The giants of the video game industry (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) obviously have a global presence these days but how does Spain in particular interact with them? Moreover, one wonders how large a role independent game development has in Spain and whether that trio of corporate titans helps or hinders it.

Imported games

A couple of interesting statistics first. Spain is the fourth largest games market in Europe after the UK, France and Germany. More bizarrely, the Xbox 360’s consumption is far less than other European countries or, indeed, the USA. The PlayStation 3 is the most popular console by quite a margin, with a consistent average of nine or ten games in the top 20 charts over the last few years. But it should be added that these are largely the PS3 versions of popular multi-platform games: Spain is similar to other European neighbours in terms of the actual games being played. Depressingly or happily, depending on your point of view, the usual suspects are present. FIFA, Call of Duty, and Assassins’ Creed inevitably rank among the most popular software sales in Spain. (Data from vgchartz).

‘Home-grown’ developers

Spain has a number of singularly Spanish games studios based in the major cities. Now, there are some studios based in Spain which are merely an extension of American or Canadian brands, such as Ubisoft Barcelona. Places like these have been Spain’s representative within the development of major releases such as 2014’s Assassins’ Creed: Unity. The other developers have among their ranks Pyro Studios, who are probably most famous for developing Commandos. This was a series of stealth games about British commandos during the Second World War and was published by Eidos. However, these games are somewhat Anglicised and were published by a, at the time, major British publisher. Is this really what we’re looking for in terms of truly Spanish talent?

Independent teams

It has been noted here that in the past the larger gaming conventions held in Barcelona and Madrid seem to push away truly home-grown independent Spanish developers because of the sign-up fee and other bureaucracy. It seems that Spanish start-ups find it harder than most to find a foothold when developing their project. The help that American and British independent developers (among others) receive is simply not there for many Spaniards. All is not lost, however, as the Professional Association of Developers (PAD) aims to combat these roadblocks and provide help to indie creators. This is in addition to their other aims of reducing various inequalities spotted in the industry as a whole. You can check out their website at