “achievement” and you’ll find millions of nearly identical auto-tweets from whatever games are trending at the moment.
For better or worse, Gameloft seems to be adopting the driving strategy of one of its biggest rivals, Zynga. Plenty of players and pundits don’t appreciate this move towards microtransactions, but there’s no arguing with the money it’s bringing in. Just a few of Gameloft’s upcoming titles are The Dark Knight Rises, Ice Age, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop and Men in Black III.