Video games and electronic sports are creating an unprecedented global revolution. Of course, Latin America is not out of that trend. According to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in its Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019-2023, in LatAm, the video game sector will have a fabulous average annual growth of 10%, reaching US$3.59 billion by 2023, mainly thanks to the performance of the Brazilian and Mexican markets. Esports will generate more than US$42 million in revenue by 2023, only considering Brazil (US$20 million) and Mexico (US$22 million), an increase of 57% in those 4 years. Games by application for cell phones or tablets will perform best regionally. In contrast, traditional console video games will grow 3.91%, a figure lower than that projected for the Peruvian market (9.45%). On the other hand, computer games are expected to rise 7.71%, a higher expectation than that of Peru (4.91%). Globally, the video game industry is expected to generate US$160.59 billion by 2023, which represents a growth of 6.40% compared to 2019. Latin America would be the region with the highest growth (10.04%). Esports would also have an outstanding progress (2019 to 2023), with an increase of 18.33% in their income.
KEY FACTS ABOUT VIDEO GAMES IN PERU
Focusing on Peru, the video game market will rise with an annual average of 20%, generating US$147 million by 2023. In 2018, the industry obtained US$58 million in revenue, so there is great expectation for the potential of growth in the coming years. As for the popularity of Esports in the country, it rose considerably, although PwC did not analyze how much revenue this segment will produce in the studied period. With regard to gaming devices, games by cell phone application will advance 26.53% to US$117 million in revenue by 2023. While console games will generate US$14 million, and computer games, US$16 million. In terms of number of gamers, Peru ranks 49th worldwide, with 8 million console, cell phone and computer players (Global Esports Market Report 2019, from the Newzoo consultancy).
Beyond these international reports, valuable analyzes have been made within Peru. The company GfK, with the support of the Peruvian Association of Electronic Sports and Videogames (APDEV), launched in 2019 the report “Gamers: Profiles, culture and purchasing priorities. A Deep dive in the Peruvian Gaming category.” Among the main data, it stands out that 78% of Peruvian men consider themselves as ‘gamers,’ while, in the case of women, the figure only reaches 22%. Likewise, 76% of Peruvian men play video games at least once a week (56% of women). Regarding the average age, 63% of men between 18 and 35 years old are defined as gamers (83% of women), while 38% of men between 36 and 64 years old are assumed to be gamers (17% of women in this age group). Considering marital status, single female gamers are 65% compared to 18% of married ones. For male, the numbers are reversed: 49% of married gamers and 31% single. Finally, when choosing a gaming platform (between PC, laptop, PlayStation and Smartphone), the male ranking is led by the PlayStation (29%), followed by the smartphone (24%), the PC (23%) and the laptop (18%). For their part, women prioritize the Smartphone to play (38%) and then, they use the PlayStation (20%), the laptop (19%) and the PC (12%). Also, according to Gfk, Peruvians played more video games online than they listened to music in the last months of quarantine. This hobby was only surpassed by news consumption and activity on social networks. Video game consumption rose between 50% and 500% in the period of confinement. 75% of Peruvians played video games online at least once a week, which implied significant growth.
DEVELOPERS AND EVENTS
In terms of the creative development of video games in Peru, the investigation “Mapping the creative and cultural ecosystem of Peru – Video Games Sector,” of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture, provides insights on the current situation of video games in the country. For the report, organizers spoke with 21 companies dedicated to the sector. Among the results, it stands out that, in 2017, the industry produced S/7.1 million, about US$2 million (through 18 developers). Of that total, S/5.3 million (US$1.5 million) were produced by 13 companies entirely dedicated to video games. Among the 21 firms contacted, only 15 produce games as a primary activity, while 6 do so as a secondary activity. At the same time, only 59% are formal. On the other hand, out of 185 workers consulted, there are 42 women (23%), having the main role of graphic designers. Most of these companies focus on developing games for mobile and PC, while the two most popular genres are casual and arcade. The report also says that, between 2005 and 2018, 597 video game projects were launched in Peru. About the average age of the developers, they are between 20 and 31 years old, with 84.6% of professionals of the male gender. According to the survey, 74.7% consider that their professional activity does not cover all their expenses and 48.4% carry out other work related to games. Moreover, 40.7% work from home. In terms of education, the profile of the Peruvian video game developer focuses on STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In this sense, 53.8% have a university education and 41.8%, a technical one.
Regarding associations and entities that make up the sector in Peru, we can mention the Peruvian Association of Video Games and Animation (APDEVA, https://apdeva.pe/), the International Game Developers Association Peru (IGDA, https://igda.pe/), the Peruvian Association of Electronic Sports and Video Games (APDEV, https://apde.org.pe/), the Associated Videogame Companies (CVA, http://cva.pe/) and Fem Devs Peru (https://www.facebook.com/FemDevsPeru/), a group that seeks to promote the interest, participation and presence of women in the development of video games in the country. When it comes to recalling the main events of the sector organized in Peru, it is worth highlighting the 1st Peru Esports Forum (May 2019), with the participation of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB Peru); the ‘Video Game Day’ (October 2019), proposed by the Ministry of Culture of Peru, through the General Directorate of Cultural Industries and Arts (DGIA); and the 7th International Congress of Video Game Developers (COIDEV, November 2019), coordinated by APDEVA. Without a doubt, the milestone was the Lima Games Week festival (December 6-8, 2019), which brought together more than 12,000 people.
LEAGUES AND EDUCATION
At the level of competitive Esports leagues in Peru, the Claro Guardians League stands out, with League of Legends tournaments, organized by the Professional Video Games League, the newspaper El Comercio and the companies Claro and Riot Games. There is also the Peruvian League of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), Konami’s fascinating soccer game. We must add the Movistar Liga Pro Gaming, dedicated to the Clash Royale game. Important recent news was that, last June, the Peruvian Esports Association (PESA) was created, the first Peruvian Esports association recognized by the International Esports Federation (IESF). This entity’s main objective is to formalize the Esports industry in Peru at amateur and professional levels. To achieve that goal, it announced that it will hold various competitions in schools, universities and within Esports professional players.
Of course, this sector has an academic activity, with educational centers that offer careers or specialized courses in game development in Peru, as well as workshops on specific aspects of development, such as 3D modeling and animation, games programming, gamification, level design and UX, among others. Some of these centers are the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lima and the Avatar Group. To conclude, a successful case for Peru can be mentioned. University professors and a group of young professionals created Arrog, an amazing game that was awarded as the most innovative at the Fun & Serious Games Festival 2019, held in Bilbao, Spain, last December. The title, produced in a collaboration between the illustration and animation studio Hermanos Magia and LEAP Game Studios, was the first video game made by Peruvians to receive such recognition. Undoubtedly, this is an important victory that will motivate more entrepreneurs in the country to work in the exciting world of video games.