Nintendo Switch developer reveals how ‘Argentina’ made his game a casual hit

Publisher of Nintendo Switch management emulator Let’s Build a zoo shared how a strange policy by the eShop and “Argentina” made their game inadvertently a game.

Mike Rose, corporate director at Publisher No More Robotsshared on Twitter (below) that people using the eShop solution to buy games cheaper by changing their region seemed at first a disaster for Let’s Build a Zoo, but quickly became be the key to its success.

Rose felt happy when the game received so many pre-orders, but after he saw that they were from “Argentina”, he became worried. There are big problems with this, he said.

“Obviously they’re not really from Argentina. Obviously people are doing the easy thing to swap regions, setting their eShop region to Argentina to get the cheapest price possible. That ‘cheapest price’ is about $1.50, due to the exchange rate.”

Let’s Build a Zoo and its Dinosaur Island DLC available for $26.99 on US eShop, but Rose said his company will now make less than $1 per sale. “Players can simply visit sites like ‘eShop Prices’, see where new games are cheap and in what regions, and are provided with precise instructions on how to change regions and buy game without using it.”

However, that soon changed, a few days after the pre-order went live, Let’s Build a Zoo that Starts Climbing US eShop rankings. Rose realized that Nintendo was actually using an eShop focused on the Americas and sales were high in Argentina thus making the game central to the US.

“That meant when we launched right on September 29th, we climbed pretty high in the Great Deals tab on the US eShop,” said Rose. “And now we’re getting attention the way more American players do – attracting more attention than we would have if we hadn’t climbed the rankings.”

The game has also been featured on European and Australian eShops, and sales are so high that the average price of each sale has increased from $1 to more than $20 per sale.

Rose wraps up her story by asking publishers like Nintendo, Valveand Microsoft (because the problem is common across all platforms) to reconfigure their online stores so people can’t just switch regions to buy games at a fraction of the price.

Ryan Dinsdale is a freelancer on IGN. He would talk about The Witcher all day.


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