The rise and rise of Nintendo in Canada

An interview with Pierre-Paul Trepanier of Nintendo a while ago showed an interesting view into how different Canada is in terms of market than the US. In his tenure as head of the Canadian office of the Japanese games manufacturer, he saw a lot of changes both within Nintendo itself and the market at large.

The interview was wide ranging and covered what the Canadian office of Nintendo did, how different our market is to other markets and how it differs from the norm.

The Pierre-Paul Trepanier interview

The Pierre-Paul Trepanier interview showed us that the Nintendo presence here is much smaller than a country our size would normally have. Trepanier said it was because their presence was mainly for marketing and sales and had no creative presence here at all. That is surprising given how much creative talent we have here and how many other games studios and tech companies create or design here.

One other interesting observation that only someone like Trepanier is in a position to notice is that Canadians prefer consoles to portables whereas other regions such as the US like their portable gaming. For example, the Wii U did much better in Canada than down south while the Nintendo DS sold better in the US. The Wii U had all the games you could possible imagine from playing guitar to playing tennis.

He said ‘My hypothesis to explain this is that there are more parents in Canada buying consoles and thinking of their kids as a priority, versus thinking of a console purchase as one for the adult gamer in the house. The reverse side of it is that we struggle a bit with portable gaming.’

This may be true but isn’t very quantifiable. Nevertheless, there must be some reason for the differences in behaviour and that’s as good an explanation as any.

The Pierre-Paul Trepanier interview was a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the most iconic games manufacturers in the world.