Despite the many innovations that central America has developed in the modern age, tech and entertainment have generally been considered points of weakness.
That is, until the last few years. More recently, rapid growth within Costa Rica’s tech and entertainment industries has set it as the region’s haven for investment and development. And future potential continues to grow.
Among the over 3400 manufacturing companies which exist within Costa Rica’s borders, possibly the most important are those concerned with medical devices. In 2015 and 2017, these devices marked the number one export goods produced in Costa Rica, with Launch Way Media claiming there are over nine times as many life science multinationals operating today than in 2009.
A primary contributor within this market is Boston Scientific, which alone has invested more than $130 million in its two manufacturing companies since 2003. According to Randy Schiestl, the Vice President of Global Technology at Boston Scientific, this increased investment is due to highly committed talent, and a close relationship with the Costa Rican government.
Altogether, Costa Rica holds nine of the most important worldwide medical device manufacturing companies. This includes such influential names as Microvention-Terumo, Pfizer, and Hologic and Phillips. Combined, these add up to 23% of the country’s total exports, on a continuous upward trend.
Costa Rica has also made strides forward in the vast sector that is entertainment, which can be divided up into several subsectors. First, there is the world of digital betting, where few developments have been as important in recent years as live casino titles. These work by effectively streaming dealers onto a person’s computer or mobile device, fusing in-person appeal with modern at-home convenience.
One of the most successful businesses in this sphere, Ezugi, is located within Costa Rica. Live dealer systems like those Ezugi produces are licensed to online casino operators like Betway, who then bring the titles to users. Live games such as live blackjack, roulette, and hold’em are continuously gaining popularity within the global betting environment, which is now valued at over $50 billion.
This adds to the significance of Costa Rica’s steps in this area.
Video gaming is the next subsector. Latin America is a large consumer of this form of digital media, yet involvement on the creation front has traditionally lagged.
Over the last decade, important gains have been made in this field, with developers MOGA and Green Lava Studios standing among the most accomplished. Of released games, Fenix Rage was probably the best received.
With positive reviews on mainstream gaming sales company Steam, Fenix Rage finds its place among a hardcore subgenre of platformers, known for pushing difficulty to a degree which can alienate less than dedicated or skilled players. Also available on OSX, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms, the success of this game and others have taken the first new steps in what could become a major area for further investigation and investment.
Film and television production, another area which has historically struggled in Costa Rica, is now seeming an immense gathering of momentum. While Costa Rican love of television and cinema has long been known, a small local industry with a lack of knowledge and infrastructure has led to a situation where production has been slow.
Again, over the last decade, growing success, interest, and expertise has raised future production potential. Films such as Maikol Yordan de Viaje Perdido have elevated the national profile of Costa Rican video media.
At the same time, with an influx of internationally trained filmmakers like Paz Fábrega returning home to share their knowledge, the future appears bright.
Development now is a sign of bigger things to come
The 2010s were undoubtedly one of the most productive decades that Costa Rica has ever seen in the realms of tech and entertainment, but it’s important to note the greater scale of what these accomplishments mean. Rather than acting in a vacuum, developments such as these can generate an accelerating effect for those who follow in their footsteps.
Whether looking at medical tech, betting, video gaming, or film and television, the path forward is now forged. While it might take some time to see how far these sectors can develop, current progress indicates a bright future for all involved.