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By Pablo Vargas | pvargas@revistalevelup.com

How much has the video game industry grown in Costa Rica?

In less than 10 years, video games went from being considered simple means of electronic entertainment to becoming one of the most powerful and profitable industries in the world, registering revenues of more than 103.5 billion dollars a year, according to the latest report by ICOMM, the European firm specialized in the analysis of the video game industry, during its Global Games Market Report, 2022.

According to INCOMM, Latin America is one of the fastest growing regions in the post-pandemic world, adding more than 317 million active gamers in Latin America, of which 146 million of them generated purchases for a total of 4.5 billion dollars in the region, with Costa Rica ranking 9th in Latin America in the World Top 100 Countries by Game Revenues and ranking 1st in the ranking of countries that generate the most revenue in Central America, with a total of 42.9 million dollars revenue from video games during the last year, according to the LATAM Gaming Consumer Report, from VISA for 2022.

A fact that is reflected in a gamer population in our country that exceeds 1.4 million players where 39.8% are women, with 54.8% of them between 17 and 38 years of age, and in which 83.7% of gamers are professionals or are pursuing a university degree, being a sector of the population with high purchasing power that allows 56.1% to own 1 to 2 electronic devices (retro or new generation consoles, smartphones medium or high-end, computers or laptops to work and play) that add up to more than 3.2 million devices, where 70.5% of gamers in Costa Rica spend more than 3 hours playing a day, according to the Costa Rica Digital Report by Data Report, 2022.

This allows our country to sell more than 1.3 million video games a year (with an average market value of over $60 in video games, $1,200 in new generation consoles and $3,000 in specialized gaming computers) in a market that is committed to the e-commerce experience as the main acquisition process, registering 70.4% of sales made in the country through physical or online stores that had electronic payment options, where 51.7% of gamers in Costa Rica spent an average of $500 to $1,000 on gamer or geek items in the last 6 months, and in which 1 out of 2 gamers buys a related product per week, according to VISA's LGCR, 2022.

The demystification of "addiction" that our parents criticized so much has been preceded by a series of achievements that have positively marked the image of the video game industry in our country. What used to be called "a waste of time" today has become a lifestyle for an entire generation that grew up next to a keyboard or a controller, allowing many not only to enjoy their great passion, but also to laid solid foundations that show that it is possible to pursue a dream and learn to make a living from it, whether through esports or the video game development sector.

A sector that, according to CAMTIC, represents 25.9% of the technology industry in our country and that, according to the latest INCOMM report, continues to grow at a regional level by 18.3% per year, promoting the creation of careers focused on engineering areas, STEM, software development, advertising and digital animation, with more than 10 universities with programs related to video game development in the country, generating a high-profile job demand at the national level (with more than 20 companies consolidated as video game developers). video games) or internationally, where according to the MCIT, 43% of the companies that produce video games in the country distribute their titles in foreign markets.

The branch of eSports is another great example of a passion turned into a lifestyle, as there is in our country the first eSports arena and coliseum in Central America, as well as more than 100 professional electronic sports teams in the country in which has ventured into various traditional soccer brands and teams, in an industry that holds more than 50 eSports tournaments, leagues and competitions a year, focused on a gamer community where online multiplayer video games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA and League of Legends top the top of the most played titles in Costa Rica, according to INCOMM.

All these signs of a video game industry in Costa Rica, in which 89.7% of gamers have electronic entertainment services and devices, to consume multimedia content, where 67.4% of them follow a video game streamer or news gaming page, and there are 4 media outlets specialized in geek, tech & gaming culture -with more than 10 years of experience-, such as the case of Revista Level Up, with a presence in traditional media outlets and registering more than 2.3 million people reached a month.

However, among the main challenges of an industry that continues to grow exponentially, is the need for brands and businesses in the country to join the more than 100 foreign brands that invest and advertise regularly in media specialized in tech & gaming to approach a niche market with high competitive power where 81.4% are subscribed to a basic or premium monthly paid gaming service, 77.9% use apps to watch movies or TV series instead of traditional television and 52.6 % have an internet connection of more than 15 MB of speed in which they can view digital content focused on a niche population, which brands in the country are not -and will not be able- to reach through traditional strategies

Sources: Global Games Market Report (INCOMM, 2022), Costa Rica Digital Report (DatalReport, 2022), LATAM Gaming Consumer Report (VISA, 2022), CAMTIC, MCIT, Google Analytics, Facebook Gaming Analytics, Revista Level Up. 

For more information of the best in the video game industry, technology, eSports and geek culture in Revista Level Up through our social networks on FacebookYouTube y Twitter
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