Brazil’s Independent Games Festival goes beyond games to business

On the first floor of the Independent Games Festival of Brazil, approximately 20,000 attendees played titles on rows of TVs from all over the world and in reality booths. Some folks lined up against the wall, waiting to get in the most recent panel about composing narrative or songs style. Others huddled round the robot racing class at the back.

But it was all business.

“Video games are a international company. The entire world is developed for by you. We realized that even using a small games scene in the time, most firms were developing their games in English,” said Eliana Russi, the executive director of BIG, in an interview with GamesBeat. “They were already considering self-publishing internationally. We began to invite investors, buyers, publishers, mentors to return to Brazil and fulfill our programmers.”

Russi and her team created BIG not just as a showcase for Brazilian and Latin American programmers or a celebration of independent games. Rather, they imagined it to be an interdisciplinary car to cross the lines of business development, and instruction, government. Through the afternoon, BIG Impact and also BIG Careers panels discussed topics including project opportunities, public policy, and urban development. At the company lounge, you watched ties and suits , 1-on-1 meetings, along with mixers for example programmers, entrepreneurs, shareholders, and distributors mingled. Russi stated that approximately 250 companies took part in the encounters, 84 of which were international.

“We have now 1,500 connections set up and being done via the 1-on-1: 1,500 meetings occurring in three times, 500 per day,” said Russi. “Last year we all had, in the case, $2.5 million in contracts signed, along with a forecast for the subsequent 12 weeks of $12 million. We aspire to transcend that.”

A different component of the company plan is to increase the visibility of BIG abroad. Russi stated that they already have a booth at Game Connection America, an industry event, and also also the External Development Summit in Vancouver, Canada. They’re going to also the Gamescom exhibit along with Game Connection Europe in Cologne, Germany for the very first time, this year. Toward attending the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference at Shanghai, 19, they’re working.

Currently in its fifth season, BIG has worked with the government to subsidize a few of the costs of their efforts. It is something Russi is seasoned with; before starting BIG, she worked in the audiovisual industry. Following that, she was the most promotion manager for the TV Producers Association, sending displays to events such as the Mipcom show in Cannes, France.

“This is what we’re performing within a institution, talking with capital as well as the government, simple strategies to market–we already have a program that subsidizes all international costs of promotion,” said Russi. “The stalls are subsidized by the government. Promotional materials and media in the event, that we already have ordered with the bureau in Brazil that takes care of international promotion.”

Though, she said those special funds do not go to the programmers — it goes around promoting the business to the program and infrastructure. Funding that used to be only accessible to TV and film studios has now been opened up to game companies, however she said that it’s also important to find outside funding into the games industry from venture capital firms and angel investors.

“This is something we want to demystify, to make apparent what is your business model in the sport business, because they do not know it in Brazil yet,” Russi said. “It is a lot easier to put money into a program that does anything than to understand the whole long run in games.”

“We really want to consolidate ourselves as a heart for the independent game industry in Latin America. We want everybody. We want to have that,” said Russi. “We really want our studios and companies to create company and assist us to continue building the business. That is our objective.”

Disclaimer: The BIG Festival organizers covered the travel costs for GamesBeat. Our coverage remains objective.

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