Innovation and Rise of Some Latino Indie Game Developers
Latino gamers have been around for a long time. Yet, representation is lagging on- and off-screen.
According to the study, "The virtual census: Representations of gender, race and age in video games" by University of Southern California Professor Dmitri Williams, about three percent of video game characters are recognized as Latino in 2009. Over 95 percent of those characters are non-playable, to think that gaming is one of the fast-growing industries in Latin America.
Before, Latino developers, programmers, and studios were few and did not necessarily compete closely with others. All of that changed when Uruguay-based Ironhide Games thought of mobile game "Kingdom Rush" in 2011. The game presently rates 10/10 on Steam and 4.6/5 in Google Play.
The popularity of "Kingdom Rush" gave Latino programmers the chance to shine. A wave of Latino indie developers soon came into the game design scene.
Here are some of the interesting developers, whose games you should try downloading:
Bekho Team is a development company based in Chile. It was founded in 2010. The team started making games just for the fun of it, but eventually ventured to professional game design when they realized their potential.
Bekho develops quality games for mobile devices and the web in both casual and flash categories. It also worked with PRISA group and other institutions in developing educational games that suit the Chilean educational system.
They do all sorts of projects with any game design, whether it's 2D, 3D, virtual reality, and pixel art. Their work also covers games for desktop, mobile, virtual reality, and HTML5.
Octeto Studios is an independent game development studio in Santiago, Chile. They developed games for mobile, browser, and other platforms.
In the company's website, Octeto called their works, "interactive experiences that remain in the memory of players with a positive emotional impact."
The studio has worked with kid-friendly networks Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network in developing games for younger audiences but has also worked on developing for older age groups.
One of Octeto's most recent releases, "Cyber Ops," just landed on Steam in May 2020. It is a tactical simulation game that puts its player into the point of view of a mission control supervisor operating from the distance.
"Cyber Ops" received mixed reviews on Steam. The game is available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese with subtitles for all languages.
OKAM Studio is an award-winning game development studio based in Bueno Aires, Argentina. They specialize in video games for PC, consoles, and mobile. Some of their international hit titles include "Foosball: Goal Crusaders" and "Ultimo Carnaval".
"Ultimo Carnaval" was the first co-production between the Latin studio and the famous Japanese game development powerhouse Square Enix.
Foosball was the first tie-in with Academy Award-winning director Juan José Campanella for his animated movie "Underdogs."
Numerous high-profile companies have worked with OKAM Studio, including Disney, Dark Horse Comics, Cartoon Network, and Endemol. Their games support PC, Mac, and Linus for desktop games, and iOS and Android for mobile. They also made games for consoles like PlayStation 4, PSVita, and XBOX.
One of their games, "The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizzaboy," transformed the world of the graphic novel of the same name into a point-and-click adventure game in 2016. It received very positive reviews on Steam.
The game has available interface and subtitles for English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
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