Gameloft Has Been Publishing Mobile Games for Years — What Are They up to Now?

Gameloft has taken considerable new directions in publishing games following the success of 'Disney Dreamlight Valley.'

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Apr. 9 2024, Published 12:07 p.m. ET

Gameloft logo on smartphone
Source: Getty Images

The business of developing and publishing games is often cutthroat, and unrelenting, with many stories ending in doom and gloom for certain studios. Many big names in gaming have suffered significant blows to their reputations throughout the 2020s including CD Projekt Red with their bug-ridden launch of Cyberpunk 2077 and Rocksteady Games' highly controversial release of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

However, even striking gold in gaming may lead to some tragic ends.

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Gameloft seems to be the perfect example of one such success-into-controversy story. The long-running French publishing company has been active since December 1999, mainly developing shovelware titles across all sorts of mobile platforms. However, their recent and unexpected success in console gaming has led them to pursue greener pastures, albeit at the cost of several branches. What's happened to Gameloft as of now? Let's take a brief look at their history.

Vivendi buys out Gameloft in 2016
Source: Getty Images

Vivendi bought out Gameloft in 2016

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What happened to Gameloft? The publisher is making a transition in gaming, but it comes at a cost.

Gameloft was founded in 1999 by Ubisoft co-founder Michel Guillermot. Throughout its early years, the publisher released dozens upon dozens of mobile games for various devices, dating all the way back to mobile phones with keypads. Their works include several promotional tie-in games for films like Despicable Me and Cars, mobile versions of established gaming IPs like Assassin's Creed, and Nintendo DS fodder. Throughout this time, Gameloft received some steady success in the mobile games space.

However, the publisher was often subject to criticism for its previous "quantity over quality" approach to publishing games. As more established and reputable studios began entering the mobile market, Gameloft was made to contend with lawsuits over their approach to in-game purchases. This would eventually lead to a hostile financial takeover from media conglomerate Vivendi, which was finalized in 2016. In the years following the buyout, several offices were shuttered with hundreds of employees being laid off.

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In fact, Gameloft's recent success in publishing has only worsened this trend. In 2023, Gameloft released Disney Dreamlight Valley, a life simulation game that stars several popular Disney characters and is currently available on all major gaming platforms, including consoles and PC. Following the game's positive reception and sales success, Gameloft revealed that they would be shifting away from mobile game development and focusing more on console gaming.

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Unfortunately, this shift in focus resulted in the shutdown of Gameloft's Budapest office, which had been active since 2012 according to a report by Hungarian news outlet HVG (translated by Game Developer). This would be followed by two more closures in February 2024 in Toronto and Ukraine, totaling over 12 studio shutdowns in 11 years between 2013 and 2024.

As of this writing, the company still exists as a subsidiary of Vivendi. The studio is currently set to release a new battle royale platforming game called Divine Rush, which released a pre-alpha public playtest between April 4 and April 8, 2024. Meanwhile, Disney Dreamlight continues to receive regular content updates.

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