Joining The Switch Effect on today’s Industry Interviews is Rob Vitorino, PR & Marketing Manager for Mad Mimic Interactive and Head of Planning for Indie Roll. Mad Mimic Interactive is a relatively new Brazil based indie game publisher, but has already been making waves with their first upcoming title, No Heroes Here. Having won for Best Social Game at Game Connection America 2017, No Heroes Here is a crazy and explosive castle defense simulation game. With retro-inspired graphics, single player campaign, crafting, up to 4-player co-op action and more, there are going to be countless hours, and lives, lost in the world of No Heroes Here.
Rob, thank you so much for allowing us to speak with you. For those unfamiliar with Mad Mimic Interactive, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how the studio came to be?
My name is Rob and I’ve been working with video games since 2008. I’ve been developing content for brands such as Cartoon Network, Ubisoft, NVIDIA, Bandai Namco, HyperX and Warner Channel. Nowadays, my job is focused on helping the Brazilian video game industry with my own agency, called Indie Roll. To be more precise, Indie Roll is a marketing, PR and social media studio that wants to create a sustainable environment for Brazilian indie developers. We are operating for almost three months and our partners are Rogue Snail (for Mark Venturelli and his Relic Hunters Legend), Mono Myto (Indie Prize winner) and Mad Mimic Interactive. Mad Mimic Interactive is a Brazilian independent game studio based in São Paulo. It was founded by the game developers Luís Fernando Tashiro and Luís Gustavo Sampaio and is part of Zyx, a famed company specialized in educational game development here in Brazil. The first original release of Mad Mimic is No Heroes Here, that was winner and nominated for more than 10 prizes in Brazil and around the world.
What was the first console/game you ever owned?
My first console was a Sega Genesis when I was six. It was the bundle with Sonic Spinball and its was my only cartridge for a long time. The year was 1994 and it was a Christmas gift from my parents. Here in Brazil we had the habit to rent cartridges because the games were too expansive and my entire Sega Genesis collection was summarized by Mortal Kombat 3 and Sonic Spinball.
Growing up, did you always know you wanted to work in the video game industry?
This is a good question. When I was a kid, my dream career was writing for video games; something like a screenwriter. The time passed by and I discovered music and sports and for many years I wanted to play soccer professionally or be a rockstar. None of these ideas worked and I went to college to study Media. On my second year, a friend of mine made an invitation to work on a TV station that talked exclusive about video games and then my career started. After that episode, I went to E3 for two times (2001 and 2016) and worked for brands like Ubisoft, Bandai, NVIDIA and more.
For those unfamiliar with No Heroes Here, can you briefly describe the gameplay?
No Heroes Here is a 2D multiplayer co-op game, online and local, for up to 4 players mixing ‘Castle Defense’ with crafting and platform, all in beautiful pixel art style. With lots of eligible characters and levels to explore, strategy and cooperation with other players for outcome, each challenge is the funniest part of No Heroes Here. The game is now available on Steam for Windows and Mac OS and release for all consoles is expected for next year.
Although No Heroes Here is not due to arrive on the Switch until Q1 2018, the title has already won an award and is generating a lot of hype. What has the reaction been at the office for all this positive support?
The feelings about all the prizes are totally mixed on the studio. Winning a lot of prizes and receiving some nominations are important and keep the team optimistic and working hard. However, we all know these kinds of stuff don’t sell games and we all know that a game company survives only by selling its products. Our game is selling well, but it could be better. We hope all the hype reverts back to sales in the future when we launch for consoles.
Let’s talk briefly about the Nintendo Switch! What are your thoughts on Nintendo’s newest console?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Nintendo since SNES. At our place, my wife and I started a game collection and we have a lot of Nintendo consoles such as SNES, Nintendo 64, 3DS, Wii and the Switch. We bought the Switch one week after the release on a European trip and we REALLY LOVED the console. Now we are playing Super Mario Odyssey and my conclusion is: this is not a game, it’s more like a love letter for video game fans. I think Switch is breaking some paradigms on the video game industry and things will not be the same after this; for consumers and even more for developers. Another game we finished on the console was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and it was one of the best in the Zelda series, in my modest opinion. I just have only wonderful stuff to talk about the console.
Are there any opportunities or challenges that arise when working with the Nintendo Switch?
I can’t say anything about technical issues because I’m not a game developer. Talking about my part and adding my knowledge working with the Nintendo Switch, there are a lot of opportunities for indie game developers. This is because the Switch is a friendlier platform for multiplayer games and this is wonderful for Mad Mimic Interactive because we love working on games like that. As a challenge I point to the Nintendo fans’ they are super picky and attracting them could be hard for most developers. We are optimistic about that and we expect that No Heroes Here will be a success on the platform.
Once No Heroes Here releases in 2018, are you able to tease what gamers might expect to see next from Mad Mimic on the Nintendo Switch?
At this moment, we are not working on something new. All of our efforts are pointing to the Nintendo Switch’s port and its release. After the release, we have two different ways to go on: (1) work on a new IP, that in my opinion won’t happen soon and (2) work on extra content for No Heroes Here, which I think is more probably to happen. 2018 is going to be a great year for Mad Mimic Interactive regardless of the way we take.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so much for the interview and paying attention to our game. This kind of thing is very important for Mad Mimic Interactive and even more for Brazilian game industry. We have a lot of talented guys developing games here in Brazil and showcasing our content for people from another corner of the world is awesome and this is what my agency works toward. We have three months operating and we expect to get another partner to keep the Brazilian industry evolving and drawing attention of worldwide media.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. We look forward to Mad Mimic Interactive’s debut title on the Switch, No Heroes Here, as well as what 2018 might bring!