Off to Brazil…

Not sure how many Brazilian readers I have, but I am going to speaking next week at the SBGames Conference in Sao Leopoldo. Latin America is one area that is usually off the radar for game developers, so I’m looking forward to learning more about the games market down there. I know Civ always had a sizable fan community in Brazil although I’m not sure how many of those fans actually bought legit copies of the game. As the PC gaming industry moves from boxed retail to online distribution, it’ll be interesting to see if these forgotten markets like Latin America, Russia, India, the Middle East, or even Africa become more important.

5 thoughts on “Off to Brazil…

  1. I can speak for Russia to a degree. Online distribution isn’t going to help too much with the current state of affairs:

    1. The prevalence of piracy in Russia is largely due to the lack of acceptance of intellectual property in the society. Most people just do not view software as something that should be paid for – in fact, there are even numerous people who don’t know that software costs anything. The Russian piracy market/culture is really advanced in interesting ways, but that’s a separate subject.

    2. Payment methods. Cards issued by banks are often unsuitable for international transfers and hence Internet purchases.

    3. And, of course, prices. This is very relevant in the other “forgotten areas” as well. Games cost pretty much the same amount of money throughout the world, while most are made in the US. Where 40$ may be acceptable for people in the US or Western Europe, people in these other areas often have a wage several times lower. So in Russia, various Asian and African countries, it’s relatively a much bigger amount of money. How much would game sales suffer in the US if games cost in the 150-200USD range on average?

  2. Sorry, I should have been more clear. I didn’t necessarily mean digital distribution like buying Civ via Steam. I meant more the free-to-play-with-microtransactions model, like with Mythos or Travian or Puzzle Pirates. For these games, piracy is irrelevant because the entire thing exists on the the company’s own server. But, yeah, the payment method and price issue is a tricky one.

  3. Aah. I indeed thought you meant Steam and the like. At any rate, I do think these platforms really help in making games more accessible. That’s good. It’s pretty hard to find many retail copies around here, I’ve used Steam myself with quite some comfort.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, can you get me a copy of Spore next year? 😉

  4. Interesting! (even if I’m on the other side of the world; long live the ‘net!).
    What will be the subject of your speech? Is it comparable to the one your slated for in the GDC of next year?

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