Consultants see big prospects for animation industry

This may sound like a mickey mouse idea, but there is an effort to develop a stronger and more international digital animation and video game industry in Costa Rica. The proposal grows out of a study by two consultants who suggests, among other actions, the creation of a fund to finance the development of this type of business through the Sistema de Banca de Desarrollo.

The proposal also seeks the strengthening of a division of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud dedicated to digital arts. This is the  Centro de Tecnología y Artes Visuales in Parque La Libertad.

The study and report was done by Roberto Artavia Loría, director of VIVA organization, and an associate, Felipe Symmes. VIVA is a creation of the Swiss  billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny.

There is no secret that the animation and video games are in highly competitive markets. But some Costa Rican companies have had success. The Cámara de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación cites two.

The San José firm Headless Chicken Games was the first Latin America company to create a video game with PlayStation VR technology and a virtual reality Sony app, said the chamber.

Fair Play Labs in Zapote has begun testing games for display in the popular Oculus Rift headset, the chamber added.

The VIVA duo presented plans for similar video game development this month in Guatemala.

The proposal by the consultant suggests participation by the culture ministry, the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior and Promotora de Comercio Exterior to evaluate applicants for animation and video game financing from the proposed fund.

They also suggest that the government hire public relation agencies to contract animation and video game projects.

Another suggestion is co-producing animation and video game projects with leaders of the industry in Canada, Brazil and Ireland.

The report also sees more involvement by the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, which provides state-supported training for Costa Ricans.

A national festival of animation and video games also is proposed along with a business incubator and more emphasis on the international market.

This is the work of Studio Flex, an animation   firm that began in 1999.

This is the work of Studio Flex, an animation
firm that began in 1999.

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