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EA president piles into N-Gage

It's a dog, opines games supremo

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Electronic Arts president and COO John Riccitiello has described Nokia's N-Gage system as a "dog" and further stated that software shipments on it have been "non-meaningful".

"When I picked that thing up I knew it was a dog - it just feels stupid," Riccitiello told news agency Reuters in an interview last week, before reportedly mimicking the difficulties presented in using the awkwardly-shaped system as a phone.

The criticism is all the more damaging for Nokia because EA is actually a key supporter of the N-Gage on the software front, with the Finnish mobile giant hoping that games such as FIFA 2004 will help to improve the game deck's fortunes.

Riccitiello said that unit shipments of EA's titles on the N-Gage have been "non-meaningful" to date - suggesting that regardless of hardware sales, software sales for the device are extremely weak.

However, he was adamant that Nokia should not be counted out of the games industry just because of the problems with the N-Gage system - which Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila admitted last week was not living up to sales expectations.

"Nokia will figure it out," Riccitiello commented, "it's just that they haven't figured it out yet." He described Nokia as one of the best design engineering companies he knew, and stated his belief that it will eventually succeed in the games industry.

Copyright © 2004, GamesIndustry.biz

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