For a country that’s knee-deep into gaming across a plethora of consoles, it’s puzzling how game development in the Philippines hasn’t yet realized its potential.
According to statistics, we are the world’s 25th-biggest market by game revenues, with over 43 million gamers spending about $572 million on games, and that’s just last year. Despite this, and even though we have a rich pool of developers, a game that’s developed, produced, and released by an all-Filipino team.
That is, until now. A local independent game development studio, Studio Enero, has been hard-pressed on developing the country’s very-first Triple-A RPG: Balete City.
Balete City is a horror-themed, semi-open world, third-person RPG that follows the journey of Aki, a senior high school student who transfers to Balete High inside Balete City, a metropolis filled with all kinds of mythical beasts and elemental creatures. Get ready to face off with your feared aswangs, sigbins, siokoys, tianaks, and kapres, as well as other fiends from distant lores such as Negros Islands’ minokawa, Bicol’s laki, and Ilocos Norte’s mangmangkiks.
For Niley Bacolcol, Studio Enero’s founder and CEO, Balete City is their team’s passion project, and bringing it to life on PC, as well as other consoles such as Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch, could take up to three years.
Still, the studio plans to release a workable demo gameplay within a year, and possibly clips of “user interface, gameplay, systems, and the under-the-hood processes” in the next few months to get gamers pumped.
In a social media post by the game’s dev team, they shared: “Indie team lang po kami mga lodi kasi wala pang mga big investors but we will do our best to match triple a quality.” In gaming, AAA or Triple-A is an informal classification that refers to “blockbuster” games that have outstanding production values, usually as a result of hefty financial backing.
Thus, the studio is also passionate about rallying financial support. How you can support the studio? You may course your donations through the following accounts:
- Ko-Fi: ko-fi.com/baletecitygame
- Patreon: patreon.com/baletecity
- GCash: 0920-412-3219 (Balete City)
You can also follow their pages on Facebook and Twitter to get periodic updates on the game’s development.
Here’s hoping we could play the first Triple-A, all-Filipino game soon!