The Gaming sector in Latin America is booming. According to Statista, a German consumer and data market company, there are 2.7 billion gamers at global level, of which 260 million are based in Latin America. Mexico, Brazil and Chile are the countries with the most gamers in the region. Newzoo, a gaming research firm, estimates that the industry is expected to grow by 10.3% in Latin America, generating USD 8 billion in revenue by 2023 and accounting for 4% of worldwide revenues.
A market analyst at a leading multinational e-gaming publication explained, “Latin America is a strategic market in the gaming industry for three reasons: its young population, the room for growth and the penetration that e-games have in mobile games.”
“Latin America is a strategic market in the gaming industry for three reasons: its young population, the room for growth and the penetration that e-games have in mobile games.”
Market analyst, multinational e-gaming publication.
Strict lockdowns and mobility restrictions associated with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic have generated a significant increase in the number of gamers. Brazil is a particularly exciting market with 200 million accounts and 67 million players with an average age of 30.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Itaú and Bradesco have started sponsoring e-games teams in the country. Both see the opportunity as a marketing investment, as part of their content strategy with influencers and lifestyle for younger generations. The market analyst saw it as an essential move, “Of course local banks want to get involved in the gaming sector, neglecting the industry would be a careless omission of young customers and clients. The pandemic has increased the use of videogames, two thirds of Latin American gamers play on a daily basis and these people are constantly exposed to ads, particularly in a region where consumers are reluctant to pay for premium services in this sector.”
These traditional banks are concerned with the growth of virtual banks among young generations – at present Nubank has more 35 million customers; Inter, 11.4 million and C6 Bank, 7 million. Furthermore, data from the Apple Store and Google Play show that in May 2021 virtual banking apps registered more than 20 million downloads for the fourth consecutive months while apps from traditional banks like Itaú and Bradesco had an 8.7% decrease compared to April 2021.
“I am not sure what success they will have. In Spain, CaixaBank sponsored the MadLions team but they quickly lost interest.”
COO, game developer, Spain
This isn’t the first time traditional banks have got into gaming though, according to the COO of a Spanish game developer, “I am not sure what success they will have. In Spain, CaixaBank sponsored the MadLions team but they quickly lost interest. Considering that Latin America has a similar gaming culture to Spain, I’m not sure they will stick around for long. Financial entities, in general, don’t have a good understanding of the sector, it’s more about socialising and having fun. Banks found strategies to advertise their products in bars and sports grounds, they should be using the same strategies here, but they aren’t.”