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New Zealand: Nintendo's new red-headed stepchild

Those of you in the UK or Australia can complain all you want about how Nintendo doesn't love you, but New Zealand is probably the most deprived English-speaking region out there -- or at least, it will be.

Softprint Interactive, the company that distributes Nintendo and other companies' games in the land of the kiwis, has recently filed for receivership (aka bankruptcy). Hopefully, someone will step up (perhaps Nintendo themselves) to fix this distribution disaster, otherwise New Zealand might be in trouble. Activision will also have to find a new distributor in the country, as Softprint was responsible for their games as well. Yikes-- we hope none of you kiwis were looking forward to Guitar Hero: On Tour.

[Via Go|Nintendo]

Phoenix Wright: Ace Strategic Planner

As consumers, we hardly look into the business side of gaming. That doesn't mean we don't take a look at stocks and sales numbers, because we like to play the part of video game analyst at times. Yet, we usually don't think about the behind-the-scenes decisions that publishers have to make.

When we want games, we just want them, publishers be damned. Games like Electroplankton bother us because they're so hard to find, and even when Electroplankton was available way back when, it was only available online and at the Nintendo World Store. We never stopped to think that maybe retailers refused to put the game on their shelves. (Note: We're not saying that this was the case with Electroplankton, only that it may have factored into Nintendo's decision).

MTV Multiplayer's interview with Christian Svensson, the Senior Director of Strategic Planning & Research for Capcom, brings some of these issues to light. Svensson talks a lot about the first Phoenix Wright game specifically, and how it was difficult to convince retailers to stock the title despite fan interest.

There are also many other issues that come into play, like first week sales and production speeds. If companies can't provide retailers with games almost immediately after orders are placed, stores will just move on to the next hot title on the market. This makes proper estimates for DS games especially important, since they take about two months to manufacture. No pressure.

The article is definitely worth a read, and the next time you find yourself irritated because so-and-so game is impossible to find, you might be a little less quick to yell out objections.

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