Latin America has been at the forefront of emerging markets in the game industry for some time. A 2013 prediction poised the Latin American market to reach $3.9 billion, which is more than South Korea's online and mobile game markets combined (SuperData Research). (Korea currently ranks 2nd in the world for online games at $2.8 billion and has seen a more than 250% increase in mobile gaming revenue up to $1 billion. See LAI's market statistics page on Asia for more information.) Brazil has remained a particularly significant part of the market given that it encompasses 62% market share in Latin America, standing at the 5th largest game market in the world (SuperData Research).

 

For information on the importance of localization into regional dialects of Spanish, be sure to check out LAI's featured article on Gamasutra - "Exploring Spanish Localization across the Americas."

 

While we uncover other industry statistics on individual countries in Latin America, we wanted to bring you a sneak peek at how the industry is faring within the spaces through video clips from local players.  In the clips below, LAI speaks with IGDA Peru's Luis Wong regarding market opportunity and barriers to entry in Latin America, as well as the state of game development within Peru:

 

MARKET OPPORTUNITY                           GAME DEVELOPMENT IN PERU                

  

BARRIERS TO ENTRY

 

For some time, Mexico and Brazil have been heralded as forerunners in the emerging market game space, and experts predict the market to explode in the coming years. Other countries within the Latin American market are expected to have an impact on global video game markets in the future.  However, the extent of which is not well-known due to the early development of those markets. Although both Mexico and Brazil have had a growing base of conference attendees for some time, other countries are quickly adding their own industry conferences and expos to the mix. As we receive more information about other profitable video game markets within Latin America, we will be sure to add key trends to this compilation of market data. For now, here are the two markets that market analysts and investors are eyeing:

 

Mexico

LAI.Mexico.Video.Game.MarketAccording to an article from Fall 2012, “Despite Brazil having the first place as a consumer, Mexico has the highest consumption per capita in Latin America, even though the consumers’ income is lowest than […] other markets like the US and Japan.” This is a key factor to consider when noting, in addition, the higher than average costs of video game software and hardware in Mexico, as Mexicans “pay 30-60% more than their American counterparts.” The significant growth over the past few years is certainly indicative of these trends, as Gamer’s Paradise reports that Mexico doubled the size of its market in 4 years from $600 million in 2007 to $1.2 billion in 2012, with an average annual growth rate of 30%. The incredible potential of Mexico’s current video game market provides compelling evidence for bringing foreign games to Mexico, and the future of the Mexican market is just as enticing. VGChartz has high expectations for the Mexican video game market, stating:

 

With 110 million people, a strong university system, a trillion dollar economy, free trade agreements with countries housing major video game companies, and roughly half of all people under the age of 25, we at VGChartz believe that Mexico is currently the fastest growing retail video game market in the world.

 

With the extraordinary number of analysts describing Mexico as the emerging market to enter, it is a market to jump on, particularly as Mexico – like other emerging markets – is largely unfragmented and currently not targeted by the giants of the industry. For Mexican developers, global access should also be at the forefront of your business strategy. Check out this interview with Mexico City’s Phyne Games, in which Arturo Nereu discusses how a game entrenched within Mexican cultural elements did well in unexpected markets. This video also provides targeted information about the landscape of the Latin American game industry:

 

 

Be sure to check out the full interview on LAI’s blog.

 

Brazil

LAI.Brazil.Video.Game.MarketBrazil is expected to be one of the leading markets for both social and mobile spending and is the world's 4th largest games consumer overall (behind Mexico and the US), expected to reach BRL 4 billion in 2016 at a growth of 7.6% per year. With nearly 50 million gamers, Brazil ranks as the #1 Western country for social network gaming, with "36% of the internet population playing at least once a week" (Newzoo).

 

Brazil's $1.4 billion industry is not only the 5th largest game market in the world, but Brazilian gamers also monetize better than many other markets worldwide, given that it is has "one of the highest player/payer ratios in the world" at 61% of gamers paying (Newzoo). Over 40% of Brazil's total games revenue is in the mobile space, whereas back in 2012, mobile and MMO revenues were roughly equal (SuperData Research).

 

PricewaterhouseCoopers listed console growth in Brazil as a key insight for industry trends due to Sony opening a plant in the country. Not only does Brazil have a high compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for console game revenue (about 15% between 2013 and 2018), but Brazil is also anticipated to become the 20th largest console market in the world by 2018. Given the high expectations for growth across multiple game platforms, Brazil's digital game market as a whole is anticipated to more than double by 2016 (SuperData Research).

 

Learn more from President Moacyr Alves of ACIGAMES (Brazil's association for video games) in LAI's video discussion regarding market opportunity within Brazil and specific barriers to entry.  Also be sure to check out the full video on our YouTube channel.   (We will continue to add videos from game organizations from other parts of Latin America and around the world - be sure to subscribe to our channel to stay informed of others!)

 

MARKET OPPORTUNITY                        BARRIERS TO ENTRY: TAXES                   

  

 

BARRIERS TO ENTRY: PIRACY              OPENING A COMPANY IN BRAZIL

 

Note: If you know of any other regional game organizations that may have interest in appearing on LAI's site content, please let us know at info@lai.com.

 

Game companies should enter the Latin American market as soon as possible, since it is on the radar for a significant number of developers and publishers in the not too distant future. Since game companies are likely to descend upon the region in a tidal wave, it is crucial to localize your games for the Latin American market now. It is likely that Peak Games – 1 of the 3 largest social gaming companies in the world – will enter Latin America sometime after accomplishing their plans in Southeast Asia, a significant fact to consider since Peak Games became the 3rd largest social gaming company solely as a result of targeting the MENA and Turkey region for 1 ½ years. (Whether they first tackle other emerging markets, such as Russia, remains yet to be seen.) However, during summer 2012, co-founder Rina Onur stated that Peak Games is trying to “replicate what we’ve been doing in this emerging market region [MENA and Turkey] and take it to other regions in the upcoming months.”

 

So request a quote, localize your games, and build your brand in Latin America now, before the region becomes saturated with other foreign game companies.

 

LAI strives to keep game developers and publishers updated on key markets for localization.  If you find any errors or have additional information to add, please let us know at info@lai.com.  You can also stay informed of our new webpages by subscribing to LAI's monthly e-newsletter.  Please check back soon on LAI's Global Game Markets page as we frequently update our web content to reflect new industry statistics and market projections.  Latest page update: July 2014.