Thirty Chilean developers took part in the eighth edition of the most important independent games festival and business forum in Latin America, which has been held in Brazil every year since it started in 2012. This event is considered to the biggest games business forum in Latin America and a meeting point for developers as, in addition to the commercial opportunities it represents for the Chilean industry, it also enables its growth thanks to the series of conferences, workshops and exhibitions that take place during the week.
The seventh version of BIG Festival in 2019 included more than 100 free conferences and over 4,000 meetings in the BIG Business Meeting attended by 630 professionals (125 from outside Brazil) and 353 companies, generating projected business in excess of US$63 million.
This year, 30 Chilean companies (almost half of those that export) worked with ProChile to showcase their latest work and seek new links that will enable them to continue taking their services to the international marketplace. “In just a few years, Chile’s game developers have experienced great growth – so much so that their creations have attracted the attention of major global companies like Nintendo, which currently has projects underway with Chilean companies. We want this to continue to happen and for them to be able to count on ProChile during their internationalization process. And we want the developers to continue taking risks, creating and showing the world the outstanding level of Chilean productions and the professionals who make them possible,” said Lorena Sepúlveda, ProChile National Director.
During the event, the attendees were able to take part in the different parts of the festival like the BIG Forum, which brings together game professionals for lectures, workshops and keynotes; the BIG Business Meeting, which provides business meetings in an exclusive area for entrepreneurs; the BIG XR/VR, an exhibition of games for the public and sessions that discuss virtual and extended reality; and BIG Latin America, which brings the best games and developers from the region, including Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay. The festival has another six areas of work and development for those participating as of Monday 22 June.
This year the situation created by the pandemic meant that participants were unable to travel to Brazil and so they visited the event digitally. But this did not prevent BIG Festival from continuing to be the foremost meeting point for those who enjoy and want to grow in the gaming world. “Chile’s game industry is known for its highly productive capacity and it is present in the major game markets internationally,” added María Julia Riquelme, ProChile’s Commercial Director in Sao Paulo. “We are sure that the alliances that have been formed with Brazilian companies are essential for consolidating the Chilean game industry in Latin America,” concluded Riquelme.
The game industry during the pandemic
Unlike other industries, the game industry has not been negatively impacted by COVID-19, as the quarantine and social distancing measures have driven people to their consoles and devices in search of entertainment.
It is projected that the global game industry will grow over 9.3% during 2020, generating income in excess of US$159.3 billion. Furthermore, the market is forecast to exceed US$200 billion by 2023.
There are currently 2.3 billion gamers in the world, of whom 234 million are in Latin America. The regional income for this industry in 2018 was recorded to be US$5 billion with year-on-year growth of over 13.5% between 2017 and 2018, accounting for 3.6% of global income. This represents a great opportunity for Chilean game developers.
Growth of the game industry in Chile
Chilean developers are continuing to build their presence internationally and currently the industry comprises 69 micro and small businesses throughout Chile. This year has seen the launch of several titles like “Cyber Ops”, which is developed by Octeto Studios and published by Games Operators on the Steam platform and “Causa: Voice of the dusk” from Niebla Games studio, with translations to English and Chinese as well as Spanish. Furthermore, Nemoris Games has been confirmed as an official game development company for Nintendo Switch.