View Full Version : Has Ovi killed N-Gage


PaulyLaw
07-08-2009, 01:32 PM
OK, I know there is way more to the whole N-Gage / Ovi Store saga but I cant help thinking that N-Gage is pretty much dead before it ever really got going.

With the launch of so many app stores, etc, to keep developers busy I wonder whether N-Gage will suffer from a vicious cycle that no-one bothers developing any decent multiplayer games for N-Gage until they see there is a real market for it, but of course there will be no market until someone starts developing. Yes there may be a few games on the way, maybe even 20 or 30 but that is simply nothing compared to the thousands, tens of thousands that will arrive in the same period through the various App Stores such as Ovi.

And, without any decent multiplayer games available in real quantity just what exactly is the point of N-Gage platform at all over cheap (price not quality, you can still have both!) easy to install games readily available in the Ovi Store.

Throw in all the non-transfer of games from one device to another rubbish (or at least make it so complicated that no one can be bothered) and you have a bit of a bleak picture.

Love it or hate it, the iPhone AppStore has very clearly been a game changer. A mass of cheap, fun, quality games at around $1 each means that you can happily download and install on a whim. For a general user you cant help but think they would look at N-Gage and think, why bother?

I cant help but conclude that N-Gage arrived a little late to the party only to find that everyone was already on their way elsewhere.

Tzer2
07-08-2009, 07:24 PM
I think when N-Gage announced that it was moving to a download service back in 2005/2006, a lot of people (myself included) thought it would offer as many phone games as possible. In theory they could have offered hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of existing titles through the service from day one, and as the games already existed it wouldn't have cost third party publishers anything to do so either.

Unfortunately Nokia decided to restrict N-Gage to just a tiny number of games from a tiny number of publishers. I know at least two successful phone game publishers who wanted to put games on N-Gage and were turned away by Nokia. It was absolutely crazy.

Ovi Store is being what N-Gage was supposed to be: a repository for as many Nokia-compatible phone games as possible, with the doors open to all publishers providing their game passes some bare minimum quality standards.

Just to look at the numbers:

N-Gage after one year - 40 games which is less than one a week

Ovi Store after three months - 600 games which is 50 a week

...and the difference is going to get even bigger as more phones start appearing with Ovi Store preinstalled.

Obviously most Ovi Store games aren't up to the standards of the best N-Gage titles, but a lot of them are. And many third party N-Gage games are also available on Ovi Store for literally half the price.

I do agree that Ovi Store has taken away N-Gage's ability to exist as a separate service. However, N-Gage has some things that Nokia need to keep going: really good exclusive first party games (most of Nokia's own games get excellent reviews), a really good online community forum, and a really good multiplayer community too (Reset Gen and Worms World Party are pure joy to play online).

So like I said in other threads on here, if I was in charge of Nokia I'd keep the exclusive games coming, keep the Arena forum and Arena multiplayer going, but offer them all through Ovi Store. Merge N-Gage and Ovi Store basically.