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For the first time, Uruguay arrives as a delegation to the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the largest event in the videogame industry. This is an opportunity for developers and industry professionals to showcase their latest projects and the exceptional features that make Uruguay an outstanding ecosystem for the development of this industry.
The delegation of 12 studios and developers selected for the occasion, disembarks at GDC with support from Uruguay XXI and the Uruguayan Game Developers Association (CAVI). This joint effort seeks to promote the thriving industry that is emerging in the country and to show that, in addition to its innovative profile, it offers a perfect blend of creativity and qualified talent to develop the best video games for mobile platforms, personal computers, and gaming consoles.
What Makes Uruguay a Unique Place for the Development of the Videogame Industry?
Uruguay offers a perfect combination of qualified young talent, creativity, and passion. It is the first country in Latin America to offer university degrees for professionals in the industry, and access to education is free.
In addition, it presents a friendly ecosystem for the development of the industry, as it is a reliable and safe country to do business, with world-class technological infrastructure. Its video game industry is characterized for being a collaborative community, with relevant promotion and development activities such as the Level UY workshops, a 100% local event.
Uruguay has earned a place in the global video game industry thanks to the success of several of its studios, developers, and games, which have topped the app store rankings and achieved visibility on the best platforms in the world.
In addition, international companies such as Argentina’s Etermax and Globant, or Jam City from the U.S., have chosen Uruguay as a hub for their operations, thanks to its great advantages for doing business in Latin America and the world.
The success of this industry in Uruguay is confirmed by its soaring growth (the number of companies doubled between 2013 and 2020) and the millions of downloads of games created in the country.
Outstanding cases are those of the sagas Kingdom Rush and Iron Marines, from Ironhide Game Studio, with more than 10 million downloads. Both games topped the AppStore and PlayStore rankings and won numerous international awards, such as “Best Latin American Game” at the Brazilian BIG festival.
The Pomelo Games studio also had great success with Mars Mars, Once Upon a Tower, and Dino People, while its game Outlanders was nominated for the International Mobile Gaming Awards in 2019, the year of its launch.
Uruguay’s world-class technology infrastructure, forward-thinking policies, and ease of doing business make it an ideal regional hub for the development of technology companies from around the globe. According to 2017 data from Newzoo, a leading global provider of gaming and e-sports analytics, the value generated by Uruguayan video game companies is U$S 32 million. 80% of which comes from sales abroad, which shows the clear export profile of this sector in the country.
In fact, according to data from the Uruguayan Chamber of Video Game Developers (CAVI), 95% of the games created in the country are exported– 50% of them to the United States, 20% to Europe, and the remaining 30% to other markets around the world.
A Uruguayan Woman in the Spotlight
This year, the #1Reasontobe panel, historically organized by U.S. developer Brenda Romero and Dutch-Egyptian Rami Ismail, a leading voice in the industry on diversity issues and outreach to game developers from developing countries, will be hosted by Uruguayan Laia Barboza, co-founder of Pincer Games and known in the industry as Laia Bee.
The panel, which celebrates diversity, brings together women from different countries around the world to share their reason for being in the video game industry, their stories, their challenges, and their dreams.
This year, the panel will be composed of seven women from South Africa, the United States, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, and Palestine, in addition to Laia, who will be the coordinator from the CAVI for the Latam Video Games Federation.