Nuuvem is a Brazilian startup that sells video games digitally in the Brazilian market, but has greater aspirations. Founded in 2012, it aims to expand to the United States, Europe and Asia and it is working towards its vision of becoming the Netflix of video games, streaming games so players can enjoy the latest titles without downloading a single file.
Leaders League. When did the idea for Nuuvem arise?
Thiago Diniz. It all started when I became world champion of the strategy game The Battle for Middle Earth, in 2008. From there, I started to identify opportunities and by being involved with communities of players, I realized there was a big demand for video games in Brazil, but people could not buy them easily, and sometimes not at all, so I created a niche e-commerce website to sell strategy games to PC players. I purchased games from the United States and Europe and resold them in Brazil. The business did not go well, as the operation proved not to be practical. Then, at the end of 2008 I realized that physical products do not have a future; the future is digital. In 2009, I started thinking about creating a startup to stream games, just like Netflix does with videos, but the idea was ahead of its time. Streaming games requires high speed internet and in Brazil we do not have that. Even today, this idea is still a bit ahead of its time, so we shifted our attention to Nuuvem, a platform where players can buy and download games instead.
When will game-streaming be viable?
There are some services now running, such as Sony’s Playstation Now, but this kind of technology will reach mass market consumption sometime after 2020. We will need to see if the internet connection is good enough by then, not just in Brazil, but worldwide.
What is Nuuvem doing to stay ahead of the competition as we await 5G?
The first step is pursuing our vision of being a global digital platform for video games. We are starting to sell games in North America, Asia, Oceania and Africa and we will reach Europe soon. On top of that, we aim to build new technology exclusively for players, which I cannot discuss at this time as it’s still under development.
How do you assess the competition?
When we started in 2012, Steam (the largest platform for digital video game distribution in the world) did not cover the Brazilian market and this is where we saw our opportunity. After we started to become successful here, Steam realized the potential of the country and started to operate in Brazil. This was positive, because it allowed the market to grow even more, thus benefiting both Nuuvem and Steam.
Was the realization that you’d have to wait years to implement video game streaming hard to take?
It was disappointing but we had to be realistic about what we were doing and about the market. It`s no good being delusional when people are not looking for a particular technology at a given moment, so it was a reality check and you have to be ready to change to provide something people really want, when they want it. It was hard.
“We have to understand that customers are not loyal to any company, they are faithful to their interests”
As Nuuvem continues to grow, how do you retain your clients?
The goal is to always provide aggregated value to the user and to the community. You have to keep providing them with innovation and novelty. Consumers enjoy that. We have to understand that customers are not loyal to any company, they are faithful to their interests, so you need to be aware of how the market is developing in order to identify those needs and you must continue changing to satisy those desires, as they shift over the years.