Brazilian Fans Were Feeling Abandoned by Nintendo, So They Decided to Host a Nintendo Direct of Their Own

Brazilian Fans Were Feeling Abandoned by Nintendo, So They Decided to Host a Nintendo Direct of Their Own

If you build it, the Switch games will come.

Nintendo is an international company, but that doesn't mean all regions have the same access to Nintendo games. In Brazil especially, Nintendo fans have had trouble getting a hold of games, getting information in their native language, and promoting their local developers. So fans decided to make a Direct about it. An unofficial Brazilian Nintendo Direct, by and for Brazilian Nintendo fans.

"In Brazil, we fans feel a bit abandoned by Nintendo," says Rodrigo Coelho, who led the charge on the Direct project. "They were here officially in the '90s and there are thousands of fans. But nowadays if you want to play Nintendo in Brazil, you have to import games. And with that comes a high price. It is not cheap to be a Nintendo fan in Brazil."

What started with a fan petition, under the name Fãs de Nintendo do Brasil (Nintendo Fans from Brazil), developed into a larger movement. It made a few requests: that Nintendo first-party games, like Zelda and Pokemon, get Portuguese language support; a Brazilian Nintendo channel, similar to Nintendo Portugal; presentations in Brazilian Portuguese, and official Nintendo events in Brazil. For several months, Coelho gathered fansites and Brazilian devs, building up Discord channels and boosting support through the hashtag #QueremosNintendo (#WeWantNintendo).

Nintendo vacated the Brazillian market in 2015, citing "high import duties that apply to our sector." While the Switch eShop is still available in the region, players report limited functionality, suggesting that the Brazilian just buy games via the US eShop.

Coelho's motivation to put this Direct together wasn't just to showcase games, but to grab Nintendo's attention and to have fans' voices heard by Nintendo. "We really wanted to show Nintendo that we want to be a part of the community too," Coelho says.

The Direct was largely a one-man effort from Coelho. As fansites boosted the #QueremosNintendo movement and grew grassroots support, Coelho reached out to developers with Brazilian backgrounds to feature their games. Alongside announcing the Switch port of games like Chroma Squad, he also showcased many games currently available for the console, in a format modeled after Nintendo's Nindies showcases. Despite currently living in Tokyo, it was important for Coelho to bring in local devs like Long Hat House and Bitten Toast Games.

"I'm always happy to see Brazilian games getting attention, so I was happy to join and share the event," Daniel Nascimento of Bitten Toast Games.

All the studios taking part were either in Brazil, or had developers hailing from Brazil, and each was receptive to the idea, with some boosting the movement and Direct on their own channels. After a filming session at YouTube Space Tokyo and help from an editor, Coelho had his Direct; once it passed the YouTube team's clearance process, it was time to broadcast and see what the reception would be like.

The Grassroots Nintendo Direct is a Success

On the day of the Direct, it hit a peak of 4500 live viewers, with a constant 4200, according to Coelho's numbers. Digplay, a large Brazilian Nintendo channel, reportedly hit 2300 peak live viewers. It was huge, in Coelho's eyes. He felt it was comparable to a live Direct event.

Since the air date, Coelho has been continuing to compile results to further the movement. He tells me some developers have been contacted already by Nintendo representatives, congratulating them on the Direct. A spokesperson for Long Hat House, the developer of the criminally underrated Metroidvania Dandara, seems hopeful for the future.

"It would be great for Nintendo to look into [Latin America] as a whole, there's a lot to be gained from that," a dev Long Hat House told us. "The quality of the games produced here keeps getting better year after year, and we have a huge consumer base that loves them."

Coelho simply hopes the message is heard. He's successfully motivated a groundswell of support for the Brazilian region, and the ball is in Nintendo's court. "We hope to at least get a response from Nintendo," Coelho says. "Recognizing the movement and the love of the Brazilian fans."

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

Read this next

Chroma Squad PC Preview: It's Henshin Time!

Mike has been given special powers to fight an ancient evil that threatens the world! Or he's just playing Behold Studios' new tactical sim.

PAX Prime 2014: Bob and Kat Pick the Best of the Indie Megabooth

What indie games have our heroes the most excited? Bob and Kat share their favorites.

Power Rangers' Owner Saban Brands in Talks With Chroma Squad Dev

Fear not, Chroma Squad fans. Behold Studios and Saban Brands are talking, but the game isn't going anywhere yet.

Starting Screen: Blizzard's Troubled 2019 Finds the Once Invincible Studio at a Crossroads

This past year has found Blizzard embroiled in one controversy after another. What does it say about its future?

Check Out Sega's Surprise Remix of a Classic Sonic Adventure Tune

Maybe don't get your hopes too high that this means anything, though.

Halo Infinite Lead Producer Leaves 343 Industries Two Months After Taking Charge on Campaign

A 343 representative says the departure isn't a sign of a "creative dilemma."

Wargroove Is Getting a Free Heist-Themed Co-Op DLC Called Double Trouble

Chucklefish will also introduce some new tools for custom maps and game-wide balance changes.

More News

Check Out Sega's Surprise Remix of a Classic Sonic Adventure Tune

Maybe don't get your hopes too high that this means anything, though.

Halo Infinite Lead Producer Leaves 343 Industries Two Months After Taking Charge on Campaign

A 343 representative says the departure isn't a sign of a "creative dilemma."

Wargroove Is Getting a Free Heist-Themed Co-Op DLC Called Double Trouble

Chucklefish will also introduce some new tools for custom maps and game-wide balance changes.

Little Town Hero Will Last 10 to 20 Hours, According to its Director

Director Masao Taya doesn't play as many turn-based RPGs as he used to, and that informs Little Town Hero's compact campaign.

More on Switch

Wargroove Is Getting a Free Heist-Themed Co-Op DLC Called Double Trouble

Chucklefish will also introduce some new tools for custom maps and game-wide balance changes.

Little Town Hero Will Last 10 to 20 Hours, According to its Director

Director Masao Taya doesn't play as many turn-based RPGs as he used to, and that informs Little Town Hero's compact campaign.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's File Size is Pleasantly Rotund, Like a Wooloo

You cannot nap on the belly of Sword and Shield's game cartridge, however.

Fortnite Probably Isn't Dead, But Players Can't Help But Wonder What's Next

After a massive explosion, Fortnite users are left with only an eerie void and theories.

Mailbag of the Blood God: What to Play if You're New to RPGs

The Axe of the Blood God mailbag returns with conversation about what to play if you're new to RPGs, Final Fantasy 13, and more.

A New Fortnite Battle Royale Map May Have Been Leaked on the App Store

Fortnite's map has changed a lot over its 10 seasons. Is it about to be replaced?

More Action Adventure Games

Starting Screen | A Great Port Is Always Worth the Wait

Whatever time it takes to make a game feel just right on a new system is well-spent.

The Lineup for Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 Includes Sekiro, Final Fantasy 8, and a Destiny 2 Raid

It will no doubt make any future raid time of mine look embarrassing.

Kamala Khan Stretches Her Way Onto the Playable Roster for Marvel's Avengers

Marvel's Ms. Marvel is here to get the Avengers back in action.

Shenmue 3 Looks Modern, but its Dialogue is Vintage Dreamcast

Don't forget to buy tokens if you wanna play.