Statement from development team regarding Huawei device support

Arci

Community Manager
Grepolis Team
Hello players,

As some of you may be aware, there have been recent pieces of legislation created by the Chinese and United States governments, which limited Chinese manufacturer's access to Google Play services on devices the US government had security concerns over. If you're not aware, you can find press releases on the topic here (or of course, you can look up your own sources if you prefer). So why are we talking to you about this topic today? Well, in short, it is starting to impact some of our players.

Players who have recently purchased Huawei devices, or some Honor brand devices, may have found that their Grepolis app does not work on these devices. Furthermore, these devices do not ship with Google Play Store, or its services, which apps use to run various background features such as push notifications. These services are required for our app to run, which is why these devices are having trouble.

Additionally, people who have Huawei devices which are older, and do have Google Play Store pre-installed, will at some point likely also start to see that they can't install or run apps, in the instance that Google updates their services, but doesn't continue to support these devices. Additionally, there may be cases where players have older versions of the Grepolis app installed which work on these devices, but at some point, we will need to 'force' everyone to update to the latest version of our app, which in turn may mean some players who the game previously worked for will no longer have a working app, and installing an older version wont be a fix for these players, as our game won't allow them to login anymore.

So, what does this mean for us, and you the player? We have a couple of options open to us currently:
  1. Create a version of the app compatible with Huawei's AppGallery (their version of Google Play Store).
  2. Remove support for the foreseeable future for these devices.
Option 1 may seem like the best and most logical step, however, doing this would not be an insignificant amount of development investment, and would result in only half a solution. This is because the app would work fine, except, that push notifications would not be supported at all for these players on this version of the app. The reason for this is because the technology our push notifications relies on is based on Google Play's Services, which these devices lack.

Option 2 may seem like a bad option, especially if you are a player in this situation, but to be frank is likely the best solution for all. Why? Because to develop the app for Huawei devices, we would need to stop working on other mobile projects we are currently implementing, and invest our energy into creating what is essentially a broken version of our app, which is missing one of the main features use the app for, the attack alarm and other push notifications.

There is a third option we are still investigating, which involves implementing a push system which isn't reliant on Google Play Services, but this is a more significant piece of work which won't be complete in the short term, so doesn't really address the underlying issue.

So, with all this in mind, we have come to the decision to officially stop supporting Huawei devices. The good news for players with Honor devices is that Huawei sold this company, and they will no longer be subject to the same restrictions related to Google Play Services at some point in the future. So, even if your Honor phone doesn't currently support Google Play Services, it will likely at some point.

We apologize to those who are impacted by this decision. Ultimately, a significant proportion of this is out of our hands, as it relates to governmental decisions. If you need support, you can of course contact the support team in the usual way, but please be aware that there is limitations on how much they can assist you with this issue. Please refer to the FAQs below to answer some common questions.

Kind regards,

Your Grepolis Development Team
 

Arci

Community Manager
Grepolis Team
Q: I have a device not manufactured by a Chinese company (for example, Samsung). Do I need to do anything?

A: No. Only devices manufactured by Huawei and Honor are impacted.

Q: I have a device which is not manufactured by Huawei or Honor, but is a Chinese branded phone. Do I need to do anything?

A: No. Currently, the only companies impacted are Huawei, and for now, Honor. However, Huawei sold Honor, and in the near future, Honor devices should be supported again by Google.

Q: Will you ever support Huawei devices again?

A: It is possible, yes. At some point, possibly, but not without Google offering support again for Huawei devices. As mentioned in the above article, we may be able to overcome our reliance on Google Play's Services for push notifications, which in turn will make it worth investing the development time into creating an app for the AppGallery.

Q: I currently have a Huawei device and the app works fine! Why won't you support me?

A: The main issue here is that your device currently works, but won't at some point. This could be either due to us updating the minimum version of the app on Google Play, which will mean you have to update, but can't due to no access to Google Play Services, or it could be due to Google themselves updating requirements for Google Play's Services, which you won't be able to update. Once either of these things happens, your app will no longer work. Of course we will continue to support you whilst the app does work on your device, but if your issues relate to the fact that the app isn't working anymore, then this is where the support will end.

Q: Can't I just side load the app and install it manually?

A: Not really, no. The app will likely install if done this way, but due to its reliance on Google Play services, will not work.

Q: I am in the market for a new device, should I avoid buying a Huawei or Honor device?

A: Short answer is we can't tell you what you can and can't buy! But, if having Grepolis on your device is important to you, we would recommend a device which supports Google Play Store and services.