Brazil’s Independent Games (BIG) Festival is now taking submissions for its sixth annual event. It celebrates indie games from Latin America and abroad, and this year will be held in both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from June 23 and July 1. Developers have until April 13 to submit their games to be nominated for an award at the festival.
Brazil is the largest games market in Latin America, and it’s positioned to hit $1.5 billion in revenue this year, according to market researcher Newzoo.
Last year’s BIG Festival drew a crowd of over 20,000 people with its free panels and game demos. The event also features networking events to help connect developers with business opportunities. Toward the end of the festival, an awards show doles out accolades for categories like Best Educational or Social Impact Game and Best Brazilian Game. In 2017, Ghost Town Games’s popular culinary co-op title Overcooked took home the Best Game and Best Gameplay awards.
In previous years, the BIG Festival operated out of São Paulo, but this year BIG Rio will bring some limited offerings to the second biggest city in Brazil. Folks in Rio de Janeiro will be able to play games, and on June 29 and 30, the event will host panels with a focus on social impact.
Social issues and industry knowledge is a central part of BIG Festival. It showcases excellent indie games in an effort to elevate visibility of local developers from Brazil and other Latin American countries. And it’s keen on inviting international companies and publishers to come speak with its developers. BIG reports that last year, 3,200 industry professionals attended for the purpose of networking and business.
“We realized that even with a small games scene [in Brazil] at the time, most companies were developing their games in English,” said BIG’s executive director Eliana Russi in an interview with GamesBeat at last year’s event. “They were already considering self-publishing internationally. We started to invite buyers, investors, publishers, mentors to come to Brazil and meet with our developers.”