Cupcake and the market of casual games in Latin America  


Cupcake is a Brazilian online gaming company of the 11th Generation of Start-Up Chile that develops casual games for the Latin American Market.


Behemoth game companies like King (Candy Crush) and Rovio (Angry Birds) have trouble localizing online games for different cultures. As a result, there is a lack of casual games in Portuguese and Spanish for the Latin America culture and yet there is huge pent up demand. American businessmen tried to develop games for Latin American players but they couldn’t figure out how please that audience. Most games available on Facebook and mobile devices are in English only, specially the word games.


Cupcake’s first big hit is a casual word game called Letters of Gold that is available for free on Facebook ( and Android devices ( The game is inspired on the classic word search magazine games. In Letters of Gold, the player has to find words in different boards with unique layouts. As the game is played, the letters keep changing and the levels get trickier. Along with the fun factor, the game is a great brain enhancing activity since all its challenges are based on playing with words. Letters of Gold currently has 360 levels available and is updated every month with 20 more. The game can be played in Portuguese, Spanish and English.



Letters of Gold presents the tamarins as the stars of a journey through different challenges. The tamarin is an endangered species in Brazil. The idea is to show the how charismatic those animals are and, besides entertaining, try and touch the players about their preservation and species preservations in a global level.


There are clear differences in how gamers from different countries will react to certain game features and stylistic approaches. This is something that Cupcake pays attention for better design games to localized audiences. Most large game developers think that one size fits all and it’s just a matter of running a translation software on top of the game and it is ready to be released in other countries. Cupcake values each user as a special fan. The Brazilian market, for example, is very loyal and eager to support a fellow Brazilian because of their nationalistic pride. They are much more likely to stick with the company over the years and anxiously await to play future games. It is estimated that the Latin American market will have over 100 million casual gamers next year with a US$ 500 million in expected revenue.



People believe the average gamer is a male young adult that play shooters and bloody games for many hours. However, this stereotype is wrong. The average videogame player is 31 years old; 39% of them are 35+ years old; and women represent 48% of all the gamer audience. In Letters of Gold, the average user is a 35+ years old woman who loves to play casual games and socialize with their friends.


Nowadays, casual game is the type of game that people play most often. Casual games’ rules are simple, they have very simple controls as well , are very easy to learn, and can be played in in really short sessions, like while waiting for the bus. Candy Crush is one of the best examples of a casual game. Casual game players are typically older than traditional players and most are female.



At this moment, Cupcake is working hard to publish Letters of Gold on the Apple App Store, making the game available for iPhone and iPad users. The company is also finishing its second word game for the Latin American audience, which will also be localized to Portuguese, Spanish and English.




Author: João Vítor de Souza