Remember Nokia's N-Gage platform of mobile phone video games? Yes or no, it doesn't really matter anymore, as the company has closed the development studio tasked with creating titles for the platform. Joystiq has the brief obituary.
When you're writing your first post about a gaming platform in nine months, it's very rarely good news. For example, all it's taken for the N-Gage to get back on Joystiq's front page is the closure of Nokia's N-Gage development studio, which occurred on June 30. The group was responsible for porting major franchises to the system like Call of Duty, Tiger Woods and Tony Hawk. The fate of the 100 or so employees at the Vancouver studio isn't clear at the moment, but we heard about some jobs opening up in their land — if they don't mind traveling 4,374 km to get them.
It's been ages since we've heard anything about the N-Gage platform. I had no idea it was (well, until recently) still in business. It's sad to see those 100+ jobs disappear, but I have the feeling that there were more people employed in the N-Gage division than there were actual N-Gage customers. I only mention this news here because when Nokia attempted to make the N-Gage platform rise from the ashes like a phoenix as the N-Gage QD back in early 2005, I wrote a brief piece on it as one of the first PTB articles. I said this at the time:
Persistence is important in the gaming industry, but one has to wonder how much longer the company will stay in the N-Gage business before deciding that funding is better spent elsewhere.
We now know the answer to that pondering: a little over four years.