Japanese gaming firm Nintendo has exited the Brazilian market, stating that high tariffs on technology imports had made its business unsustainable. It is not clear how many Brazilians played games on Nintendo, which made a foray into that market four years ago.
In a statement, the Japanese company expressed displeasure at not having a manufacturing unit in the South American country to avoid the costs of importation.
High import tariffs are aimed at protecting local manufacturing jobs and forcing foreign companies to open their own manufacturing facilities in Brazil. But Nintendo has surprised Brazilian lawmakers by choosing to shut down its operations altogether instead of setting up a manufacturing unit.
“Brazil is an important market for Nintendo and home to many passionate fans, but unfortunately challenges in the local business environment have made our current distribution model unsustainable in the country,” said Bill van Zyll, Director and General Manager for Latin America Nintendo of America.
Nintendo says it will continue to work with the Juegos de Video Latinoamérica and evaluate ‘the best way to serve Brazilian fans in the future. Juegos’ subsidiary Gaming do Brasil has been Nintendo’s distribution partner in Brazil for the past four years.
“We will continue to monitor the environment in the country so that we can evaluate future opportunities,” Juegos said.
Although Nintendo’s decision to exit Brazil ends it alliance with Gaming do Brasil, Juegos will continue representing Nintendo elsewhere the region.
Both Microsoft and Sony faced the same hurdles with their respective online stores, but managed to offer alternatives. However Nintendo, it seems, saw no better option than to exit.
Gaming has long been an expensive hobby in Brazil, where most people choose to play free PC games instead of paying the high costs for games consoles. This notwithstanding, reports indicate that Brazil was one of Nintendo’s largest markets.