updated 10:00 am EDT, Fri May 23, 2008
Nokia to Allow N-Gage Move
Nokia will allow users to transfer their N-Gage games from phone to phone after all, the company confirmed on Friday. The company has caused controversy by tying each game purchase to a specific phone, forcing customers to repurchase each game if they upgrade, but now says it has a means for users to port their game libraries without raising piracy concerns. The solution will at first involve contacting Nokia's support service but will ultimately include an unspecified "long-term" solution that allows users to make the switch much more easily.
"We don't have any timeline for the fix, but the games guys are aware how big an issue this is and doing their best to solve it," Nokia spokesman James says in a news post.
The Finnish cellphone producer also argues that its approach is a break from the traditional mobile games industry, which often limits purchases solely to the device itself and doesn't track the user. As N-Gage includes member profiles, it becomes more feasible to transfer the license for a game to a different phone by tracking that profile, the company explains.
Microsoft currently uses a system likely to serve as a similar model for Nokia. Initial purchases of Xbox 360 games through the Xbox Live Arcade are tied to a single machine for offline play but can be transferred to a new console by signing in and then re-downloading the relevant content.