The relationship between Brazilian fans and Nintendo has had its share of ups and downs in recent years. The worst moment was in early 2015, when the company stopped distributing games and consoles in the country on the grounds that the business environment and taxes made it impossible to be in the domestic market.
In 2018, the company repeated its return to the country, launching the national version of its online game store eShop. And this movement materialized in September 2020, when the Switch – previously only available through independent importers – went on sale.
“I know that the Brazilian fans are passionate and, first of all, I want to apologize for the time that we were separated.” This was one of the first speeches of Bill van Zyl, senior director and general manager of Nintendo of America Latin America, in an exclusive interview. slope During the 2022 Brazil Game Show.
“We always had this notion of passion and it motivated us to look for a more efficient model to be in this market. This took some time and required decisions regarding age rating of games and product distribution models,” he added.
did you come to stay
BGS announced the launch of sales of Switch games in physical versions, with the rights to translated inserts in the boxes. A new model of Switch with an Oled screen has also arrived in the country. The brand seems to be enjoying a good moment in its relationship with the country.
But that raises another question: Is Mario & Zelda Company here to stay?
“This is our idea,” says Van Zyl. “The goal was to develop a sustainable business model in the country, and of course that is what we are doing. We are developing something precisely for the long term,” he says.
But there are still challenges in this apparent “honeymoon.” One of the main ones often cited in complaints on social media concerns the localization of games in Brazilian Portuguese, especially Switch-exclusive games. Some games have recently been released in our language, as in the case of Mario Party Superstars, from 2021, but they are still in the minority.
For Van Zyl, this issue is not so easy to solve, for two reasons: the complexity of the process and the company’s philosophy.
“The problem with localization is that it’s not just a translation. It’s about conveying the emotions of the games, the humor, in short, offering a complete experience. It’s important to note that Nintendo, first of all, has a history of quality. We’re not going to release, for example, an unfinished game . and it’s also about localization. But our idea is to bring more and more localized games to Brazil and expand our library,” he says.
He also promises to put the country on a launch route. “Our idea, from now on, is to get the news here as soon as possible. It’s a commitment that my boss, Doug Bowser [presidente da Nintendo of America que, coincidentemente, tem o sobrenome idêntico ao nome do principal vilão da série Mario], it was handed over to me personally and we are going to fulfill it as much as possible. It is not a promise because there are a number of challenges, but we will do our best to make it happen.”
mario and bunnies
Nintendo has perhaps the most prominent booth of BGS 2022, with dozens of Switch stations for the public and a stage for various activities.
It was there that Tilt could experience one of the next games to land on the console: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. About 20 minutes into the test, we can already tell that the game is a promising evolution of its predecessor, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, from 2017.
It is a crossover in the form of a turn-based strategy RPG produced by Ubisoft, which combines crazy bunnies, which are the mascots of the company, and characters from the Mario universe.
There are some new features in the game. Most notable is the new, freer movement system that favors a more creative approach in both offense and defense. The story has a strong comic appeal and, judging by the first in the series, it has everything to be the type of game that can keep players engaged from start to finish.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is scheduled for release on October 20th and will be entirely in Portuguese.