Following the election of a new government in Brazil last year there is some uncertainty surrounding whether certain funding options will continue for games developers.
During a panel at Brazil’s Independent Games (BIG) Festival 2019, PocketGamer.biz asked about what funding and investment initiatives are in place in the country and whether this has changed with the new government.
Eliana Russi, who leads the Brazil Games export program, said that some of these schemes are still being evaluated since the country's new leadership came into office in January.
Uncertain futures lie around two lines of government grants: Ancine, the audiovisual agency for the development of projects; and Finep, an agency that provides public funding for science technology and innovation at companies and other institutes.
In 2017 and 2018 Ancine provided a total of around $6 million to games companies.
Apex-Brasil meanwhile, the Brazilian trade and investment promotion agency, has a more stable future, as it has a two-year deal supporting the games sector.
Such funding and support has been a key driver of industry growth for Brazil over the last few years.
Brazil Games - a partnership between Abragames and Apex-Brasil - took a delegation of 47 companies to GDC this year.
By being at one of the year’s biggest industry shows, Brazillian games companies were able to conduct sign business deals with a combined estimated value of $14 million.
“Everything was kind of getting the shape,” said Russi. “That was going to be every year steady and growing, then the government changed and everything was upside down for a while. Now it's a little less upside down but still, we don't know exactly.”
She added that the city of Sao Paulo will make some announcements surrounding these schemes on Friday evening at the BIG Festival during the ‘Public Politics for the Brazilian Game Industry’ panel.
The state of Sao Paulo will make an announcement of grants, though this does not stretch to companies based outside the state. Other agencies, such as Ancine and Finep, will also be at the panel.
“I don't know what they are allowed to say, if they are saving that [announcements] for Friday or if they have empty pots,” said Russi.
Full disclosure: BIG Festival organisers paid for our flights and accommodation. Our coverage remains neutral.