No tears for Nokia's N-Gage

[Finland] Last week marked the end for Nokia’s unsuccessful games service N-Gage. Nokia announced that they will be closing down the service at the end of September 2010. About four hardcore fans protested mildly in the N-Gage blog as the rest of the world yawned. Seems like N-Gage was a project doomed to fail. Who was the target audience again? Oh who cares.

The service was launched in 2003 as an attempt to tap into a growing games market. Anyone remember the clumsy N-Gage phone? Didn’t think so. Although maybe its hideousness and general usability difficulties stuck on your mind.

To put it simply the whole ordeal comes with a huge red FAIL-stamp attached. The phone didn’t work, the games didn’t sell, the competitors had better ideas. Then that Apple phone was launched and Nokia’s N-Gage project was deader than a zombie in the vacuum of space.

It’s not all dead and buried though and some of the N-Gage games will live on in Nokia’s Ovi store. However Finnish newspaper Talouselämä wonders if Ovi is going to share the same fate as the N-Gage store a couple of years down the line. According to the newspaper both services have set off to a similar start, with an undefined target audience and fewer users than their competitors.

Where have we heard that before, have we?