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N-Gaged and N-raged

Posted by putsimply on 27th May 2008

I don’t want to look like I get every ounce of my knowledge from the BBC website (well, I *am* on there every lunchtime), but I was really surprised when I read this story. (Also here . See, I *do* visit other sites.)

Nokia previously prevented people from copying games from mobile-to-mobile. It has since removed this block due to consumer pressure.

But haven’t mobiles *always* prevented you from transferring games anyway? Why should people be so uptight about the N-Gage system doing the same?

Also you might argue that £3-£5 is a lot to pay for a game that you can only use on *your* mobile. I remember when full (cassette-based) Spectrum games cost £2.99 anyway. (Ah, thems were the days).

But then again, isn’t the point of a mobile phone that it’s…. well- mobile? You can take it to people’s houses and they can play the game. And when you think of it, why are we so accepting of music piracy, but not of game piracy? Is it because games cost more to produce? Well that might be true of your £100 million GTA4 blockbuster, but not of the kind of rubbish they pump out on mobiles.

Admittedly, if the N-gage platform holds true to its promise, the games will be higher-budget and higher quality than the unicompatible Java schlock we get at the moment. But I’m just not sure how I feel about N-Gage bowing to the pressure to eliminate games DRM.

Games aren’t like music…. they don’t revamp piracy-induced declining sales with big concerts. At best they get to produce some merchandising. Isn’t the elimination of DRM for games simply going to reduce the amount of profit, and hence the viability, of the whole N-gage system?