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Back in Brazil, Nintendo is expanding its bet on the local market. In October, the Japanese company took another step in this direction by announcing the start of selling games on physical media in the country. And the news should not stop there.
“We are bringing in more and more products and services, but there is still a shortage. Ultimately, we want to get our products to Brazil on the same day as the global launch,” says Bill Van Zyl, senior director and general manager. for Latin America at Nintendo, who was in Brazil to check out the company’s stand at the BGS (Brasil Game Show).
Nintendo ended its operations in Brazil in 2015, blaming the “local business environment” for the unsustainability of its distribution model. The company only returned to operating directly in Brazil in September 2020, when it launched the Switch in the country (three years late).
“We have never forgotten Brazil. It has always been a very important market, but we had to start from scratch with the model we had years ago for the country. A market for the long term,” says van Zyl.
in the interview paperThe executive also talks about Nintendo’s challenges in localizing games into Brazilian Portuguese and the pricing of its major releases.
Nintendo launched the Switch in Brazil in September 2020, almost three years after its global launch. Why did it take so long? First we had to develop our business plan, our distribution plan in Brazil. We also had to adapt the product for the country as [adequação às regras da] Anatel and I changed the outlet. It all took some time, but we never forgot Brazil. It has always been a very important market, but we had to start from scratch compared to the model we had years ago for the country. It was time to make this return in a way that worked long term for us and the market. Our goal is to maintain constant and steady growth.
Are there any plans to open a factory in Brazil? Not currently. We are focused on working with established distributors in the country who know the market and how to work with retailers here in Brazil. It works very well for us, they help us bring the product to the country as it should be.
What’s next for Nintendo in the country? Keep up the good work and make available all the products and services that Nintendo offers in other countries. We run after him. Each time we introduce more products and services, but still there is a shortage. Where we ultimately want to go is to launch our products in Brazil on the same day as the global launch. It’s a mission my boss gave me, but we’re doing it for the customers and our fans. It will take some time to get there, but that is our goal.
Nintendo has announced the start of selling games on physical media in Brazil. Of the titles that the company distributes, which Mr. Do you believe it will be more successful with the Brazilian public? I believe that all will be successful because they are so-called “evergreens” that continue to sell after launch. But one that I have to single out is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This game is more successful in Brazil than in other Latin American countries. More so than in the US. I think it’s because it refers to the classic “Zelda” games that have always been a hit with Brazilian Nintenistas. That’s why we have high expectations for the release of “Tears of the Kingdom” in May.
And we can’t forget to mention Pokemon. We have “Pokémon Legends: Arceus” and we’ll be releasing two more games soon [“Pokémon Scarlet e Violet”]. We chose ten [títulos para lançar em mídia física no Brasil], but soon Pokemon will also arrive. We believe that all games will sell very well.
Speaking of Pokemon, when it was announced that “Scarlet and Violet” would not be coming to Brazil due to the Portuguese localization, there was a lot of complaints from fans. How is it decided which games will or won’t be localized? We are in the process of developing our capabilities and resources. With every game we develop, we evaluate and make decisions based on what’s possible. We ask [para localizar] In every game, but we haven’t gotten there yet.
What are the difficulties in choosing the place where the Brazilian national team will play? Localization is very different from translation. Translation can be quite simple, but in localization we try to capture all the emotion and humor of the game in a new language, and that costs a lot. Nintendo is very committed and committed to the quality of its products and the user experience. If we have a situation where the game is not ready, we wait until it is. An example of this is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Realm. We now have a release date, but we pushed it back because the game wasn’t at the level it needed to be.
Localization is time consuming, we want to do it well and we are still developing the resources for it. We already have several games [localizados para o português]. The intention is to expand these opportunities and find more and more titles for Brazil.
Is this process carried out by Nintendo itself or by a third party company? Because of this commitment to quality, most of this process is done in-house. On the one hand, this provides a high degree of localization, but on the other hand, it will take a little more time, even to develop this expertise.
Brazil has a very deep-rooted culture of game piracy. Was this an obstacle to Nintendo’s return to Brazil? No. Piracy is a problem that exists worldwide, so it has not been affected. We are always concerned about what we can do to reduce the effects of piracy, but it is a global problem, not just in Brazil.
A common complaint in Brazil is the price of games. Mainly due to Nintendo’s own titles and lack of stock for these games. Why does the company adopt this pricing policy? We are always looking for the most efficient way to bring our games to every market. In Brazil, our goal is to make them as accessible as possible to Brazilian consumers. This is how we fulfill our mission to make people smile. We’re always looking at how we can be more efficient and make this experience more accessible. There is no difference in how we set prices in Brazil and other countries. There are realities in the country that affect prices, such as exchange rates, taxes and also distribution costs. As for the price difference, there are simpler games that require less resources and are therefore cheaper. And there are games that require such a level of resources and development that if we want to make a game like that, it comes at a price. Ultimately, it’s a balance. We try to make the game more accessible, but we also have to consider the type of game and its difficulty.
Both Sony and Microsoft are investing in game subscription plans. Nintendo has Nintendo Switch Online, but it works differently. Is the company considering the way competitors are going? The situation changes and develops in the market. Each platform follows a path, and each one’s situation is a little different. Our subscription gives you the ability to play online and play classic NES and Super Nintendo games that are super popular here in Brazil. Now we also include Nintendo 64 games. So there are more and more games that we make available on a subscription basis. We are still not at the level of what others are doing, but I am sure we will continue to develop.
Are there plans to port games from other consoles, such as Wii to Switch Online? We have no information yet. What we see is that we started with the NES and the Super Nintendo and now we’re going to the Nintendo 64… so we’ll see.
Game tip, new or old, for you to check out
Age of Empires 4
On the 15th, the Age of Empires franchise turned 25 years old. To celebrate, there’s nothing better than experiencing “Age of Empire 4,” which came out last year after 16 years without a new title for PC. The game uses the Middle Ages as a setting and retains the mechanics that made the series a classic real-time strategy game, which will undoubtedly delight fans of the franchise, especially those who played “Age of Empires 2” in their youth. “Age of Empire 4” is available for free to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on PC and is expected to come to Microsoft consoles next year.
News, launches, business and other things that matter
- The first game of the “The Witcher” franchise, which was released in 2007, will receive a remake. CD Projekt Red announced that the game codenamed “Canis Majoris” is being developed with Unreal Engine 5. According to the company, veteran developers who worked on the last two games in the series are responsible for the remake.
- Microsoft has revealed that Xbox Game Pass was well below its growth target for its game subscription service. In the fiscal year that ended in July, the company had targeted a 73% increase in the number of subscribers to the service, but the increase was only 28%. This is the second time the company has missed its forecast after exceeding expectations for 2020.
- In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Age of Empires franchise, Microsoft has announced Mythology Age: Retold, a remake of the mythology-themed real-time strategy game Age of Mythology. The new title promises to update this classic with modern graphics and updated gameplay to create the definitive edition of the game.
- In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that Microsoft intends to create a duopoly between Apple and Microsoft in the mobile game market, and that it is necessary that the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard be approved. The executive also said that even after the deal closes, the “Call of Duty” series will continue to run on PlayStation consoles “as long as it makes sense.”
- The launch of The Callisto Protocol, a space horror title developed by the developer of the Dead Space franchise, has been canceled in Japan. According to Striking Distance, the studio responsible for the game, a Japanese rating agency deemed the game too violent and requested changes to allow it to be released in the country. The studio did not accept the request.
- Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker, founders of studio Rocksteady (responsible for the “Batman: Arkham” series) announced that they are leaving the company. In a post on the studio’s blog, the developers say they are leaving the company to “start a new adventure in gaming.”
Games coming out in the coming days and promotions that are worth it
“How to say goodbye”: Price not available (PC, Switch, iOS, Android)
“Chant”: BRL 199.50 (PC, PS 5), BRL 215 (Xbox X/S)
“Center of Entropy”: Price not available (PC, Xbox One/X/S, PS 4/5)
“WRC Generations”: BRL 147.45 (Xbox One/X/S), BRL 199.50 (PS 4/5), Price Not Available (PC)
“Harvestella”: BRL 249.90 (PC), BRL 299.90 (Switch)
“It takes two”: BRL 199 (switch)
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