26/12/2017 Culture

Brazilian-made games reach global spotlight

Believed to handle billions of dollars the world over, game development starts to gain shape and make firm strides in Brazil.

Juan Manuel Fonrouge/ARCHIVE LANA (09/03/2017)


Figures from game market researcher Newzoo's Global Games Market Report 2017 show that Brazil ranks 13th among countries with the highest revenue in the field—an estimated $1.3 billion this year. Worldwide, the market is expected to handle nearly $109 billion in 2017.

On the lookout for such a lode, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) forged a partnership with the Brazilian Association of Game Developers (Abragames) and launched a project dubbed Brazilian Game Developers, aimed at boosting and publicizing local game industry overseas.

“In 2013, Apex started the partnership in this sector. A strategic mapping of game-developing hubs in the country was made. That's when we started to become familiar with the companies, and see where they are located,” ApexBrasil Project Manager Mariana Gomes recounts.

In 2015, Brazilian game developers under the project struck international deals adding up to $11 million, according to data from ApexBrasil. In 2016, this amount soared to $17.4 million, up 58%. Figures in 2017 are still being calculated, and should be released in March, 2018.

Calls for proposals

Gomes says this year is expected to beat the last one. She refers to 2017 as “the year for Brazilian games.” “Much of what happened from 2013 until now was production and development. We're now entering the launch phase,” she explains, adding that, also this year, the National Film Agency (Ancine) launched two calls for proposals, totaling $6 million in funds for game-developing firms.


Juan Manuel Fonrouge/ARCHIVE LANA (09/03/2017)


Brazil's government innovation funding body FINEP also launched a call for proposals at $4.5 million. Gomes notes these are the first opportunities of this type specifically devoted to game developers.

“[Ancine's] first call for proposals amounted to $3 million and financed 25 games in three different categories, with $75.3 thousand, $150.6 thousand, and $301.3 thousand. With the current call on, with the same value, 25 games should be coming in these three categories. Ancine's money came in for game development, and FINEP's for bolstering the companies.”

Game types


Juan Manuel Fonrouge/ARCHIVE LANA (09/03/2017)


No game developers in Brazil have the bulk and budget to design the so called Triple-A games—a category used to refer to high-budget hit games. Brazilian games, Gomes explains, are classified under indie, as funding is modest.

Nonetheless, she says, Brazilian-made games have fared rather well. “We've got some classic examples of international success. Aquiris Game Studio, [from Southern Brazil], released Horizon Chase, a vintage car race game. There's also their Ballistic Overkill, a first-person online game.”

There are also educational games, like the ENEM Game. Developed by Mito Games, it rewards players who answer university admission exam-type questions correctly.


Juan Manuel Fonrouge/ARCHIVE LANA (09/03/2017)


Marcelo Herzog, Mito Games founder, partner, and administrative director, explains the project was first presented to a business incubator aiming at the national market. The model, however, sparked the interest of international investors. Mito Games has gone on trips overseas to publicize their game in a number of business meetings.

“We've been contacted by an institute in Germany, and my partner attended an event in Brussels where people were interested,” Herzog recounts. He said the company also creates board games. “We're preparing to go global, in both digital and physical games,” he noted.