Like every year since 2017, the Observatory of the Argentine Video Game Industry of the National University of Rafaela published its 2022 annual report, compiling information for 2021, in conjunction with the Argentine Video Game Developers Association (ADVA) and, on this occasion, the survey appeared with some of the data collected.
The most striking without a doubt, was the decrease in the size of the industrywhich in 2020 was US$ 86,716,560 and a year later, in 2021, was reduced to US$ 72,341,040Values similar to those found in 2019. At the same time, the number of professionals went from 1,916 to 1,495 from one year to the next.
Faced with these values, a question arises: Is a giant falling as is the video game industryDo we have to worry?
“Not worrying in the least”sure Ezekiel Heinsubstitute member and director of communication media of ADVA, in dialogue with PROFILE and added: “The decrease in large part has to do with the devaluation, but what matters is that companies expand and that there are more products on the marketsomething that kept happening.”
At the same time, Hernan Revaledirector of the Observatory, clarified to this medium that “a census is not carried out, so the report does not make the entire universe of video game studios visible”, so “It is risky to say that the size of the industry has grown or needed, the companies surveyed this year are not satisfied 1 to 1 with those of last year”.
“This depends on different factors, such as the fact that sometimes the video game activity Apart from that, it is absorbed by software development, which is why it is difficult to identify the universe of video game studios. It is also a very dynamic industry and the number of active studios a year ago is not the same as it is now, it changes very quickly”, he added.
However, despite the decrease in numbers, it is worth mentioning that the companies in the industry agree with the analysis of both experts, given that 56% of those surveyed stated that their turnover increasedwhile another 33% consider that they remained the same you 11% required.
In addition, regarding the projections for this year, at the end of 2022, 77% expect to have invoiced more than last year, 11% expect to match their numbers and another 12% estimate that their collection will be below what is invoiced in 2021.
“The increase that is expected in billing for 2022 has to do with the fact that the issue of devaluation is already more stabilized and Argentine companies are increasingly internationalized”, explained Heyn, saying that the optimism is based on the export of products and services.
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Finally, in general terms, many of the companies encounter various obstacles when operating. Thus, in 2021 the top 3 obstacles He focused on:
- economic instability
- Difficulty with payments and collections abroad
- political uncertainty
Unlike the previous year, where economic instability was also in the No. 1 position, but the following two were occupied by access to financing and the high tax pressure regarding salaries.
“In the industry this year there was a decrease that had to do with the devaluation that the country suffered. That affected the numbers, what the internal market is”, analyzed the ADVA member but clarified: “We see continued growth”.
In this sense, he explained that “positive growth is and they expect the industry to grow even more in the coming years”. “Argentine games are on the main distribution platforms, there are more and more products on the market and there are more and more Argentine studios winning awards and receiving international recognition,” he argued.
It is valid to point out that the numbers support it, since the main markets of the gaming industry they turn out to be the same, the United States and Canada in first place, Argentina in second and the European Union in third
In turn, there was a significant increase in the percentage of dedication of the studies to the development and sale of own gamesgoing from 42% to 53% in the case of micro-businesses and 49% in small and medium-sized businesses.
Along these same lines, it can be noted that during 2021, 34 small video games (up to six months of development) and big 5 (more than six months of development), along with another 44 small and 27 large ones that began to be developed that year but have not yet been published.
“This industry at an international level invoices more than that of cinema and music combined. It is growing and you have to keep an eye on it”, warned Revale and concluded: “It is an industry that permeates other sectors transversally, that is growing and becoming more complex and in Argentina there is a very good creative critical mass and professionals working in it”.
The personnel dispute in the video game industry
One of the fundamental resources in this video game industry son the professionals who raise it every day from the different roles that these companies require, both dedicated to programming and art, design, music, sound, marketing and sales, among others.
In this sense, regarding the positions required by the industry, in the top 5 of the “most difficult profiles to get”the list continues to be led by those literate in marketing, followed by experts in development, game design, production, and art.
“The most sought-after roles, beyond the specific ones, are seniors in all branches”Heyn expanded on this and said that “the problem is that it is an international market, so human resources are captured by foreign capital at a price that is not competitive for Argentine companies”.
His clarifications are consistent with the report, which indicates that during 2021, 54% of those surveyed acknowledged that the search for personnel is quite or very affected by the subcontracting of personnel abroad. At the same time, another 24% said that it affects them “more or less” and 22% say that they have not been affected.
“It is not something exclusive to the video game industry, it happens in all globalized or internationalized ones,” added the ADVA spokesman in dialogue with this medium and remarked: “You compete with the same Argentine companies and with the rest of the world”.
In this context, according to the respondents, beyond an economic issue, one of the most effective measures for the staff retention in 2021 it was the possibility of carrying out home Office (85%) and having flexible work hours (82%). According to the studies, this type of action has been quite effective in 63% of cases and “more or less” in another 34%.
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On the other hand, in relation to the staff, another striking fact was that a 58% of those who worked in the industry in the past year have a college career.
“The industry is always open, the more people with more training enter, the better”Heyn said, but clarified: “That’s not to say that someone who is studying can’t get into the industry while they’re studying or that someone with the Basic knowledge about videogames and about the role to play”.
Along these same lines, the director of the observatory added: “For certain positions, specialized techniques are required that can be covered with undergraduate studies or self-taught. Technical and qualified labor is always sought, even if they are not university students”.
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