Just like every other landmark moment in history, the Pokémon Sun and Moon Launch has come and gone. We attended the Official Launch Event, which you can read more about HERE. We had a ton of good experiences there, and additionally, we also got to meet some very interesting people!
Here’s the first out of three interviews we did at the event: an exclusive interview with the Director of Maxsoft, the sole distributor of Nintendo in South East Asia!
Q: For starters, some of us may not know who you are, or what Maxsoft is. Could you give us a short introduction?
A: Maxsoft is actually a company which was formed in 2004 for the distribution of Nintendo (products) across South East Asia. Our parent company is called Active Boeki K.K which has been a Nintendo distributor for over 30 years. Active Boeki has been formed since 1979 and has been distributing Nintendo since the Gamewatch times.
From then, we have been mainly doing the distributing in South East Asia. For Malaysia specifically, it’s M.M Soft. We also have a company called Active Gulf and Samurai in Dubai and the Middle East. In essence, Maxsoft is a sub company from Active Boeki which solely distributes all Nintendo related games. Not only that, we also distribute Pokémon Trading Cards and Banpresto related goods. Basically, anything related with Nintendo’s brand or under its umbrella.
Q: As the sole distributor of all things Nintendo in South East Asia, how do you manage the high demand?
A: Actually, we just try our best (*laughs*). I think we do okay managing the high demand. If I’m not wrong, we’ve never delayed the release date for Pokémon, meaning we’ve been striving to get the goods out on time to you guys on release day (i.e. never breaking or delaying release day.) It was always out on the launch day itself.
We also take our own risks to make sure the community actually has a Pokémon game in their hands on the day of the release so they’re not lagged behind other countries. We wanted them (the SEA community) to have the same experience as everyone else in the world.
Q: If you don’t mind, can you share with us the current situation of all things Nintendo in South East Asia, such as the demand growth?
A: To be honest, Nintendo – compared to other platforms – is growing significantly. The Nintendo 3DS has been thriving this year and excelling. For Pokémon Sun and Moon, it has hit a record as the best selling 3DS software ever and it has been one of the best selling software for the year 2016.
Q: So, does this mean that the sales record of Pokémon Sun and Moon has broken the sales record of Pokémon X and Y or Pokémon ORAS (Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire)?
A: Yes, for the day 1 sales record, Pokémon Sun and Moon has broken the sales record of Pokémon XY and ORAS. So Pokémon Sun and Moon is the best software in the Nintendo 3DS.
Q: Have you ever received any complaints for things that were not in your control?
A: We received some funny complaints in August of 2016 about the Arceus codes (a legendary Pokémon distribution via code). But in reality, we already did an Arceus distribution during 2015 Christmas; we did that as a Christmas gift. But sometimes there’s miscommunication, so I can’t always do [the distributions]. For instance, in the case of the Arceus distribution code, South East Asia was actually the second region to get the code, and then came America In 2013, there was no code distribution, nothing at all.
However, I feel like its a good thing for us to receive complaints because we get the chance to learn. It reminds me of when we first started with Garchomp; It wasn’t a good code distribution and there were only 3000 pieces and limited to distribution in Singapore. To be honest, the Garchomp distribution did well because it was the first one but it wasn’t as appealing as the shiny Gengar distribution that came after.
Anyway, our main goal is to make our customers happy. I even read all of our Facebook comments that everyone wrote. I also sometimes ask Wilson (a Pokémon Professor), what kind of distribution he would want. Now, we have Genesect code distribution and even Volcanion code distribution.
To be honest, it’s because of the community that this happened. It’s not me, it’s not Maxsoft, it’s not Nintendo and it’s not Pokémon, it’s the community that is letting us know so that we are able to grow it together. That is why I really appreciate any feedback. Sometimes it can be pretty brutal, but it’s okay, we’ll take it.
Q: How does it feel to be the director for a company like this?
A: To be honest, it’s exciting. We have many different directors, Karma here is also a director, we just deal with different aspects. I do mainly the Pokémon stuff. As a director, my goal is not to increase in sales, but to make my customers happy. To be honest, increasing sales just comes naturally when the customers are satisfied. In essence, the customer will be loyal to the brand when they are enjoying the game and is satisfied. That’s what we strive for, and that is why we do all these Pokémon distribution.
Basically, being the director is exciting, but sometimes troublesome, because there are all kinds of people with different demands and sometimes you cannot meet it. In the end, we do our best to help the community and try our best.
Q: Can you share with us some of the future plans of Maxsoft?
A: All I can say is next year March, something exciting will happen then. If you had asked me one month before, I would have told you about the NES classic mini which is available now. But right now, all I can say is next year March, and maybe something exciting will come next year January in Singapore as well.
Q: Is there any truth that Nintendo purposely does not supply enough for the huge demand to create hype? Like, sometimes I could see that people in the forums are saying the shortage of Amiibo was done on purpose.
A: I don’t think its done purposely, really. I think it’s just simple economics with the supply and demand. So, it’s really Nintendo’s projections that matters. So with that, if Nintendo short supplies, I don’t think it’s done on purpose. It’s just that the demand far exceeds the supplies. Like for example the demand for the NES classic mini far exceeded it’s supply, it’s ridiculous.
Another example is Pokémon X and Y’s demand also far exceeded the supply, because it was the first title that did significantly well on the 3DS. It was one of the best Pokémon games sales-wise. Then comes Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, that did better than Pokémon X and Y sales-wise, but nobody expected Pokémon X and Y to be that big and that’s what caused the supply to not meet the demand.
To summarize, its impossible to predict every software on how well it’ll do. Sometimes, there are times where the sales forecast just cannot predict what actually happens and Nintendo is out of control.
Q: Lastly, is there anything you would want to tell our readers?
A: All I want is you all to support the community. If the community is happy, Maxsoft is happy. Really, in essence, it’s not how Maxsoft is doing, it’s not how Nintendo is doing. To be honest, as a director I care more about people who are playing. I don’t expect you guys to do anything, I just want you all to enjoy the game. That’s my job; to allow the customers that purchase the game to enjoy the game to the fullest. As Maxsoft, I really thank everyone for purchasing the game officially and I hope the best for the future.
Q: Bonus Question: If you could choose to be stuck in any Nintendo game worlds, which would it be and why?
A: (*laughs*) I’m sorry but I don’t think it’ll be anything related (with Nintendo). I would say… Dragon Quest 5. Because that was the best RPG game I played during my childhood. I’m a Dragon Quest fanatic. You guys assume I would choose Pokémon right? (*laughs*) Sorry guys, but of course, I love Pokémon, that’s for sure.