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Local video game maker first to arrive in Digital Creative City

A local multimedia firm has become the first company to move into Guadalajara’s much vaunted Ciudad Creativa Digital, or Digital Creative City, in downtown.

Kaxan Media Group, which creates mobile video games and animated features, recently moved from the city’s Software Center near the Plaza del Sol shopping mall to its new headquarters just north of Teatro Degollado.

Ricardo Gómez Quiñones, the company’s president and a longtime leader in the city’s tech scene, said the move brings his employees close to the city’s cultural and artistic heart where they can more easily find creative inspiration.

A local tech success story, Kaxan created Taco Master, a popular mobile game where players assemble and sling tacos. The game has been downloaded more than one million times by people in more than 180 countries. The company also recently released an animated feature called El Secreto del Medallón de Jade (The Secret of the Jade Medallion), which Gómez Quiñones is working to have released on Netflix.

Guadalajara was selected as the home for Mexico’s digital creative hub in a competition among 11 other cities due to a robust tech industry already here, including companies like Kaxan. Backers of the effort call it the largest multimedia project in Latin America. ProMexico, which promotes international trade and investment in Mexico, says on its website the development of the complex in Guadalajara’s Parque Morelos district will create about 25,000 jobs and attract companies involved in software, video games, movies and mobile devices.

Even so, other than Kaxan’s arrival, the area doesn’t yet show much progress in the way of becoming a focal point for creative multimedia companies.

Being among the first tech companies doesn’t concern Gómez Quiñones, rather he sees it as an advantage.

“It’s a nice place, there are museums, traditional restaurants,” Gómez Quiñones said.

His company had a meeting at a nearby museum and, afterward, his workers were able to spend some time there to help kindle their imagination, he said. He also has employees who live across the city and having a central location is useful for all of them.

Kaxan rented space in what used to be the library of local daily newspaper Informador. In a story in the paper announcing the company’s arrival, Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval stressed the importance of Kaxan coming to the Digital Creative City saying it reflects the innovative local company’s confidence in the project.

Former President Felipe Calderon announced the undertaking — which brings with it federal, state and municipal funds — in 2012. The creative complex represents Guadalajara’s future and Gómez Quiñones said that progress is going to be made bit by bit.

The project charts a 15-year course for Guadalajara to become Mexico’s main cluster for digital audiovisual production and to develop of technological creative industries like those creating movies, video games, animation and mobile applications.

Sandoval also has already announced that the Centro de Innovación para el Aceleramiento y Desarrollo Económico (CIADE) — an innovation center for accelerating economic development — will have the first complex there with an investment 455 million pesos, or about 34 million dollars. The CIADE’s presence will help creative companies grow and will include a software center to house about 20 small businesses.

While local companies are expected to fill out the majority of the creative hub, Guadalajara city hall trade officials who recently made a trip to India said that at least 30 companies there have expressed interest in joining the project. In recent years, trade between India and Jalisco has been on the rise. Several companies there in the information technology industry are interested in the city. Tata Consultancy Services, an Indian multinational, set up an IT subsidiary in Guadalajara in 2007 and since then other companies have followed.


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