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    After more than three years, developing its debut project, the Costa Rican company Stoneball Studios seeks to establish itself in the global market with the launch of its new Tico video game called Covered.

    The title will be available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox consoles, as well as on the new virtual platform Steam. The premiere will be at the beginning of June as confirmed by the production director, Marlon Cascante.

    The spokesperson added that, in order to establish the name of the Costa Rican company and give a signal of its intentions, they opted for a game in the Action and Adventure genre. Precisely, this niche is one of the most popular within an industry that, as of November 2020, pointed to an annual value of $ 174.9 billion, according to the latest report from the specialized firm Newzoo.

    However, it is dominated by large companies such as Ubisoft Games (Assasin’s Creed), Rockstar (Grand Theft Auto) or Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty). Despite this, Cascante is confident that Stoneball can be established as another option.

    Becoming a recognized studio

    “The first objective in our case is to become a recognized studio, the final finish of the game, the story and the mechanics (which is quite original) makes us think that whoever plays it has a fun time but also leaves a message to meditate.

    “The graphic quality is quite acceptable to become a field in any collection of an average player. The story we write is the motivation for wanting to develop in this category because we feel that it is where we can tell it in the best way”, he added.

    For this, the developer explained that the team seeks to maximize the different components that surround the experiences of the players, today. To do this, they even integrated a specialist in neuroscience and human behavior.

    The game

    Covered has a central mission, which is divided into 10 sections, and it is the one that develops the main story. The game is an open world, which expands as the user meets new goals, Cascante noted.

    However, the director noted that they included 30 secondary missions that can also be enjoyed without finishing the original plot. Play time can vary between 12-15 hours, depending on the player’s experience level.

    The story revolves around an ancient being who must reach the sacred mountain of Lonko to fulfill a sacred prophecy. Of course, the mission forces the user to develop alliances and interactions along the way in order to achieve it. The gameplay is based on a hierarchy represented by 10 different masks, which represent the different strata of society, Cascante added. “It is one more example of what is possible. As other national videogames have been showing, published in previous years,” he reasoned.

    Ancestral tribute

    The representative explained that the new company started around the same time that the game project started. The name is a tribute to the pre-Columbian stone spheres discovered in our country.

    The work team consists of seven full-time collaborators, although up to 15 people have been part of the group throughout these three years. Although it is the first title, from the new study, Cascante has worked on more than 60 video games. In addition, several members of Stoneball were part of the Canu Arts company, which released the game “Lithium Inmate 39” in 2016. According to the Newzoo report, only the video game market, in Latin America, had a value of $ 6.8 billion, during 2020.

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