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If there’s one sector of the economy that can’t complain about the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s the gaming industry. As people stay home and consume more games, revenue has increased.
Still, Rodrigo Terra, president of Abragames (Brazilian Association of Electronic Games Developers), was restless. “We were very worried about the verticalization of the market,” he says.
The idea that the gaming industry is going through a process of “verticalization” (or “consolidation”, as it is called) gained momentum in January after an unprecedented series of billion-dollar deals:
These deals have raised questions about how much power (and money) is concentrated in the hands of a few players in the games industry, and raised doubts about how it will change the market.
Terra’s concern was that this phenomenon was less likely to be replicated in Brazil, with medium and large studios acquiring or merging with smaller studios. “It ends up reducing the base of the pyramid and we don’t have a cycle of new companies,” he says.
This move did indeed happen, but with results other than what he expected. “As the games market exploded, there was a lot of interest from students and even professionals from other areas of the economy, who started to see games as a potential market,” he says.
The result of this is that during the pandemic, many studios appeared in 2020 and 2021. “There’s a lot of young talent,” says Terra.
According to research published by Abragames, Brazil has grown from 375 game development studios to 1,009 in the last four years, an increase of 169%, with nearly 40% of these companies having been around for five years.
Chris Charla, Xbox’s General Manager of Projects and Content Curation, also notes the obvious expansion of the Brazilian industry. “The quality of games is increasing very quickly. Developers release one, two, three titles in a row and they keep getting better,” he says.
Charla, who is responsible for the ID@Xbox program that helps bring indie titles to Microsoft platforms and one of the companies responsible for the current consolidation process, is in a prime position to observe the market implications of this phenomenon.
He understands that there is a process of consolidation, but he does not see it as a negative thing. “For a studio, joining a bigger company might be the right thing to do. For others, starting over with a small project and a surprising path.”
Charla sees that both options can be successful at the same time. “It shows we’re in a healthy industry,” he says.
“Just like in the entertainment industry, you never know where the next big thing is going to be. I don’t see anything in terms of sales numbers and long-term projections that worry independent developers,” adds the executive, citing “Cuphead,” the debut of Canadian studio MDHR. The title, an example of an indie game that became a global success, even won a series on Netflix.
It is also true that much can still change. Major deals involving game companies have not been concluded or are awaiting regulatory approval – the FTC (US Federal Trade Commission) is still reviewing Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Additionally, analysts polled by GamesIndustry.biz don’t see the wave of acquisitions and mergers ending anytime soon. The only certainty is that the gaming market will never be the same.
New or old, game tips for you to try
(PC and PS 4/5)
If you’ve ever seen a lazy cat sleeping in the sun unattended in this world and felt a pang of envy, then Stray is the game for you. Popularly known as kitty game, the debut title from French studio BlueTwelve was released last Tuesday (19) and became an instant classic. In the game, the player takes control of a lost yellow cat who must explore different areas to find his home in a world inhabited by robots. The strength of the game is the “cat simulator” where the player can play with balls, knock down objects, scratch furniture and find comfortable corners to sleep.
news, launches, business and other important things
- Mojang Studio, the creator of “Minecraft”, has released a note that cancels the possibility of implementation of NFTs by third parties, including in its main game. According to the company, this technology “creates patterns of deprivation and exclusion that are contrary to our guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft.” The move is seen as a warning to companies using the game to implement NFT selling schemes.
- Meanwhile.. Square Enix has released a set of figures including “Final Fantasy 7” commemorative cards and NFTs in November 2023.
- Ubisoft has pushed the release of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora to “2023 or 2024”. The company, which reported a 9.8% drop in sales in the first quarter of the year, also announced the cancellation of four games, including “Splinter Cell VR” (as the name suggests, a virtual reality game based on the spy series “Splinter Cell”) and “Ghost Recon Frontline” (Call of Duty: Warzone”-style multiplayer western royale).
- For the first time, a woman will be on the cover of the global version of the FIFA game. Australia’s Sam Kerr, the Chelsea player, will feature on the standard physical versions of “Fifa 23” sold in Australia and New Zealand – in other countries, the standard cover will feature France’s Kylian Mbappe. Edition with the player, however, will be available in other countries via Amazon.
- Discord’s voice chat service has launched on Xbox consoles. Interestingly, this feature is not yet available on consoles from Sony, which invested a minority in the communications company last year.
upcoming games and promotions worth it
“A Story of the Ages: The Pioneers of Olive City”: Undisclosed price (PS 4)
“Octopus Voyager: Champions of the Continent”: free (Android, iOS)
“Bear and Breakfast”: undisclosed price (PC)
“The Lost Epic”: BRL 34.99 (PC), price not disclosed (PS 4/5)
“Xenoblade Chronicles 3”: BRL 299 (Transfer)
Advertisement of the week
Strategy game Railroad Empire is on sale on Humble Bundle. The title, which lets you build and control trains in a variety of scenarios, is on sale for just US$1 (R$5.50). For a little more, you can buy up to nine expansion packs – the whole set costs US$12 (R$66). Part of the money collected will be used for charity.
Readings of the week
What appeared about the games in Folha