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Nintendo trying to reach alternative retailers

The Game Factory's Damien Sarrazin says Nintendo needs the right offering to expand its presence

Demonstrating their upcoming Zenses titles at a recent media summit, The Game Factory's Damien Sarrazin noted that Nintendo is trying to reach out to alternative retailers.

"They've cornered the enthusiast retailers, the gaming retailers - the EBs of the world, the Best Buys. I think they've maximized the potential there," he told

"There is nothing more you can do in the usual places where you would expect to find videogame hardware and software. So, the only way they can expand their presence is to access alternative retailers - and in order to do that, they need to come up with the right offering."

Sarrazin thinks his company has found the right offering with Zenses - DS puzzle games designed specifically for a female audience.

"After doing some research, we realised that there is actually a really strong share of the portable gaming market - more specifically on the DS - that is represented by female gamers.

"And when we looked at the casual gaming market - including both males and females - we found that the offering for females was very minimal."

Looking further at purchase rates, the company found that females weren't as likely to buy multiple titles each year as they were to buy a single game and play it consistently.

The Game Factory came up with Zenses: Ocean and Zenses: Rainforest - two puzzle games for the Nintendo DS that rely heavily upon ambient sound and relaxing imagery.

"We're not delivering a hardcore gaming experience where you are going to spend 15-60 hours to play a game to complete levels. We've created a game so that you can take a break from your daily routine and sort of take a mental vacation," he said.

Sarrazin believes that Zenses is in line with the target demographic Nintendo has in mind for Wii Fit, which is one of the reasons why the company invited The Game Factory to present their title at the media summit.

The Game Factory plans to advertise their DS titles in women's lifestyle media and hopes to market it at retailers that haven't traditionally carried videogames - although that presents a different challenge.

"The thing is that those categories of retailers are used to higher margins. In our industry, the margins are kind of low for the retailers. That's another obstacle that we, with Nintendo, need to work out."

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