India has a huge mobile phone market, so it’s no surprise that Indians also love mobile gaming. A lot of mobile developers have even begun selling their Bollywood licensed titles in other territories, and Nokia has finally provided them with another domestic avenue: N-Gage.
Nokia’s handheld gaming platform has just been rolled out in India, where there’s an estimated 300 million mobile phones in use. But how many of them are N-Gage compatible if the platform’s only just been launched, you might astutely ponder?
Well, to be fair, a small collection of S60 handsets were already on sale over here when the second generation of N-Gage first launched, which only needed a quick download to get the arena up and running. Presumably the same is true in India, where Nokia already has a strong presence.
"With N-Gage, Nokia is looking at redefining the gaming experience for consumers in India as well as creating a strong and collaborative ecosystem so as to catalyse the market for mobile gaming,” says Vineet Taneja, director of marketing at Nokia India. “We are aiming to provide a holistic consumer experience, be it in terms of discovery and access, top quality content, billing flexibility and innovative devices and accessories.”
The benefit, of course, is that one of India’s official languages is English (English English, too – not American English), so games won’t really need localising as they would in, say, China.
But is India actually receiving a defunct platform? A panel of industry executive seems to believe it is, when it recently voted N-Gage to be a ‘fading star’.
Then again, the Indian pocket gamer could prove to be the saviour of N-Gage, if Nokia can effectively market it to this potentially massive install base. We shall see.