Mopix Games: Embracing cultural diversity by connecting with people

South America, crossed by the equator indicates wet, warm and sunny weather where many animal and plant species thrive to sustain. In most cultures living in the equatorial region recognize two seasons, wet and dry. However, with the balance of these two, conjures a natural rainforest that is by far the biggest in the world, the Amazon River Basin. With its flora and fauna flourishing, so are the people. In particular, Brazil, the 5th largest country in the world that is famous for its historical presence in football also huddles tourists with its iconic sandy beaches of Ipanema, Copacabana and Santa Catarina, which are just some of the best beaches flocked with beautiful people from across the globe.

On the other hand, Brazil’s gaming industry has gone a long way back before its prevalence had made a standpoint in their current economy. There wasn’t an official import authorization to bring in video games up until the 1990s. Only consoles that were manufactured locally were authorized to commercialize. Video games were then labelled, as non-essential products and the tax imposed were equally as high as firearms and alcoholic beverages. Due to this, many video game developers and manufacturers had difficulties in marketing and distributing their products into Brazil.  Soon after, there was a rise in the local gaming scene. The Brazilian public showed great interest that they want to delve into this market but evidently; there were insufficient resources to standardize and regulate the prices of game products.

Throughout the years, the Brazilian gaming industry has moved forward catering in a brighter future for gamers and game developers alike. Strict regulations have been waivered off with lighter tax models due to manufacturing establishments taking place in Brazil. This ease of access has certainly opened up new opportunities for industry players to widen the market share of games. As of 2015, the volume of the market is increasing. A market analysis by NewZoo stated that Brazil is currently the 11th largest market for games over the world with consoles amassing the gamers. Who knew the industry’s landscape has changed ever so swiftly.

Somewhere in the south-east of Brazil lies a determined gaming studio that’s eager to push the frontlines of mobile gaming. Mopix Games is their name. Their studio is located in Belo Horizonte, which is the 6th largest city in Brazil, settled in the state of Minas Gerais. Joining the GameFounders program are, Raoni, Alessandro and Marcelo. Mopix Games has established about 2 and a half years ago where Raoni invited Alessandro to be in the team. Alessandro or ‘Ale’ as his nickname was Raoni’s student in College. Since then, they started working on their first game, Pirate Clickers along with their mates in Brazil. After a while, Marcelo came into the picture and by then they were in the midst of making their second game called Magic Master. Marcelo has his specialities; he was involved working on the scripts and marketing the games for the company. Having a gaming journalism background, he easily became one of the key persons in the company.

Their current stay in Malaysia under the mentorship of GameFounders Asia has led them to focus more in depth with Magic Master. It is basically a tower defence type of game, which has unique features using combinations of powers with only swipe gestures. The players get to immerse themselves in a swiping frenzy and control powers in the game with their fingertips. Before the game’s conception, Ale had reminisced some of his childhood days watching animes like Naruto and Avatar The Animated Series.  He figured that why not make a mobile game that could combine powers in ways portrayed by those wizardry action-driven shows. The genre of the game was non-existent back then and it has proven to be as exciting as it sounds. In the game, the tip of the finger represents a magic wand; players come up with combinations of swipe gestures to conjure powers and spells to fend off attacks in epic battles with monsters and bosses. The game has been launched in September 2016 and it’s available on the Apple Store and Play Store. Since their stay in GameFounders, they made more changes in the game for it to adapt to the current market on top of the 2 years they spent on it. With playtest sessions held inside and outside of GameFounders, they have received a lot of feedback from players. Therefore, the game is refined even more by improving its value to players.

What they look forward to learning from GameFounders to improve and polish the business side in every aspect possible and to ensure not to come off as generic. What interests them is the networking with people around the world and exchange experiences. Nonetheless, meeting the mentors personally gives them an inside scoop on how the current market is transpiring as well as validating their business models as a gaming studio.

These guys are so drawn into gaming development but they aren’t afraid to spend some time for themselves. When asked about if they weren’t game developers, what would they be? Raoni says that he would probably be a teacher or an animator but above all else, he likes food so much. He would love to go travelling and experiment his food palate with all the variety of dishes cultured in foreign countries. However,bowel reactions are two different stories (LOL!).  As for Marcelo and Ale, they both have an intense yet calming leisure pursuit, which is Aikido. The pair has been practicing it for years and Marcelo was actually one of Ale’s Sensei in the same dojo they go to. Not only that Ale is also a lead vocalist in a band in Brazil. His band covers new metal songs and are heavily influenced by Visual Kei bands from Japan. When performing in shows, they literally dress up like them to also make shows visually memorable. Ale would definitely delve into these two if given no choice.

It’s been almost 3 months now in GameFounders and the Brazilians have had their fair share of amazing experiences. At first, they find it challenging to adapt to the food here but not for long as they clutched their favourite delicacies such as butter chicken, Maggi goreng (fried instant noodles) and Carl’s Jr. Burgers for Ale. What’s even more fascinating is how well they take on the king of fruits, durian! Raoni and Marcelo actually liked it and didn’t mind the smell at all as it was strong and unique to them. It was definitely an unforgettable experience for Raoni as durian kept on popping in his mind for days since the first time he tried it.

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