Those mobile-obsessed fiends over at Moconews have discovered that Gameloft has soft launched Gameloft Connect, a pc-based (no mac support, sigh) online store that gamers can use to download Gameloft titles and sideload them to their phone.
Initial reports show it to be a success. Most games are $1.99 or $3.99 for 3D titles (payable via credit card) and you get one free game for every five you purchase. However, while the service is available in almost all of the 75 countries that Gameloft sells games, the good ole’ US of A is not one of them. Because this is a “soft launch”, you might expect US support to come eventually, but with so many other countries supported already, it seems like Gameloft is afraid to upset relations with US carriers.
Moconews talked to Gameloft president Michel Guillemot, and while he offered no answer as to why Gameloft Connect does not feature US support, he had this to say about carriers:
“This is a positive opportunity for carriers,” said Michael. “Until now, a non-wap configured customer coming to a carrier’s website was not able to download content. Gameloft Connect offers carriers around the world to access an untapped customer base. Carriers can provide their customers with top quality content by linking a customized version of Gameloft Connect on their website. Our aim is to drive the market forward for everyone – carriers, publishers, handset manufacturers and consumers. Some customers prefer to download content over the internet, so we have given carriers the option to extend their offering to this base. We established this to allow gamers to download heavy high definition games that are too big to go through their local networks. For example, when they are in an area that is not covered by 3G.”