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Nokia to drop N-Gage platform

Nokia to drop N-Gage platform
Nokia's N-Gage platform has led a troubled life, first appearing as dedicated devices in 2003, then being resurrected as a platform for multiple handsets in 2008, but it's never quite performed as a serious handheld contender.

So, despite it being quite a shock to hear Nokia is to axe the N-Gage platform, it won't be a huge surprise to many within the industry. Speaking to Mobile-Ent.biz, Nokia's Mark Ollila announced the demise of N-Gage, but shone a light on the company's mobile gaming future.

"We are not releasing any more games on N-Gage, although the store - the ability to buy N-Gage games - will remain open until at least September 2010, and the N-Gage service will run through to the end of 2010," Ollila explains. "The message is that Ovi Store is the place to find and purchase mobile games. It's our one-stop shop for games."

The relaunch of N-Gage proved to be a thorny task for the mobile giant, which gave the platform a year to turn its fortunes around about the same time as EA Mobile went on state at the Nokia Games Summit and laid down the law regarding the system's strengths and weaknesses.

"As a publisher, we will make twice the revenue from selling an iPhone game in Italy than we will from selling an N-Gage game at the same price," EA Mobile's Peter Parmenter said at last year's summit, following up that blow with "I think it's easier to get an audience with the Pope than it is to get a game through certification at Nokia."

Nokia has been pushing titles out onto N-Gage as quickly as possible, presumably in a rush to draw a line under the platform and begin funnelling what few developers the system had left toward the Ovi Store.

The recently release Nokia app store will hopefully receive any unreleased N-Gage titles, Ollila suggests, but it's time to wave a fond farewell to N-Gage.

Yes. Spanner's his real name. And, yes, he's heard that joke before.

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