Jamaica’s games industry is a passionate but small one, struggling to keep up with the wider global market.
The region’s games industry is among the smallest in the world, failing to chart on Newzoo’s rankings of the top 100 countries in terms of games revenue.
However, games are highly popular, with many media outlets and retailers dedicated to the sector. In 2011, a TV channel attempted to boost the presence of local games industry with The Lab: Video Game TV. But, the show was axed in 2013.
That hasn’t halted efforts to encourage growth in games.
Games development is never going away,” Professor Joseph Saulter, founder and CEO of design and development firm Entertainment Arts Research Incorporated, observed while speaking at the first Digital Game Design and Development Conference at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication last year.
The small number of games to come out of the region are mobile titles. These include arcade release TapKat Fiesta from Island Interactive, one of the more prominent efforts to emanate from the region. But, it only garnered around 50 downloads in its first three months on sale, as it struggled to compete in the global marketplace.
One of the major problems facing the country is a lack of technological infrastructure. Many of its inhabitants are computer illiterate and lack internet access, according to Mannin Marsh ofweb development and design companyProject Grapevine.
Mobile devs looking to monetise their of free-to-play games is the absence of a unified banking system – micro-transactions are impossible without convoluted payment processes and potentially high charges.
Capital City: Kingston
GDP (Per Capita): $5,657
Str8 Games, Press Play, Watts New, Game Repair & Accessories, Royale Computers
Project Grapevine, Island Interactive Studios
NOTABLE GAMES FIRMS WITH A LOCAL OFFICE