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Interviewer: I’m here at Game Developers Conference Online in Austin, Texas and with me today is a special guest. How about you introduce yourself?
Julian: I’m Julian Gooden, director in charge of products and interface design at the site, UOL which is the number one Internet company in Brazil, number one portal. We are here just looking for developers that want to publish games in Brazil.
Interviewer: Let’s talk about the opportunity in Brazil. Can you give me some information on how large the audience is, and what’s the financial opportunity? Why focus on Brazil versus other countries?
Julian: Brazil is a growing market. We have about 70 million Internet users, 60 to 70 million Internet users. The economy is very stable. The currency is stable, and the market’s growing very, very fast. We started hearing about social games, maybe, one year and a half ago. We have the Orkut, the main Brazilian social network. Facebook is just, maybe, one quarter, 25 percent of our users in Brazil and Orkut is the number one.
We started hearing about social games, maybe, January of last year. And we know that it has a lot of opportunities because our Brazilians are eager to spend money in social and casual games applications, and the Internet cooperation is growing, too. Brazil has about 200 million inhabitants and Internet just 60 million, 60 to 70 million which has a lot of room to grow there.
Interviewer: Now, the one concern is that, what’s the revenue per user in Brazil? You know, most of the developers are focusing on English countries, UK, U. S., Canada because our RPU is really high. Do you have any information on the spending habits of Brazilian players?
Julian: Yeah. It’s not so high as U. S. because our RPU is, maybe, one third, no, less than one third of the U. S. But I think that our RPU in U. S. is about $2, $1 to $2. I think it depends, and in Brazil, maybe, it’s half of that, about half of that.
Interviewer: OK. So, that’s the opportunities. So, if a developer wants to go through, go and just focus their game on the Brazilian market, how can they work with you, and what are the benefits that you guys can offer, services that you can offer to help a studio get a game in Brazil?
Julian: It’s very difficult to go to Brazil by yourself because we have a lot of issues concerning our culture, our language. And so, I think that everybody thinks that it’s not like this. People think we speak Spanish, and we speak…
Interviewer: I thought that, too. I just talked to someone from Brazil yesterday, and I thought that.
Julian: Yeah, it’s Portuguese. When you hear about Latin America, you think about Spanish, and we are more like Portuguese. Brazil has a lot of Italians, Japanese. In fact, Brazil has the number one Japanese colony outside Japan. Nobody knows that, and it’s very difficult to go by yourself and figure out how the market works.
As we are the number one Internet company, we know Brazilian customers. We know Brazilian users, and so our company was established since 1996. And we are part of one of the major Brazilian media groups. So, we have online payment systems. The number one online payment system in Brazil is called ?. Translation to English is something like Safe Pay.
Interviewer: You are like the PayPal of Brazil.
Julian: Yeah, we are the Brazilian PayPal. Yeah, that’s correct. And this system is used by a lot of games in Brazil. It’s the number one solution for social games in Brazil, too. And, of course, we can publish games. We have games portals growing in Brazil. We can publish games there, casual games or social games using Facebook or open social.
We can publish games, too. We can localize games to Brazilian culture, Brazilian language, and I think we are the best partner to any developer that wants to go to Brazil.
Interviewer: Well, let’s talk about your portal. So, let’s say that a game company… What if they just pay someone else to localize it? They pay someone else to localize for Brazil, but they want distribution. How can you help out with that? Can you talk more about this site, your gaming site, and the distribution it offers.
Julian: Sure. We have a large audience. We can drive audience to the games. People go to Orkut to look for news, to look for content, to look for videos. And so, we can drive the audience to the games. I think that is the main difference between published games at UOL and any other site. If you go by yourself, you will spend a lot of money to catch users. I think that’s the main issue for us to publish games.
Interviewer: What’s the rev share? What’s the percentage that you guys take if a small studio wants to promote their game in Brazil?
Julian: It depends on the agreement. We can host games. We have the number one hosting solution in Brazil. We can translate. We can charge users on subscription basis or we can do a lot of noise in the media, newspapers, TV and websites. And so, it depends on the agreement.
Interviewer: In addition to that, then you have the payment service itself. Let’s just say that a company has a social game on Facebook. And for the Brazilian players, maybe, they can tell by IP that they’re from Brazil. Can they just put in your payment option for the Brazilian players, or how does that work?
Julian: Yeah, yeah. It’s so easy. We have public APIs. If you want to publish games in Brazil, you just have to call us and it’s very easy to integrate you.
Interviewer: Where can developers find out more information then about your service?
Julian: Publishers can go to www.uol.com.br/gamedev.
Interviewer: Did you say E-O-L or U-O-L?
Julian: U-O-L. It stands for Universal Online.
Interviewer: So, any other sites that they need to visit, or is that where everything can be found?
Julian: No, no. The developers will find everything there, publishing solutions, payment solutions and localizations, too. And hosting, of course.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.