With 30 years of delay, as is usual in this country when we talk about technology, it seems that the political and economic authorities begin to recognize the importance of the video game sector in the economy and job creation. The Government has announced aid worth 70 million euros for the digital software and video games industry.
In the 90’s of the last century, considered the Golden Age of Spanish video games, there were dozens of Spanish companies that created video games and sold throughout Europe. It was the times of 8 and 16 bit computers, like the ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC or the Commodore Amiga. It is true that at that time video games were simpler and cheaper to create, and most companies were made up of family or friends. But there was a real industrial fabric with notable companies of the renowned Dinamic, Topo Soft, Opera Soft, Pyro Studios, ERBE, Dro Soft, etc., which included producers, developers and distributors.
Successive governments were not able to see its potential, and they let this industry die, which by its own means failed to make the leap to consoles and PC games. Today practically none of those mythical companies has survived. And with it we missed the opportunity to create a video game industry as today they have France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and even Poland.
Three decades later, the video game sector in Spain is experiencing a second Golden Age. Again there are dozens of companies that sell well around the world, with remarkable successes such as Gris (Return Digital), Moonlighter (Digital Sun) or RiME (Tequila Works), which have sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide, and have won international awards.
It is an industry that generates money, numerous jobs among young people, and is resistant to pandemics and confinement. Already the previous Minister of Culture, José Guirao, assured that video games were “the cultural industry with the highest projection” in Spain and that it had “the same importance as cinema or literature”, but aid to the sector has always been insignificant.
The current government intends to correct this situation with the announcement of 70 million euros in aid to the digital and video game industry.
According to Business Insider, 20 million will go to promoting youth employment in the Spanish digital industry, help that game developers may choose.
The remaining 50 million will go to improve the technological offer in digital content (15 million) and at technological development based on artificial intelligence and other enabling technologies (35 million).
Aid that is still very far from that offered by the governments of the United Kingdom or France, but it is undoubtedly a good start to strengthen the foundations of an industry that can become one of the economic engines of Spain in the 21st century.
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