×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brazilian Gaming: The Rise of an Industry Through the Eyes of Its Drivers

Starlit Adventures from Rockhead Studios and Webcore Games took the 2016 BIG prize for best Brazilian game, but barely scratches the surface of what the country has to offer

ANNECY, France — Brazil has long been a powerhouse in Latin American video game production, and home to many of South America’s largest and most important festivals, conventions and markets for the industry. It’s the world’s 13th largest consumer market in terms of game purchases, and in the middle of a period which is seeing exponential growth in production.

Not bad for a country that once had a black market for pirated games due to a ban that was only lifted in the ‘90s.

While the game design and animation often occupy similar spaces in economic models and cultural perception, in Brazil this hasn’t always been the case. For years after improvements were made to government programs which support domestic film and TV production, the country’s gaming industry was left to fend for itself.

That paradigm is changing however. This year the Brazilian Audiovisual Sector Fund has dedicated R$ 100 million ($27 million) to the development, production and publishing of video games. Funds will also be available to aid in accelerating the development of companies working in these fields, as well as being invested in training, education, festivals and markets. An additional R$ 10 million reais is specifically devoted to the newer fields of virtual and augmented reality.

Much like animation for film and TV, the gaming industry is labor intensive, and seen as an area which can provide significant economic stimulation.

But how has the impact of these new programs been felt in the industry? Variety spoke with a number of Brazilian gaming industry executives about the recent offerings made available to the industry.

“In the past couple of years,” explained Split Studios Guille Hiertz, “some government programs started to invest in games and interactive media, but they are still very shy in comparison to other creative sectors and other countries.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by many, but delivered most succinctly by Valu Animation Studios’ Valu Vasconcelos, “It’s starting, but it’s not perfect yet.”

The transmedia relationship between the film, TV and gaming industries “are very united,” according to Spirit Animation’s chief creative officer Fernando Macedo, “now more than ever. Animation series are demanding games, and so on. The more points of contact between the brand and characters and its audience the better.”

“Nowadays, producers are always concerned about making their IPs multiplatform projects,” said 44 Toons executive producer Carolina Frattini, “and the creators are thinking about universes and stories that can be told on any device, playable or not.”

On convergence, however, consensus was not so forthcoming

“Unfortunately these industries are still very distant from each other as they are all still very embryonic,” said Webcore Games director Fernando Chamis, before elaborating: “We have begun to see cases of projects that are already born as transmedia, with the possibility of forming a strong intellectual property with great potential for future growth.”

Perhaps Fableware Narrative Design’s Arthur Protasio summed it up best. “The convergence of these industries, from both a governmental and market perspective, means more opportunities are on their way. There’s so much room for exchange. A transmedia approach is one of the smartest strategies for our collective and unified growth.”

Gustavo Steinberg produces Brazil’s BIG Festival which will take place from June 23 – July 1, and showcases all the best that Brazil has to offer in gaming. He is also an accomplished director whose animated feature debut screens in the main competition at France’s Annecy Animation Festival, where he reflected on the state of Brazilian animation, and imagined where it might be headed.

“It is still trying to reach its maturity, but there are very good opportunities,” he told Variety. “I see an industry with important independent players, with titles reaching a big audience in the world in a future not so far away from now.”

More Gaming

  • Unity Game Maker

    Unity to Update Terms of Service Following Improbable Dispute

    Unity will be updating its terms of service on Wednesday, and will be hosting an AMA on Reddit “to help clear up outstanding questions,” a spokesperson told Variety. Unity CEO John Riccitiello and co-founder Joachim Ante will be participating in the AMA, scheduled for 10am PST in the r/unity3d subreddit. They will be answering from [...]

  • Roblox Launches Digital Civility Initiative in

    Roblox Launches Digital Civility Initiative in Push for Safety

    Popular game platform Roblox launched its Digital Civility Initiative on Tuesday. The initiative will be led by new hire Laura Higgins, who joined Roblox as its director of Digital Civility. Higgins has more than two decades of experience “managing and promoting social care and support services, as well as creating online safety and digital civility [...]

  • NBA, NBPA, and 2K Announce Global

    NBA, NBPA, and 2K Announce Global Partnership Extension

    The National Basketball Association (NBA), National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), and 2K announced a significant, long-term global partnership extension on Tuesday. The new agreement is based on the success of “NBA 2K,” the critically-acclaimed, top-selling NBA-based video game series that’s been running for nearly 20 years. The series has sold over 86 million units worldwide [...]

  • 'The Elder Scrolls Online' Gets First

    'The Elder Scrolls Online' Gets Dragons This Year in 'The Season of the Dragon'

    “The Elder Scrolls Online” players will see dragons making their first appearance in the MMO starting this February as part of a new year-long narrative “The Season of the Dragon,” Zenimax Online Studios announced on Tuesday. “The Season of the Dragon” features a storyline that will span the rest of the year, tying up all [...]

  • 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4'

    'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4' Offers Free One-Week Blackout Trial

    “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s” popular battle royale mode Blackout is getting a free weeklong trial. Players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC can experience the Blackout Free Trial beginning Thursday, Jan 17. It will feature the same mashup of familiar characters, weapons, locations, and gear from the “Call of Duty” series with [...]

  • Latest 'Forza Horizon 4' Patch Quietly

    Latest 'Forza Horizon 4' Patch Quietly Removes The Carlton, Floss Emotes

    The Carlton and the Floss are no longer available in open-world racing game “Forza Horizon 4.” Developers Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games quietly removed the dance emotes in the game’s big Series 5 update on Tuesday, about a month after actor Alfonso Ribeiro and the family of social media celebrity Backpack Kid sued Epic [...]

  • Real World Money Laundering Comes to

    Dark Web Creating 'Thriving Criminal Eco-System' Around Game

    Criminals are turning to video game mega-hit “Fortnite” and its 200 million players as an easy way to launder cash from stolen credit cards, according to cyber intelligence firm SixGill. “‘Fortnite’s’ format and popularity have drawn the attention of cybercriminals, and resulted in a thriving criminal eco-system around the game,” according to a report by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content