The market for games in Brazil has grown exponentially over the last few years, offering opportunities for product manufacturers and distributors. In this article we will trace a brief history of the gaming market in the country and list the most popular platforms for Brazilian consumers.
The Growth of Home Consoles and Mobile Device Boom
It is a well known fact that the Brazilian market for games has been riddled by issues such as piracy and illegal imports. Since recent years, however, this scenario changed significantly, as the reduction in prices and increased availability of officially distributed products led Brazilians to purchase consoles and gaming software like never before.
While it is a hard task to find official numbers of the sales of these products in the country, research from Abragames, the Brazilian Game Developer Association, indicates that over the last five years the national market expanded at rates between 9% and 15% YOY. However, the market for home consoles and personal computers does not depict the entire picture for gaming in Brazil, mainly due to the explosive rise of another category of game platforms: mobile devices.
Following a number of tax exemptions that significantly lowered the retail prices of smartphones and tablets, these types of devices are now at the forefront of the most popular gaming platforms found in Brazil.What mostly drives the adoption of these devices for gaming purposes are the large amounts of quality software available at zero costs, in what is known as the freemium model. Brazilians have for many years been one of the main consumer publics for free-to-play titles in the world, and considering that console titles are still prohibitively priced in the country it is easy to understand why a large fraction of consumers have flocked to these alternatives.
Popular Gaming Platforms in Brazil
Brazilians currently consume video games via a variety of platforms, as indicated by research from February 2015 by developer Sioux and research company Blend. The results show that, although legacy platforms remain relevant to Brazilian consumers, gaming on mobile devices and recently launched consoles have taken up a considerable part of the market share.
Around 82% of Brazilian gamers play on smartphones, while 32% consider them their favorite platform for gaming. Android is the operating system of choice for these users, with a share of 75%, followed by iOS, with 11% and Windows, with 7%. Close to a third of smartphone players download games every week, while 75% only download free titles. On average, these players spend close to BRL 30 per month on apps.
Over 71% of Brazilian gamers play on computers, while 28% consider them their favorite platform for gaming. Six out of ten PC players only use notebooks for gaming and 27% only use desktops. Windows 7 is the operating system of choice for PC gamers in Brazil, with 44% adoption, followed by Windows 8, with 33.9%. Physical and online retailers are the prefered sales channels to buy new software.
Home consoles are used by 56% of Brazilian players, while 31% consider them their favorite platform for gaming. The rate of ownership for major consoles include:
- Xbox 360: 42,9%
- Playstation 2: 38,9%
- Playstation 3: 30,3%
- Playstation 4: 10,4%
- Nintendo Wii: 9,8%
- Xbox One: 7%
In terms of most preferred consoles, the research provides similar results, which include:
- Xbox 360: 42%
- Playstation 3: 27%
- Playstation 4: 18%
Over 63% of players buy consoles from authorized retailers, while 17% buy from the grey market and 14% purchase them when travelling abroad.
Close to 37% of Brazilian gamers play on tablets, while 7% consider them their favorite platform for gaming. Android is the operating system for 78,8% of these devices, followed by iOS, with 16,4% of the share and Windows 8, with a 1.6% share.