Collect Payments for Online Games in Brazil

Commercialisation of games in the Brazilian market has always been a major challenge for international developers but the trend seems to have changing over recent years. In this article we will look at the most effective way to collect payments of Online Games in Brazil.

The Brazilian market for games has become the biggest market in Latin America over the last years, with an estimated total value of USD 1.4 billion in 2014 according to the research firm New Zoo.

For many years the game industry in Brazil was hindered by unauthorised distribution of computer games. In addition to that, video game consoles and accessories are considered to be nonessential products, and therefore subject to a very high tax burden.

Today the situation is different. By 2014, Brazil houses more than 200 game development companies, mainly focus on casual games for online and mobile distribution. The Brazilian government is also incentivizing local development through programs like INOVApps, which awards financial compensations to game developers.

Although the local game development industry is benefiting from the new spring for gaming in Brazil, all the most popular titles are still developed by international companies.

Payment methods

While in most countries you can rely on credit cards as the only payment method, you will have to reconsider this premise in Brazil. It is estimated that less than 25% of the population possess a credit card and the vast majority of the 82.6 million active credit cards in Brazil are blocked for international transactions.

In Brazil you will find the following types of payment methods for online games:

  • Boleto Bancário
  • Debit Cards
  • Credit Cards
  • Direct Bank Debit
  • Prepaid Physical Vouchers: vouchers sold on Brazilian supermarket and stores that contain redeemable codes for gaming credits
  • Prepaid Digital Vouchers: vouchers sold in specialized web shops that sell redeemable codes for gaming credits
  • Carrier Billing: SMS sent to the game company which is integrated with the mobile operator charges

It is not necessary to support all the payment methods at the time you are launching on the Brazilian market, however it is important to select a payment strategy that is flexible enough so it may be extended with additional payment methods in the future.

Payment Beyond Online Gaming

For online games developers, the in-game purchases can be just a part of the revenue. Developers and publishers that choose to control the payment relationship open up a wide range of new monetization options in Brazil:

  • Books - tax free to import to Brazil and can easily be delivered from abroad.
  • Fan Apparel - can easily produced and delivered with a fulfillment agent in Brazil.
  • Big Ticket Items - Angry Bird playgrounds sold to Brazil
  • Other Fan Merchandise

As Brazilian consumers are highly receptive for fan merchandise this can be a profitable additional revenue stream in the market.

Channel Distribution

Brazil is a continental sized country with massive physical and cultural distances between North and South. Specialised sites like BoaCompra and Rixty provide easy access to a part of the market, however to reach a larger audience you will most likely depend on local distribution partners.

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