After several years of lackluster performance, Nokia’s N-Gage social gaming service is officially being merged into Nokia’s Ovi Store. While users can currently download many games on either N-Gage or Ovi, by the end of September 2010 it will only be the Ovi Store that stands as the official destination for games for Nokia’s mobile devices.
The Future of N-Gage Games
Games themselves will no longer be available for purchase from through the N-Gage application or N-Gage Arena after September 2010. The games and the N-Gage application itself will continue to function indefinitely, but games and game data may not transfer to future devices due to the lack of an N-Gage client for those devices.
The Future of N-Gage Arena
The N-Gage Arena service will live on — in part — through efforts to embed some similar community-oriented features into Ovi and the Ovi Store. Nokia did not release any additional information about what these features are or when they will be available.
Future Devices and N-Gage
Future Nokia devices will not come with the N-Gage client pre-installed. However, current devices which are supported by the N-Gage platform will be available, with the N-Gage application on them.
More About N-Gage
The N-Gage platform is one part software downloaded to a device, and another part a social network between users, connected games, and the N-Gage Arena community.
N-Gage was originally a gaming oriented smartphone by Nokia. Despite its advanced approach to social-gaming, the device design was not well received by consumers and markets. A second N-Gage device, the N-Gage QD, was released a little more than a year later, but the device failed to garner additional traction.
N-Gage was reintroduced in 2008 as a software and social networking platform. Available on more devices, and with a much larger library of games, N-Gage became a solid niche product for Nokia while improving relations with software developers and development houses. Headline releases such as Monopoly, Worms World Party, FIFA 2009, and Guitar Hero, and several others demonstrated its broadened appeal.
Users could download the N-Gage application, which gave access to the N-Gage Arena gaming portal. At this portal users setup a gaming profile and could download games for play on their device. Most games offered trial downloads, to which the user could pay for the full version of the game right from the N-Gage application.
While the N-Gage service is no more, the games will be available to Nokia’s devices through the Ovi Store. The Ovi Store is a device-optimized application and multimedia marketplace where users can download applications, videos, pictures, and more from several third- party developers.
The Ovi Store application is pre-installed on most Nokia S40 and Symbian S60 devices, and available through a mobile or PC-optimized website for all other platforms. For more information, visit the Ovi Store.
Source: N-Gage Blog