Gamers trick their Nintendo Switch to get a game cheaper – accidentally making it a top seller

Gamers trick their Nintendo Switch to get a game cheaper - accidentally making it a top seller

Gamers on the Nintendo Switch used a trick to buy a game cheaper. Shortly thereafter, it was among the top 100 bestsellers in the USA. We at MeinMMO show what’s behind it.

What game is it? “Let’s Build a Zoo” is a game in which – as the name suggests – you have to build your own zoo. The title uses a pixel art look. The design of the world is slightly reminiscent of the old Pokémon games on the Gameboy Advance.

Let’s Build a Zoo was released on September 29th, 2022 and is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox and PC on Steam.

Normally, the game will cost $19.99 in the US, writes the online magazine However, as Mike Rose, developer of Let’s Build a Zoo, points out Twitter writes, the team behind the game decided to offer the title at a reduced price at the pre-order launch on September 22nd. As a result, pre-orders of Let’s Build a Zoo cost 15% less.

If you want to get a first impression of “Let’s Build a Zoo”, we include the reveal trailer here:

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Buyers use price tourism to shop cheaply

What trick did buyers use? The trick is so-called “price tourism,” suspects Mike Rose. According to his own statement, he was already looking forward to strong sales figures when he noticed that 85% of the pre-orders came from Argentina.

I went to bed when the pre-orders started rolling in. When I woke up and checked the sales numbers… holy… So many pre-orders! So I performed a little victory dance. Then I checked where the pre-orders came from […]. 85% of our pre-orders came from Argentina.

Mike Rose via Twitter

In Argentina, the game costs the equivalent of just under 1.50 US dollars. Mike Rose therefore suspects that buyers have probably changed the region of the Nintendo eShop to get the game cheaper.

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This type of trick to buy a game at a reduced price is called price tourism. Buyers often use software for this or, if this is possible without any problems, change the region of the shop.

There are two big problems with this.
1. The purchases were obviously not actually from Argentina. Apparently people just switched regions and set their eShop region to Argentina to get the cheapest price.
2. This ‘best price’ was approximately $1.50 due to exchange rates.

Mike Rose via Twitter

Let’s Build a Zoo climbs the US eShop charts

Why is the game a top seller now? Like Mike Rose on Twitter writes, at the end of the second day of pre-orders, he realized that “Let’s Build a Zoo” had slipped into the list of the US eShop’s top 100 bestsellers overnight.

He then explains that the shop judges the entire American region together: “The US eShop is not the US eShop. It is the ‘America’ eShop. All sales in the Americas were considered sales across the region (via Twitter).”

According to Ross, the joint assessment of the American region has now resulted in the numerous Argentine purchases hoisting the game into the top 100 bestsellers in the US eShop.

What are the consequences? on Twitter Mike Ross also addresses some of the consequences of the situation. He writes that “Let’s Build a Zoo” clearly attracted US players when the game was properly launched on September 29, because the game attracted more attention due to its high ranking among the bestsellers.

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In addition, according to Rose, the game was prominently featured in the EU eShop and the Australian eShop because the success of the title in the US eShop was probably noticed by the teams (via Twitter).

What do you think of the curious success of “Let’s Build a Zoo”? are you watching the game Write it to us here on MeinMMO in the comments!

Did you find the information Maik Rose shared interesting and now you want to read another story from a developer? Then check out the story from indie developer Fabrice Breton, who uncovered a nasty scam by scammers:

Suspicious game testers cheating small indie developers on Steam – nasty scam has now been uncovered