This is our third instalment of our series @ Indie Game Makers where we cover the day to day of indie studios and look into how they make their amazing games.
Chile, the closest country to the south pole, nestled between the towering Andes and the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, is fast becoming a hubbub of mobile gaming. The scene may be tiny right now, but it’s not lacking in enthusiasm and ambition. It’s a tight knit group - everyone knows each other and continuously share their experiences and knowledge. As they’re far from the action and still small, these developers are aware that collaboration is key to building strong bonds and friendships across the community and with these shared knowledge, they’ll be able to become a powerhouse of game developing.
“Naturally, there’s a great degree of affinity among some companies, but we all quickly realised that we are not competing with each other. We share the challenge of growing our industry in front of a global market,” Julio Marambio, general director of Video Games Chile and the CEO of Octeto Studios said, further explaining the ecosystem that has developed in his home country. “We understand that the success of one of us means that the Chilean industry is getting strong, and that’s good for everyone.”
Standing up against the powerhouse South American economies of Brazil and Argentina, Chile stands strong with one of the most developed mobile markets due to its high smartphone penetration, with more than half of the population owning smartphones. This high connectivity has incentivised the Chilean government to offer funding for fledgling studios, as it will not only create an entire new market but promote Chilean creativity and job growth. The hands on approach from the government and the developers has led to phenomenal growth, with now over 30 studios currently working out of the country.
We were lucky to sit down with the country’s biggest studios, Gamaga, to talk about Chile can bring to the table for mobile games. However, Gamaga is no fledging studio - they’ve seen tremendous success with its mobile game Banana Kong which surpassed 100 million downloads across iOS and Androids, becoming a flagship for the studio and contributing to its growth. With Banana Kong under their belt, Gamaga is more committed than ever to produce more fun games and promote the Chilean gaming space.
Could you tell me a bit about Gamaga? How did it get started? What’s the origin story? How did you guys become the biggest independent games company in the country? (That’s awesome!)
Since day one, ten years ago, our major goal was to create quality games, with the best team in the most effective and growth oriented work environment in our country. This in order to consolidate top relationship with our clients, partners and employees.
Gamaga was one of the first 7 companies to be created in Chile, in our C.E.O. bedroom while developing mini flash games. Our first game to be sold was for only U$2.500 and from that day we knew our focus was to build trust with our performance, while investing in knowhow and team growth.
With time we have maintain our strategy in sight, understanding that business, technologies and process can all change but in order to keep growing in a steady step we must never lose our vision and corporate strategy.
Every decision we have made and will make is driven by our strategy and goals to be achieved. Fortunately our team and clients see and share our vision and have been working with us for many years.
We have more than 30 games in our portfolio but our main flagships are Banana kong co-owned with FDG Entertainment and Operate Now: Hospital, co-published with Spil Games.
We went from just one person developing mini flash games to be more than 31 people developing AAA mobile quality games with more than 150 million downloads. And its our team, clients and constant focus on our strategy values the reason of it.
What are your thoughts on Chile being a growing mobile game market?
Even when we are small and still in a constant development stage compared to other industries around the globe, the quality of the people who integrate ours and stand behind the development shows a massive creative capacity and technical skills.
We just lost two major players that where the face of the Chilean development industry, DENA and Behavior, but the end of both companies is allowing new studios to be born, with their know-how and passion. This will increase our ground and image in the international arena, even when we still have a lot of work to do.
What future projects do you have on the table? Can you tell me more about them?
We are currently working on our newest game/IP - Red Crimes: Hidden Murders, a mystery-crime game trilogy to be co-publish with iMagic games Inc for the audiences of Investigation Discovery. Is planned to be released in August 9th in iOS and Android devices. In it, you play the role of a detective that helps Red, the lead character, chase a serial killer in a corrupted city. Is a highly innovative game, as we present crime solving as never seen before in Mobile. You feel immersed in the crime scene investigation world, and users need not only to process the crime scene, but also all the evidence. This includes performing realistic autopsies to victims.
This game is the result of almost two years of hard work with a tremendous team behind it
To learn more about Gamaga and all the amazing games they're producing, click here.
We have more in this series! Check out our interview with Montreal indie game studios, Trailblazer! It's exciting and fresh!
PS Keep your eyes peeled. We have big news coming your way soon.
About The Author: Caroline Corbett-Thompson
Caroline is the Marketing Director at Itavio. You'll find her listening to NPR and scowling 99% of the time.
More posts by Caroline Corbett-Thompson