Game developers are gamers, and gamers have become developers; nowadays, they want to develop games that they truly care about, games that are not only about selling, but giving them independence and freedom to create their own world. That’s how many independent games are born, and like birds, they fly; and they can get far if you let them.
Indie games are getting out there and conquering space amongst all kinds of devices, genres, players and places; including Latin America. Just so you know how big the game market is growing here, research (Newzoo, 2016) shows that we are the second fastest growing region in the gaming industry after Southeast Asia. We have more than 371 million gamers, with more than 110 million paying gamers having generated about $4.1 billion in 2016, on all types of gaming devices, with mobile in the frontline with a 56% year-on-year growth, consoles with 9% and PC with 6%, and this game is not over. Latin America gaming industry keeps growing and showing the world that we play to win: Abragames (the Brazilian Association of Digital Game Developers) has plenty of events scheduled for the next year to showcase upcoming Brazilian indie games projects and releases. Brazil even has its own indie-only game portal: SplitPlay which was created with the aim of selling and promoting only original Brazilian indie games.
Some say we’re actually becoming a hotspot in the indie game industry, since the game industry is growing and taking big steps here. Many independent groups, full of potential and creativity are rising, and of course, small groups or individuals can grow big; we have games like Chroma Squad, Toren, Heavy Metal Machines, and much more. All those started as small projects and then ended up being awarded and mentioned in various game events all over the world.
It’s no secret the indie game market is growing (very fast) here, but I want you to notice something very important. We Latin Americans do always translate our games into English because we understand that indie games are unique and people all around the world deserve to hear our stories like we deserve to hear theirs. Indie developers need all the help they can get to fly as well as big game companies are flying; this definitely includes getting their game to reach a wider public. Translation and localization help developers to reach out to people who care about their games, and that’s what we do.
It’s frustrating when you recommend a game to a friend and they get disappointed by the fact that the game is not available in Portuguese or Spanish. Most of gamers only have a basic command of English, so, many times they get the hype for a nice indie game, they want to play it, but they keep craving and waiting for a translation. If a translation never comes, they end up playing games that do not require reading or happily play those games that were translated into their native language. Every player who cannot get a game in his or her mother language is a missed opportunity for an indie developer to grow.
So now you know: keep an eye opened to Latin American gamers, because we not only want you to play our games: we want to play yours! We are waiting for your game to be translated so we can appreciate it to the fullest.