Home News The initiative that crowns the best Spanish video game of all time is about to be decided

The initiative that crowns the best Spanish video game of all time is about to be decided

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The initiative that crowns the best Spanish video game of all time is about to be decided

Understanding the current situation of video games in our country would require delving into various periods of its history and evaluating the unique position it came to occupy in this industry, highlighting its initial role as a consumer before becoming one of the biggest producers of hits in the 80s of the last century. From the first computers, consoles and recreational machines to the so-called “Golden Age of Spanish Software”, passing through the illustrated covers with global hits such as “Commands“or the recent growth of independent developers, everything comes together in the same direction, because when you think about video games “Made in Spain”, you are usually overcome by the feeling that the reality of our country is too weak to compete with giants from other European lands, such as the French Ubisoft or the Polish CD Projekt Red, structured entities that simply do not exist here.

The dawn of Spanish training software

A large part of the public also thinks that in Spain only independent hits and large commissioned productions are produced, but in reality, in addition to boasting an unquestionable historical legacy with developers such as Dinamic Software, Opera Soft and Topo Soft, creating video games like the iconic ‘The Abbey of Crime’, ‘Navy Moves’, ’Desperado’ o ‘Phantis‘”, the current version of the industry is also home to large software houses as competent as Tequila Works, The Game Kitchen, Mercury Steam or Digital Sun Games, whose projects are cause for hope and places where the administration should lend some attention. attention. This is an area with a very broad scope, but we will outline a summary that addresses the key historical milestones, the evolution of the culture and the gaming industry in Spain and we will evaluate the situation in the future, because next April 4th will have place in Madrid the evening that will mark the proclamation of the best Spanish video game in history. This initiative, organized by the U-tad University Center, is the first that recognizes and honors the development of Spanish software, through a vote in which the public will be able to choose their favorite Spanish video games until next April 1 through the “jugandoencasa” website.

Playing at home
Playing at homeU-tad University Center

How the sector has evolved

The birth of the video game occurred after an embryonic phase of small interactive dalliances developed in private environments by groups of programmers and engineers in the 1950s and 60s. During their childhood period, in the 70s, the first editors already offered a level superior expansive. It was not an exclusive business for certain qualified environments and they earned reasonable amounts for the time (of course, there was already a specialized press on the subject). a decade later Spain was, after the United Kingdom, in a dominant position in the production of titles, but its leadership declined in the 90s, overwhelmed by the period of technological innovation that ended up realizing the true potential of the entertainment format.

It was a decade of transition from sprite-based games to 3D images that gave rise to several genres, including first-person shooters, real-time strategy, and survival horror. This is explained very well by Ignacio Pérez Dolset, precursor of this initiative and founder of U-tad (in addition to being the creator of the ‘Commandos’ saga) “Devoting yourself to the professional development of video games in our country has never been easy. From the lack of a thriving technology industry, which in the 80s was a burden, to the shortage of training centers, private capital support, access to financing, public policies to support the industry, etc. All these difficulties are what have turned our developers into success stories ‘despite the system’. Although progress has been made, there is still much to do. To all this, we must add that some of the great successes of the Spanish video game have left an indelible emotional memory in millions of people and we are not aware of it, nor does it generate the social recognition that this deserves,” he tells us.

Is it easier to develop video games now?

The creator of ‘Commandos’ assures that, from a technical point of view, it is infinitely simpler due to the amount of existing development tools and software, but that “in the past, the simple fact of being able to finish a video game was already an immense challenge. challenge in itself. Today, the challenge is to make ‘a good game’, because finishing it is something that is taken for granted. In the 90s, in order to have a playable prototype, a large investment in time and resources was required. Currently, the great technical difficulty has shifted to originality in designs and efficiency in production,” he explains. “On the other hand, indeed, what there is is enormous competition. AAA games for consoles or PC are a practically inaccessible market due to the million-dollar production costs, but in casual games, with budgets below a million euros and, therefore, relatively accessible to developers, the difficulty and cost is in give visibility to those titles in the market, get enough publicity, and that, except for very rare strokes of luck or genius, is achieved with million-dollar marketing campaigns.”

Video game
Video gameU-tad

Every vote decides

In reality, these types of events show the extent to which our country feels the need to claim, once again, as a great power, but the unusual circumstance of such a long-standing recognition, which is decided by individual votes on the initiative’s official site. Playing at home – a tribute to the 45 years of history of Spanish software”, through an awards ceremony intrinsically linked to the current context, would run the risk of overlooking its proud origins if it were not for a direction that has been taken care of to the maximum and that has counted as a jury base with a team of references in the national industry.

The selection of the titles in the competition has been prepared following the same method: a team of specialized professionals made up of figures such as Amalio Gómez (Director of Micromanía), Gustavo Maeso (Coordinator at Mediaset Games), Israel Alejandre (Videogames and Culture at La Sexta ), José Manuel Fernández (Presenter of Todo eGames on Canal Sur), Soraya Leal (Director of elsotanoperdido), Sara Borondo (Specialized journalist), Sergio Martin (editor at elsotanoperdido and director of the program Hadoken Rojo), Rodrigo Alonso (Video games on ABC ); Marta Rodríguez Fernández (Editor at the Telediario de La 1), Víctor Rodríguez (Ser Jugones on La Ser), Santiago Bustamante (Director of the program Fallo de Sistema on Radio3), Manuel González (Director of Zoom Net on TVE) or Jorge Morla ( editor and columnist of El País), among others, prepare a ranking whose criteria are divided between critical reception, legacy and influence, commercial success, social impact and subjective interpretation, have been the criteria to select the shortlist of candidates who can be voted up to April 1.

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