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Nintendo Ends Console and Game Distribution in Brazil

Nintendo pulls its support for the unsustainable Brazilian games market, citing government taxes and importing fees as the culprits.

In a move that feels nothing short of tragic, Nintendo will no longer be selling consoles or video games in Brazil. The news was announced yesterday with the official release stating as follows:

"Starting in January 2015, Gaming do Brasil, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Juegos de Video Latinoamérica, GmbH, will no longer distribute Nintendo products in Brazil."

Nintendo says the market is usustainable for them in Brazil and cites the high costs of importing and local taxes imposed by the government as the culprits. These fees increase the cost of consoles and games for the consumer and can dissuade purchases. For a frame of reference, a Wii U at launch retailed for R$1,899 in Brazil, which at the time was about $830 USD

Any remaining Nintendo products in Brazil will be sold until supply runs out. Afterwards, Brazillian gamers will have to import products on their own.

The distribution halt is currently expected to be a temporary one. In an interview with Bill Van Zyll, Nintendo's Latin America General Manager, the company expressed that it still cares deeply for its Brazilian fanbase and suggests that it will continue to look for solutions to its distribution problems. There is no official word on if or when distribution will resume, though.

Any remaining Nintendo products in Brazil will be sold until supply runs out. Afterwards, Brazillian gamers will have to import products on their own. Other Latin American nations such as Paraguay, Chile, and Mexico and the U.S. are expected to be unphased by Nintendo's decision, giving Brazillian gamers importing options, albeit costly and difficult ones.

Nintendo is not the only company that has to wrestle with Brazil's high import fees and taxes. The cost of the PS4 and Xbox One at launch were R$3,999 and R$2,200 respectively which is equivalent to $1,850 and $1,016 USD at the time. Reportedly, 60 to 70 percent of the price of the PS4 is due to taxes and import fees, including taxes imposed on games because of an old law that technically classifies video games as gambling. Microsoft managed to reduce the price of their Xbox One by manufacturing in Brazil, a move that Nintendo has reportedly stated will not work for them.

What do you think? Is Brazil's fiscal policy to blame for Nintendo's decision, or could the company do more for its fans? Do you think that we'll feel the residual effects of this business move here in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments below.

Published Jan. 11th 2015

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