Many people don't even consider the possibility of Brazil becoming a reference in the video game industry, producing countless titles which can hit the international market.
Until a few months ago, I was also one of them, but today I believe that this industry deserves attention and investment to truly gain traction in the video game sector!
The Size of the Brazilian Industry
Between June 28th and July 2nd, the BIG Festival 2023 was held, and there we had the opportunity to get to know the national productions a bit better. The biggest game festival in Latin America received 321 Brazilian games subscriptions, in which 26 of them became finalists and participated in the BIG Awards, and 40 more were selected to represent the country in the Brazil Panorama, a space to test out the titles and exchange a few words with their developers!
According to the Abra Games research, more than a thousand studios were registered in the country in 2022, besides more than half of it already having international revenue, which means, the dream of bursting the national bubble and breaching the international market is already a reality.
The industry is also very important when the matter is economy. It is essential that companies understand the reality of Brazil and their currency (Real), which is quite undervalued compared to the dollar. And who better to understand the situation other than Brazilians themselves?
One of the greatest complaints from gamers in Brazil is the high cost of games released recently (between 250 and 350 reals), particularly those who are tied to the dollar and are directly converted into the country.
On the other side, national companies use the country's own currency as a base, and Brazilian releases aren't likely to go over 70 or 100 reals.
Brazil Moves Around Billions of Dollars
Still discussing economy, the growth of our studies may serve as competition for big North-American and European companies which sell games in the country.
Many times, the consumer is forced to pay around 200 reals or more for a title of their favorite genre as they can't find cheaper options. But, in the future, they might find excellent Brazilian games for less than 100 reals, practically forcing triple A titles to lower their prices (at least a little).
According to the aforementioned study, Brazil is in the Top 10 game markets, going over US$2.3 billion in revenue in 2021. It is certainly a very significant market, and foreign companies don't want to lose space there.
We're talking about one of the largest populations in the world, considering 74.5% of Brazilians play frequently.
Quality and Brazilian Multiculturalism
For many, there is still that ancient bias that Brazilians games are low quality and not very eye-catching. But this topic is here to prove otherwise.
Part of the national industry uses geographic, historical and cultural spots in the country for the development of their games, which is incredible!
As a great admirer of the country, I went to the BIG Festival and looked for games with that goal at the Brazil Panorama. I found 3 titles which have this approach! That proves the point quoted above: Brazilian traditions tend to expand alongside the industry.
I had the privilege of interviewing the teams responsible for these games, and I'm sure these titles can surprise you in terms of quality, not to mention Brazilian representation.
Turi - Kaapora
One of the most important topics when we discuss Brazil is the preservation of native indigenous traditions, and Turi-Kaapora, a hack'n' slash isometric game, represents the battle against the cultural appropriation of those people in Brazil.
The coolest thing is that this game was developed by students. Vortex Indie Games is composed of Game Design students from Anhembi Morumbi, who used Turi - Kaapora as a final course project about native indigenous representation in playable media.
The game is very active, filled with battles and some skills to give it even more dynamic.
In the game, we control Caipora, a Tupi entity. The goal is to slay enemies which are trying to take over the Atlantic Forest (the Tupi original land), while we explore the secrets and peculiarities of that forest.
We'll face the death of Boitatá by the hands of invaders, and it will become your spiritual guide throughout the journey. At the end, we'll look for its Turi (its flames), to revive it. Speaking of which, Caipora is known for reviving animals which were unduly hunted, and during the game many animals will be corrupted by our enemies.
Save them from corruption to acquire some Animal Stances which will grant you new combat mechanics, not to mention some buffs and elemental effects. At the game's release, we'll have Alligator, Macaw and Jaguar forms!
This title has a modular combo system, in which we can use a sequence of commands to do different moves, which is very popular in action and fighting games.
Basically, it is an action and history, in which we'll follow a narrative live with beginning, middle and end. The developer is thinking about adding secret items and equipment during the phases to promote setting exploration.
Turi - Kaapora will be released in
Steam and itch.io. I highly recommend this game for the lovers of action games, with lots of combat! And also for those who want to know a bit more about Brazil's native indigenous culture, in specific the Tupi people.
When we speak of Brazilian music, samba is the most recognizable genre, right? This typical national genre makes many Brazilians very happy in Carnaval. In O Seresteiro, the story is no different.
In the game, we'll control a samba musician who finds himself in a musical duel. However, his rival has a band, whereas you'll be alone.
Your goal is to travel across Brazil to look for members and form your own band, but, of course, always spreading the joy of samba wherever you go!
To give it a bit more dynamic, you'll face some of your rival's partners during the phases, which will make life harder for you as you try to fulfill your goal. But we can deal damage to them with kicks and jumps, and carry on spreading joy through your song!
I was reminded of Super Mario Bros a lot when playing, as it is a platform game. We can also collect some coins during the phases to claim some short stories about the characters in the game's small store.
At the end of each scene, we'll have a musical duel with the samba musicians we want to hire. By winning against them, they accept the invitation to join our group!
Besides that, this title also explores some geographic spots: the map of the game is literally the map of Brazil.
O Seresteiro is divided into many parts, in which each step happens in a region of Brazil, always bringing the peculiarities and traits of the place in the game's scenes.
This game is available for Android and iOS. I loved playing. O Seresteiro is beautiful and well-done, so I highly recommend it for those who want fast games, to pass the time on their phones.
Gaúcho and the Grassland
Usually, it is quite easy to see the cultural differences between Brazil regions, as their culture is so rich and vast that each corner of the country has its charm. Thinking about that, it is quite hard to cover the entire national culture in one article alone, let alone in a video game.
So, it is common to find games and other types of art which highlight only one culture in the country, at a time. Let's travel a bit to Rio Grande do Sul, the home of Gaúcho. He is the protagonist of Gaúcho and the Grassland, an open world game which is based entirely on depicting that culture!
Here, we'll see Gaúcho's traditions and dialects, not to mention a more fantastical and mystical side of Rio Grande do Sul! The entire game is based on scenes from that state, and that is already clear in the game's own name: "Grassland" refers to "Pampa", the biome of that region.
You can explore the game in any way you'd like, prioritizing the main story quests, or creating your farm and collecting items calmly as you walk through the scenery.
Besides that, the game offers you some special quests which grant you incredible items. By the way, one of these tasks offers you a Chimarrão, a typical Brazilian drink from that region, as a reward, which is incredible!
It's worth mentioning that the game doesn't have an end, so it isn't limited by the story.
This title will be available in the future for (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1670830/Gaucho_and_the_Grassland/?l=portuguese)(Steam), PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox S/X, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. If you like games like Animal Crossing or Minecraft, I believe you'll enjoy Gaúcho. I also recommend this game for those who have an interest in Rio Grande do Sul's culture (obviously).
I hope this article has shown you the economic and cultural importance of Brazil's gaming industry. Comment down below the titles you enjoyed getting to know more about.
See you later!