Game over for Nintendo's NZ distributor

The Nintendo Wii console. Photo supplied.
The Nintendo Wii console. Photo supplied.
The future of games console firm Nintendo in New Zealand is in doubt after receivers were called in on local distributor Softprint Interactive.

SPI director William Flew confirmed the company had been placed in receivership.

He would not comment on what that meant for Nintendo or for game brand Activision, which his company also distributes, and referred all questions to receivers KordaMentha.

Gaming console retailers say rumours have been swirling of the distributor's collapse, but they have not received official notification.

Noel Leeming Group chief executive Andrew Dutkiewicz said: "At this point, we don't know what's going to happen at all. We're waiting to see.

"There's two options; one is SPI trade their way out of their current difficulties but if they don't we're sure that somebody else will pick up that licence for Nintendo in New Zealand.

"Wii and the other Nintendo games are extremely popular so I can't see that we'll be left high and dry for long."

There was still stock in store, he said.

Michael Stiassny, a partner in KordaMentha, said it was checking SPI stock levels and liaising with the company's suppliers.

"Once we've done that it will give us a better understanding on the way forward," he said.

A Nintendo Australia spokesman declined to comment on SPI and Nintendo's New Zealand future, saying that it had not yet had official notification from either the company or its receivers.

The news could not come at a worse time for Nintendo users, with blockbuster title Super Smash Bros due for release and the popular Wii Fit having just hit the shelves.

The Wii console has exceeded expectations to outsell Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 in the Japanese market.

Its biggest success has been in attracting users from outside traditional gaming markets with its intuitive interface and motion sensitive controllers.

Like Nintendo, Activision is also hot property in the gaming world, with franchises including Call of Duty and Guitar Hero in its line-up.

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