Gameloft was founded by Michel Guillemot, one of the five founders of Ubisoft, on 14 December 1999. By February 2009, Gameloft had shipped over 200 million copies of their games since their IPO, as well as 2 million daily downloads of their games via the App Store for iOS. Gameloft's chief financial officer, Alexandre de Rochefort, noted that the company's games generated about 400 times more revenue on iOS than they do on Android, partially because Google did not develop their Google Play storefront to "entice customers to actually buy products", as a result of which Gameloft heavily cut their investments in Android games development in November 2009. In July 2010, Gameloft instead attempted to sell Android games directly through their website, avoiding the use of Google Play.
In a May 2011 keynote, de Rochefort stated that he wanted to avoid moving the company to the NASDAQ stock exchange, as the U.S. games market appeared to be nothing more than a large economic bubble, especially when seeing Zynga's present US$10 billion total stock value.
Gameloft's games have often been accused of being clones of other properties; when asked about it at the November 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, CEO Michel Guillemot stated "The videogame industry has always played around a limited number of themes. There is maybe one new idea a year." In response to many users commenting on Guillemot's remarks, Levi Buchanan of IGN defended Gameloft, stating that their games were usually well-polished, in contrary to the original concepts' games.
By July 2014, Gameloft announced that it would focus more strongly on quality than on quantity, as was stated to have previously been the case.
In April 2013, Texan company Lodsys filed a lawsuit against Gameloft, among other mobile game developers, for infringing their patent on in-app purchases. Similar lawsuits were previously intervened by Apple Inc., who claim to have licensed the technology from Lodsys for usage in their App Store.
In October 2015, French media conglomerate Vivendi announced that they had acquired a 6.2% stake in Gameloft's stock, which was quickly raised to 10.2% a few days later. By February 2016, Vivendi had acquired 30% in the company, and launched a hostile takeover bid. In accordance with French law, Vivendi started a tender offer to acquire further shares.
Following the announcement, Gameloft's board of directors strongly advised shareholders against selling stock to Vivendi to avoid the hostile takeover. By May 2016, Vivendi had won over the majority of shareholders, enabling them to move forward in the takeover.
The acquisition was completed on 1 June 2016, with Vivendi having acquired 56%, an absolute majority over Gameloft's ownership. Employees of Gameloft were presented with an open letter welcoming them to the new parent company's family.
Analysts believed that the takeover was just the first step towards also purchasing Ubisoft, another video game venture founded by Guillemot and his brothers, although Vivendi only held a 17.7% minority in that company at the time. In response to Vivendi's actions, Guillemot announced that he would step down from his company and join his brother Yves Guillemot at Ubisoft to prevent it from also being taken over. Guillemot later clarified that his stepping-down would take effect on 29 June.
On 8 June, the Guillemot brothers announced that they were regretfully selling their ownership in Gameloft to Vivendi. The transaction awarded Vivendi another 21.7% in Gameloft's capital. After Guillemot departed from Gameloft on 29 June, Vivendi set up a new board of directors for the company, with Vivendi's present chief operating officer, Stéphane Roussel, appointed Gameloft's chairman and chief executive officer, and Gameloft's previous chief financial officer, de Rochefort, additionally taking over the management of the company's 39 subsidiaries. At that point, Vivendi owned 95.94% of Gameloft's share capital.
Gameloft operates 19 video game development studios worldwide. In July 2011, Glenn Watson, lead programmer of Gameloft's Auckland offshoot, stated that the company's management created a "constant sense or urgency" at their studio, having employees regularly work 12- to 14-hour days. A new studio in New Orleans was opened in August 2011, taking of advantage of tax breaks granted by the government of Louisiana in July 2009 to establish 150 new jobs. On 29 January 2013, Gameloft's India studio in Hyderabad was closed midway through the workday, leaving 250 people unemployed. Between June and August 2015, Gameloft's Tokyo location made roughly 80 people, effectively being closed. Additionally, on 8 July 2015, all operations the company's New York City office were halted, and as many as 100 employees were laid off. Shortly after, in September 2015, Gameloft's Seattle studio was closed down and its 15 employees were let go. The studio was opened just a year prior to its closure. Seven studios were closed in total in 2015. Guillemot stated that these actions were taken to accommodate their "ambitious cost reduction program", instantiated after the company saw a net loss of EUR16.6 million in the fiscal year that ended on 30 June 2015. In January 2016, Gameloft opened a Nigerian marketing office for regional expansions, however, shut down its Auckland studio, firing roughly 160 employees. At the time, Gameloft Auckland was New Zealand's largest video game studio. Gameloft's Valencia, Spain location was shuttered in April 2016. In July 2017, Gameloft appointed John-Paul Burke as country manager for its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and Ireland.