Designing a Future for Himself: Why Eduardo Ramírez Is Banking on Video Games

Eduardo in an interview on The Lobby, Gamespot
Eduardo in an interview on The Lobby, Gamespot

Growing up in San José, Costa Rica, Eduardo Ramírez struggled to pass his classes, ending up in the principal’s office all too often.

“It wasn’t until college when I began studying computer science that things turned around,” Eduardo says.

It was then that Eduardo designed a video game for one of his final projects, one set in a 3D butterfly garden.

“I became fascinated in that moment with new possibilities, with designing graphics and, at the same time, entertaining people.”

But Eduardo, who shortly thereafter received a scholarship to study game design at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, still felt out of his element, especially alongside peers from top-tier universities.

“I remembered feeling out of place, and my sister, in response, told me: ‘You can’t compete with your peers’ educational and economic privileges, but you can make the best of your own knowledge and resources.’”

Eduardo and his colleague, Diego Vásquez, pitching a new game at Game Connection America in San Francisco
Eduardo and his colleague, Diego Vásquez, pitching a new game at Game Connection America in San Francisco

It’s his tenacity that shapes Eduardo’s work to this day, namely, the management of his design firm, Green Lava Studios, which develops video games for PlayStation, Xbox and Steam. Eduardo, who oversees the design and programming of the company’s products, joined the YLAI Network in 2017.

Among the many challenges Eduardo faced in launching his business was getting investors to understand the work that goes into the design and programming of these products.

“Most people don’t think about the hours of work behind each and every feature of a video game; they’re aspects a lot of people overlook,” Eduardo adds.

When Eduardo secured his first contract, he realized the importance, too, of setting internal deadlines for himself and his colleagues, especially with work as extensive and ongoing as his own.

“Without clear deadlines,” Eduardo says, “I would never have seen the results of my labor.”

Deciding between clients was also a challenge for Eduardo, but when torn between two contracts, he always returns to the advice of his other sister.

“She told me to ‘never make a decision based on fear,’” Eduardo says.

That advice carries over to Eduardo’s outreach to investors and clients and to his focus on the work over any internal trepidation.

Reflecting on the past few years, Eduardo admits that he owes much to his sisters’ wisdom:
“It’s their advice, more than anything else, that has made my work what it is today.”

Interested in Eduardo’s work? Read more entrepreneurship stories.

Eduardo Ramírez is a YLAI Network member from Costa Rica and founder of video game company Green Lava Studios. He holds a computer engineering degree from Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED), where he was recognized with a Distinguished Student Award in 2013 and 2015. Eduardo, who also took several game-related courses at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, oversees the design and programming of video games at Green Lava, where he also manages partnerships with European, North American and Japanese markets.