Mobile News In Aftica: #79

Video game developers cash in on Africa’s booming mobile market

Organisers of the continent’s largest gathering of game developers aim to help the gaming industry meet demand for African-made content and boost the potential of local talent. The event opened on Wednesday and would run through Friday.

About 2,500 developers, coders, designers, investors, and publishers were in attendance with 600 of them attending in-person.

Poone lamented that most of the games on the market were from America, Europe, and Japan, but there was hardly any African content for gamers.

There’s “a lot of content that is new and not been fully explored yet,” said Poone, founder of Dream Shards.

Event co-founder Nick Hall said a lot of publishers say they want African-made content.

‘One Billion Gamers.’

“There’s a huge opportunity. Now is the best time really to be making games or trying to get into the games industry because we’re hoping in the next few years we’re going to see a massive spike in growth,” he said.

It’s not surprised Africa lagged far behind other continents in the gaming industry. What with the poverty and infrastructural problems that plague Africa.

But recent years have shown promise. Gamers in sub-Saharan Africa increased to 186 million in 2021 from 77 million in 2015, according to a study by game analytics company Newzoo.

Of those 186 million, 63 million pay for games as the continent embraces digital currencies.

Africa, along with China and India, is expected to surpass a billion gamers, and the continent is home to industry’s “last untapped consumer audience”, Hall said.

He predicts that Africa could reach one billion users in the next five years.

South Africa is by far the continent’s largest gaming market with 40 percent of its population playing, followed by Ghana and Nigeria. And a lot more are upcoming.

‘New El Dorado’

In the Central African Republic, Teddy Kossoko founded Masseka Game Studio, which creates games telling stories of African cultures and history.

He is highly optimistic despite lacking resources to train youngsters to become professional gamers.

“For me, the future of this industry, and not only this industry, is in Africa — it’s the new El Dorado,” he said.

The gaming gold rush was in America, and today, he believes it’s in Africa.

Other developers are making games, not only for fun, but also for social causes. The Kenyan-based Jay Shapiro of Usiku Games created a game where users grow virtual trees and after, get a chance to physically grow these trees by making donations of a shilling per tree!

Kenya to have increased its forest cover from 7 to 10% by the end of this year and the game is helping achieve this goal.

Other developers are using their games to make Africa a better place locally and globally.MORE…

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