N-Gage games can't be transferred to new devices


N-Gage fan web site All About N-Gage is reporting that games purchased through Nokia’s gaming service are locked to one particular phone and can’t be transferred to a new device should you lose or break your old one.

The process for purchasing a game involves downloading a feature-limited demo and then paying to unlock the game with an activation code. That code is tied to the IMEI number of the phone on which it was purchased. If the phone gets lost, stolen, or breaks, it can’t be transferred to a replacement device.

You would think that you’d be able to call up Nokia customer care and have the games you’ve purchased manually authorized to work on a new device, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. According to All About N-Gage

“Nokia’s customer care department told us that they can only transfer games if a phone is replaced at a repair centre under the terms of its guarantee. Nokia will not transfer games simply because you’ve bought a new phone.

We wondered if Nokia’s customer services team was mistaken, but we have now had this confirmed by representatives of Nokia at a higher level: N-Gage games cannot be transferred.

Nokia’s official stated policy is that N-Gage activation codes should only work on the device where they were first activated, because they feel this is an important way to combat digital piracy and ensure that their partners are not losing out on sales.”

The N-Gage platform has had a hard time catching on with mainstream audiences, although it does have a rather loyal fan base in its own right. This new development will likely have the tendency to turn would-be N-Gage converts off and alienate Nokia’s existing customer base.