Uruguay is quietly blossoming into a ripe games market, despite its small size.
With a total population of less than half of London, Uruguay’s games industry has struggled to root a strong console audience.
The PS4 launched for $1,199 (780) in the country in 2013.Hernn Almada, PlayStation’s product manager in the region, told local media outlet El Pais that simply bringing the machine to market was very difficult” and required favours from several other countries”.
Because of this difficulty, mobile development has thrived.
One of Uruguay’s best-known developers is Ironhide Game Studio, which created the successful iOS, Android and PC title Kingdom Rush.
A 2013 report from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on ‘The Legal Status of Video Games’ notes that: Uruguay has become a fast-growing market for games production, mainly due to important tax incentives for the development of software and Free Trade Zones, which allow companies to provide services such as programming, with no tax in Uruguay to third parties outside the country.”
Gonzalo Frasca, writing in ‘Video Games Around The World’, adds that Uruguay has traditionally prospered in the production of ‘non-entertainment’ titles, thanks to its strong education system – in 2010, it became one of the first countries in South America to offer a degree in video game design.
Investment has also boosted the development sector. Government initiative Plan Ceibal, which previously created the ‘One Laptop Per Child’ campaign, promotes the creation of educational games by hosting competitions open to local developers.
Capital City: Montevideo
GDP (Per Capita): $16,996
GameStop, Triforce Gaming Store, TS Electronica
Juegos de Video de Latinoamrica
Ironhide Game Studio, Batovi Games Studio, KefSensei Studios, Mystery Studio, Powerful Robot Games
PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION
Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Take-Two