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Hiding Company Nationality

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I've noticed a few software companies purposefully avoid declaring their nationality on their websites, presumably to dodge prejudice and level the ground of competition. Some companies even set up offices in the united states and even hire Americans for user support and public relations, while the software itself is developed abroad or by people of another nationality. How do you feel about that? Do you think the nationality of the developer can affect the initial perceived quality of a piece of software?

Edited by Amr0

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I work for a company in which most developers are distributed worldwide.  We do have a bricks-and-mortar sales and support office in the USA (and one in China) because some jurisdictions are remarkably more xenophobic, but by and large you can not identify the colour of the skin or the width of the epicanthic fold of the developer when it comes to software.

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I think most of us here, or anyone involved in gamedev for that matter, judge games solely based on their merits. But the world is generally not such a rosy place. So it's a legitimate marketing tactic to get around preconceived notions. It's also very easy and affordable to set up and run a US company without ever establishing a physical presence in the US, or in fact even without ever visiting the US.

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Do you think the nationality of the developer can affect the initial perceived quality of a piece of software?

 

I'm sure it _can_.

In most cases though, the nationality of the developer is totally irrelevant, and not something the end user cares about.

I'm sure most gamers doesn't even know the name of the developer of many of the games they play. (or they think the game developer is named "EA")

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It's also very easy and affordable to set up and run a US company without ever establishing a physical presence in the US, or in fact even without ever visiting the US.

Actually, you need a registered agent in the state you want to incorporate in if you live abroad to handle legal paper forwarding and things like that. It only costs a couple hundred $ per year, though.

Edited by conquestor3

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(...)even hire Americans for user support and public relations(...)

Not that I'm a pro but.. I'd think this is a given. Obviously Americans will know better how to sell stuff (whatever that stuff is) to Americans, right..?

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It might also make sense when Kickstarter involves since you can't start a KS campaign from everywhere and a US company would be perceived better.

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I've noticed a few software companies purposefully avoid declaring their nationality on their websites, presumably to dodge prejudice and level the ground of competition.

 

 

That's a big presumption and this entire discussion is based off of what may be a wildly inaccurate assumption.

 

Some people maybe just don't care to list it because it doesn't matter. Anecdotally, I don't slap "American Made" on my work for similar reasons - I'm not hiding anything, I don't expect anyone to give a ****. It's jut not interesting to the project or its advertising. This seems to be pretty normal for a lot of small studios, too; they don't put any effort into _hiding_ their location if you bother looking for it (or just check their job postings), but they don't bother blasting it across all their advertising or anything. There's just no benefit to going out of their way to advertise it.

 

For large development/publishing companies like my employer, Wargaming, (and similarly for EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard-Activision, 2k, etc.) we have studios in the US (Seattle, Chicago, Austin), Russia (St. Peterberg), Belaruse (Minsk), Ukraine (Kyiv), Australia (Sydney), and smaller ones in various other countries, our corporate headquarters are in Cyprus (Nicosia), and we have support offices across the globe (US, France, China, Japan, Germany, etc.), and datacenters in yet more countries and locations. Many of these studios and support centers work together closely on a given game. What exactly should we advertise as our games' nationality?

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but they don't bother blasting it across all their advertising or anything. There's just no benefit to going out of their way to advertise it.

 

No benefit to advertise it, but it can be harmful not to hide it. But I have no concrete evidence here just as I don't have concrete evidence that smaller companies indeed use the "don't mention the geographical location" tactic on purpose. I feel that a lot of people do have preconceived notions for software (or products in general, both intellectual and physical) originating from certain areas in the world, and if there is truth in this feeling, then such a tactic to nullify this negativity may not be a very bad idea, especially if we look at it strictly from a business standpoint.

Edited by Amr0

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I'm not sure why you'd expect a developer to mention their nationality anymore than you'd expect them to mention their race. Mentioning either would likely be met by a "who cares?" from any rational person. A heavy negative reponse from non-national nationalists/biggots and maybe a slightly positive one from national nationalists/biggots.

 

If you're trying to make a product that has international appeal, then any appeal to nationality-based interest is counter-productive. It's not 'hiding it' by not mentioning it.

 

Larger companies that have international offices are most likely to deal with specific country's regulations, laws, licenseing, and local advertising.

 

Really, the only case where I think a nationality would jump at a nationally-produced game is in the case of a minority language spoken by only a few million people. Minority languages are often ignored or poorly translated, making alot of games completely unplayable or the plot impossible to understand. Korean is a good modern example of this.

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