State of the Caribbean Gaming Scene — The Most Popular Titles

Monday, November 27, 2023, 12:48 PM GMT-5

On the internet, it is very common for people to refer to ‘the gaming industry’ as one giant monolithic being where there is a homogeneous group of players that all enjoy the same titles, no matter where they’re from, who they are, their age, or gender. 

Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, some big-name games transcend geographic and cultural boundaries to become hits everywhere, think Call of Duty, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Minecraft. 

But for every Minecraft, there are hundreds of titles you may have never even heard of, such as Explodemon, Stacking, Shinobi, Escape Goat, Grey Matter, and Radiant Historia – all of which were released in the same year. That’s not to say any of those games are bad, just that they didn’t enjoy the huge universal global success that Minecraft did. 

There are often games that perform particularly well in specific regions. For example, there is a thriving market for domestically produced and domestically targeted titles in Japan. Beyond the typical games like Minecraft and Mario, you’ll find names like Momataro Dentetsu, eBASEBALL, Sekai no Asobi Taizen, and Touken Ranbu Warriors in the country’s top 100 best seller list from last year. 

The same is true for Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. While the gaming industry, or the entire tech sector for that matter, is not as developed as Japan or the United States, it’s still sizable and enjoys some of its own unique features. To illustrate that, here are some of the Caribbean’s most popular video games right now. 

Gemstone Tetra

Created by NitroxGame, Gemstone Tetra is currently the most popular mobile game in Jamaica and holds similarly high positions in other Caribbean countries, too. That’s a sharp contrast to other countries, where the game has gone relatively unnoticed. For example, in the United States, it currently ranks 2,630th in the overall most popular list, while in Europe it ranks 4,425th and 6,968th in Germany and France respectively. 

This free game, which is monetized via ads, is a brightly coloured matching puzzle game. Your task is to move and rotate the gemstones on your screen to create solid horizontal lines. Making these lines clears them from the board, increasing your score, and freeing up room for more gemstones. 

It may be knocked off the top spot in the coming months, however, with a TikTok filter game taking the region by storm after Usain Bolt was seen playing it.

Credit: Good Faces

Roulette

Casino games are another popular choice in the Caribbean. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given that games like Caribbean Stud Poker bear the region’s name. 

One of the most in-demand casino games in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean is roulette. This historic game is several hundred years old after being originally created in France before being exported around the world. The result of this is that several versions of roulette have evolved over time, leading to most online casinos offering multiple options to their players, including both European and American variants, alongside high-roller games for those with larger budgets. 

The success of roulette in the Caribbean is partially down to smartphones and tablets that have made accessing them much easier. Instead of having to physically visit a casino, today’s Caribbean players can simply whip out their phones and start spinning in a matter of seconds. 

Call of Duty

Of course, the internationally popular titles are also big hits in the Caribbean and Call of Duty is no exception. According to Esports Earnings, Call of Duty: Warzone is Jamaica’s most successful esports title, narrowly beating PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds in the all-time esports earning list. 

The annual releases of Call of Duty titles also do well in the Caribbean, particularly in Jamaica where the games make up a sizable portion of the US$22.92 million video games market. 

The most successful game in the series, at least in the Caribbean has been Call of Duty: Mobile. This has been driven by the same ease-of-use factor that’s been making roulette popular in the region. It’s in this mobile category where almost half of all video game spending currently takes place, with experts predicting it will overtake all other categories in the coming years. 

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