Nokia shuts down N-Gage
Nokia will halt production on mobile video games for its N-Gage platform next year, and is shutting down the N-Gage community web site and brand.
Revealing the news in a blog post Nokia is attempting to move its traditional gaming community onto the Ovi store. Nokia is giving the Ovi store a massive marketing push as it competes with Apple’s App Store. “We are growing the platform and portfolio as quickly as possible,” the blog post said. The Ovi store has over a thousand games available and is supported by 100 Nokia device models.
“As mobile gaming evolves and begins to encompass social gaming, we want to offer one store front with an even broader portfolio of games – games for everyone. It’s much more convenient to have one place to get all your mobile games, and this it what Ovi. Mobile gaming is one of the most popular activities in the Ovi Store, with games being the #2 most downloaded category for premium content,” the bog post says.
The Ovi Store will be pre-installed on most new compatible Nokia devices including Symbian S60 & Series 40 from Q4 2009
Mobile gamers will be able to download games through N-Gage until September 2010 and previously purchased games will continue to work on handsets.
Meanwhile Nokia is believed to be in advanced talks with AT&T to launch a Symbian based smartphone with a Qualcomm chip into the US market.
According to media reports the plan is the latest attempt to gain traction in the market that has remained illusive to the Finnish giant. Nokia has a mere 5% market share in the US.
Venture Beat reports from sources close to Nokia that despite the vendors protracted feud with Qualcomm over CDMA chip patents, both parties have called a truce.
Nokia plans to launch a series of handsets for the US market including the high-end N900 in coming weeks which uses the Maemo operating system and mimics much of the iPhone’s functionality.