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Nokia confirms closure of N-Gage service

Games and community features to end in 2010

Nokia is to cease support of the N-Gage gaming platform, choosing instead to concentrate on its Ovi Store.

The company will keep the N-Gage site, where users purchase games, and the N-Gage Arena running until September 2010, it announced, after which the community features of purchased games will no longer function. Nokia will stop publishing new games for the format immediately.

"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," said a company spokesperson, via the N-Gage blog.

"It's much more convenient to have one place to get all your mobile games, and this is what Ovi Store provides."

In the future, Nokia will offer similar community elements incorporated on N-Gage platforms through the Ovi Store, it added. "We understand how important community is to our gamers."

And handsets with the N-Gage application pre-installed will continued to be sold "for some time", however the company will no longer ship devices with the application.

Following the poor sales performance of the original N-Gage handset launched in 2003, Nokia announced, in 2005, it would move the platform's capabilities instead onto a series of smartphones. The full N-Gage service was subsequently made available to the public in April of last year.

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Kath Brice