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Video game studios from Uruguay excelled at the Game Developers Conference
With the support of Uruguay XXI and CAVI, a delegation of developers showcased the potential of Uruguay’s growing video game industry, even including a successful case study.
Uruguay returned to the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world’s largest annual gathering of professional video game developers. Uruguay participated for the second time in this event with a country booth coordinated by Uruguay XXI, the agency responsible for promoting investment and exports, and the Uruguayan Chamber of Video Game Developers (CAVI for its acronym in Spanish).
The group, which increases every year, was made up of 11 studios, as well as institutional leaders who support this initiative. The purpose was to share knowledge, inspire through the professional and creative work that Uruguayan studios carry out, and connect with global industry leaders and professionals to promote videogames sales and attract key investments for the industry in Uruguay.
This participation in GDC was another unique opportunity for the country because Evil Wizard, a videogame by Rubber Duck studio, was selected as one of the eight best games shown at the conference. According to the game creators, this recognition acknowledges the game, the studio’s work, and the Uruguayan industry, which had already been making good headway thanks to the creation of several of its professionals.
Some significant previous achievements include Evil Wizard’s multiple nominations at the BIG festival in Brazil, the largest industry event in Latin America, where other Uruguayan games such as Kingdom Rush and Iron Marines sagas by Ironhide Game Studio had already been recognized. Also noteworthy is the success of several videogames from other studios that have reached the top rankings in the app stores and gained visibility on the best platforms in the world.
This time, the Uruguay stand at GDC raffled the board game “Rift in Time,” created by Kingdom Rush, a local studio.
Meet all the Uruguayan studios that took part in GDC 2023.
GDC provides an opportunity for developers and industry professionals to showcase their projects and services, in addition to presenting the virtues that make Uruguay a unique ecosystem for gaming development.
To promote the participation of local studios and developers at GDC, Uruguay XXI supports the National Videogame Contest, awarding the winner of the Best Debut Game category the chance to participate in both the GDC and the BIG festival. This year the recognition went to the videogame Tourist Trap by Trágico Media studio.
Last year, Uruguay XXI launched the website: www.uruguayvideogames.com. This site is a way to gather all local stakeholders on a platform that provides access to information on Uruguayan studios and developers, as well as to visualize their projects in the development and launch stages. This tool aims to promote the industry in foreign markets and facilitate business and investment for local projects. The site is 100% in English and is designed to strengthen international ties.
Other entities that contribute to the development of the gaming industry are the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, as well as the Ministry of Education and Culture, which provide support in the form of funding that must be applied for.
Video games from Uruguay to the world
This joint effort by Uruguay XXI, the Uruguayan Chamber of Video Game Developers, and local studios and developers aims to showcase the booming industry that is emerging in the country and highlight that in addition to its innovative profile, it offers a perfect alliance between creativity and qualified talent to develop the best video games for mobile platforms, PCs and consoles.
The industry in Uruguay -the first country in Latin America to offer university degrees specific to this sector- is characterized by being a collaborative community, with significant events such as Level UY, a local activity that promotes culture and development opportunities both in Uruguay and the region, and which celebrated its sixth edition in 2022.
The gaming industry’s success in Uruguay is also confirmed by its growth and the millions of downloads of Uruguayan-created games. From 2013 to 2020, the number of companies in the industry increased by 100%. This thriving environment has attracted foreign companies such as Etermax, Nimble Giant, and Globant from Argentina, or Jam City from the United States, who have all chosen Uruguay as their operations hub due to the significant advantages it offers for doing business in Latin America and the world.