The Finnish Museum of Games, located in Tampere, is currently holding an exhibition titled ‘A Fantastic Failure’ covering the story of the N-Gage – the handheld mobile gaming device Nokia invested hundreds of millions into, despite little in the way of interest from consumers.
The exhibition aims to be nostalgic but thought-provoking – while the N-Gage was a flop, Nokia’s investment made Finland a hotbed of expertise in mobile gaming, laying the foundations for future mobile hits.
Never seen before marketing and development materials will be on display, alongside playable N-Gage units. Game developers and designers who worked on the unit also share their insights.
The N-Gage launched in 2003 and was largely ridiculed for its peculiar design – requiring the device to be dismantled to change cartridges – along with its inadequate button layout and small, portrait-oriented, screen. While it did host a few decent games, these were few and far between.