Gameloft soft launched Asphalt 9: Legends in the Philippines, and if you want to play the game before it's out worldwide, this guide explains how to do that. You will need to register a Philippines iTunes account if you don't already have one, or switch the country on an existing account. Additionally, Gameloft is wise to the practice of users getting accounts outside of their region and downloading games. So, the company region-locks its titles. What you need to do is to use a VPN, which you can do for free.

Change an iTunes Account to the Philippines

If you already have a soft launch account, or want to switch your existing account to the Philippines temporarily, you can do that. Note that if you have season passes to iTunes TV shows, you might not be able to switch over until the season pass is fulfilled. Some subscriptions might cause issues as well.

Go to the Settings app, then scroll down to iTunes and App Store. Tap on your Apple ID, then View Apple ID. Sign in with your password, then choose Country/Region. From there, choose the Philippines. You will need an address in the Philippines to register your account there, so use an address generator service to create one for you. Once you fill out all this information, your account's new region will be the Philippines, and you can go download Asphalt 9.

Register a Soft Launch Account

If you want to create a brand new account so that you aren't just changing the country on your main iTunes account with all its purchases, this is possible. You will need to sign out of your main iCloud account in Settings. This listing is the very big first entry in the settings list. Make sure your contacts, photos, and reminders are backed up if you do not have them backed up already! Once it says that you're signed out, tap on the "Sign into your iPhone/iPod/iPad" prompt. Then, tap the "Don't have an Apple ID or forgot it?" link.

Now, create an Apple ID. You can use an existing throwaway email address, but you can also create a free iCloud email address.

Now complete account registration. You might need to verify with a phone number, and though you might change the country later, you can use a phone number from any region to verify your account.

Once you complete your registration, sign into the App Store. You will get some information to fill out, including the country for your account. Let's start off with Canada, where many soft launch titles release. You can try creating a Chinese account, but again, you might have issues doing this.

For a billing address, you can use a fake name generator to generate an address and name of your choice. Make sure you choose none for your billing information.

Now go and download Asphalt 9 for yourself!

Use a VPN

Cloudwall VPN was a popular choice for Modern Combat Versus [Free], and it still works if you downloaded the app and it's in your purchased history. Unfortunately, it's not on the App Store any more. Otherwise, you will need to download something like VyprVPN [Free] in order to appear in the Philippines. Download the app, then follow its steps to install its VPN profile, find the Manila server, and connect. Be careful, though: you only get one gigabyte of free data with this app. You might want to experiment with a bunch of different VPN apps in order to see what works for you and in order to spread your data usage around.

You'll need to be patient. Most VPN apps that don't suck cost money (at least after their free trials), and many apps don't have Philippines servers. It's worth paying for a VPN at some point if you're concerned about privacy or need to avoid region detection often. If you see the region-blocking screen, be sure to close the app out from the app switcher and try again. Also try reconnecting to your VPN, sometimes a different IP address will do the trick.

This VPN step is annoying, and it does mean that you won't get the best performance in anything that requires latency (along with slower download speeds), but hey: if you want to play Gameloft's latest game before it's worldwide, you have to jump through some hoops.Hopefully publishers don't keep adding new stopgaps to prevent people from playing their games early, but it might just be something that enterprising players will have to keep finding new workarounds for.

If you wind up using our guide to download Asphalt 9: Legends for yourself, let us know, and be sure to comment below with any VPNs you recommend, and be sure to discuss the game in our forums and on our Discord!

  • Jason

    Or, you know, wait a few days.

  • Simon Taverner

    Oh, FFS...

  • dancingcrane

    Why are you even doing this? Does it matter how many gamers want to skirt the law to get at content that a game company has locked? Doesn’t a phrase like “Gameloft is wise to this”, tell everyone you support this kind of business?

    • Eli Hodapp

      What specific law are we talking here?

      • dancingcrane

        International copyright, licensing and intellectual property laws. Gameloft, Valve and other companies have the right to region-lock their games because it’s their property. Steam has banned accounts for doing what you suggest. I’ve seen TA talk about doing this before, and I’ve said nothing. But to actually give detailed instructions on how exactly to circumvent game companies decisions like this is going to backfire on you eventually. I don’t want to see that happen to you. I like TA too much.

      • HelperMonkey

        Mate, they’re playing a game.. not stealing it or copying it or selling it. Call Interpol. They’ll handle it.

      • Eli Hodapp

        lol if you say so.

  • ViNZsters

    Not worth the effort. The constant need to be connected to the internet is a no brainer not to get this. I'm from Philippines. Tried it in my iphone just to compare its experience from the Asphalt 8 and Grid. Grid Autosport is still the best racing for ios.

    • ErikVeland

      Apart from cars they have nothing in common.

  • Sorbis86

    I use ExpressVpn and work

  • dancingcrane

    I am defending something worth defending. TouchArcade.

    I don’t work for Gameloft, but I do respect the fact that *recommending* hacks and cheats that get people’s accounts banned/frozen is a great way to self-destruct, as game companies come to see TA as non-industry-friendly.

    I don’t get the comment about free to play games. It doesn’t matter what kind of game it is.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Do you have a single example of Gameloft banning or freezing someone's access to a game because they participated in a soft launch via a VPN? If we were posting "Hey here's this utility that exploits this game and gives you unlimited IAP for free!" then, sure. This just really seems like a stretch here.

      • dancingcrane

        From Kyle from Gameloft (Gameloft Forums), Dec 12, 2014 8:48pm:

        “Just to clarify a few things: You won't get banned just for using a jailbroken or rooted device as there are many other factors on top of that.

        That said, if you download the app from a non-official store then you do run the risk of getting banned. Please only use the official verified app from an official store.”

        And yes, you might consider it a stretch to even say that a region-locked store counts as unofficial for anyone outside that region, but the whole point of using VPN is to hide who you are so you won’t get banned. (See Wizard’s earlier post).

        Things like this or HQuack just aren’t worth the black eye TA could get from this.

      • Eli Hodapp

        Downloading the game from the App Store, even in another region, is an official verified app from an official store. What he's referring to there is downloading the .apk or .ipa file from one of the numerous cracked app repositories out there.

      • dancingcrane

        And just to add, I’m not a fan of region-locking, but I do understand that if a game company decides to soft-launch and lock in order to test a game in a limited area, they have every right to do so.

      • Shaun Musgrave

        Companies have every right to region-lock. Provided it doesn't involve cracking DRM, individuals are legally allowed to circumvent that region-lock. The company in turn has every right to ban those who circumvent their region-lock if they desire. There's nothing illegal about any of this. If any company wants to get upset about the information we're putting out there, they are free to, just as they are free to get upset over a review. However, just as in that case, it's not really our concern. We work for our readers, not the publishers.

  • korossyl

    Why do they care SO much? I get softlaunching, but to actually region lock it above that? The number of people who will create fake Phillipines accounts just to get this game is sp vanishingly small; why go to all the trouble of locking those very few people out with this extra layer of security?

    • Eli Hodapp

      On the iOS side, sure, but on Android the .apk files of soft launched games are passed around like candy.

      • korossyl

        Ohhhhh, I get it. Wow.

  • carlington

    Hope this releases on pc.

  • Chevy Morris

    Can you do the same thing except with an Android Phone?