Berliner Boersenzeitung - Video game developers cash in on Africa's booming mobile market

EUR -
AED 3.946715
AFN 75.215833
ALL 99.983993
AMD 417.846819
ANG 1.937217
AOA 918.177147
ARS 973.326461
AUD 1.610731
AWG 1.935476
AZN 1.840494
BAM 1.95556
BBD 2.170405
BDT 126.294514
BGN 1.955837
BHD 0.405035
BIF 3086.907167
BMD 1.074518
BND 1.451152
BOB 7.427089
BRL 5.838605
BSD 1.074903
BTN 89.643028
BWP 14.506694
BYN 3.517783
BYR 21060.557546
BZD 2.166705
CAD 1.473095
CDF 3057.004435
CHF 0.950193
CLF 0.036317
CLP 1002.084595
CNY 7.798528
CNH 7.823363
COP 4474.433648
CRC 561.846793
CUC 1.074518
CUP 28.474733
CVE 110.621382
CZK 24.908192
DJF 190.964028
DKK 7.459517
DOP 63.717914
DZD 144.540939
EGP 51.267522
ERN 16.117774
ETB 61.5266
FJD 2.42782
FKP 0.843069
GBP 0.84484
GEL 3.051326
GGP 0.843069
GHS 16.228588
GIP 0.843069
GMD 72.798406
GNF 9240.857306
GTQ 8.340938
GYD 224.882425
HKD 8.388388
HNL 26.917213
HRK 7.54144
HTG 142.44602
HUF 395.948929
IDR 17612.052426
ILS 3.985335
IMP 0.843069
INR 89.646251
IQD 1407.618897
IRR 45223.789102
ISK 149.454777
JEP 0.843069
JMD 167.324154
JOD 0.761618
JPY 169.798568
KES 138.612654
KGS 93.807987
KHR 4437.760361
KMF 492.667029
KPW 967.066559
KRW 1485.381825
KWD 0.329469
KYD 0.895815
KZT 495.083115
LAK 23599.105737
LBP 96273.938138
LKR 328.010463
LRD 208.883231
LSL 19.328959
LTL 3.172773
LVL 0.649965
LYD 5.211531
MAD 10.704887
MDL 19.187272
MGA 4808.469517
MKD 61.612445
MMK 3489.993336
MNT 3707.08804
MOP 8.643762
MRU 42.13201
MUR 50.136864
MVR 16.551063
MWK 1861.614341
MXN 19.799505
MYR 5.05722
MZN 68.441482
NAD 19.28778
NGN 1601.032741
NIO 39.515387
NOK 11.35175
NPR 143.428417
NZD 1.752507
OMR 0.413666
PAB 1.074868
PEN 4.076184
PGK 4.188741
PHP 63.161257
PKR 299.387645
PLN 4.327276
PYG 8095.27104
QAR 3.911784
RON 4.976416
RSD 117.075159
RUB 89.7107
RWF 1407.618897
SAR 4.031143
SBD 9.122204
SCR 14.86929
SDG 645.78587
SEK 11.215871
SGD 1.451353
SHP 1.3576
SLE 24.549844
SLL 22532.112339
SOS 613.549998
SRD 33.45566
STD 22240.358169
SVC 9.405109
SYP 2699.759777
SZL 19.28732
THB 39.424321
TJS 11.367329
TMT 3.771559
TND 3.364294
TOP 2.536832
TRY 34.951708
TTD 7.301309
TWD 34.792365
TZS 2820.610267
UAH 43.567674
UGX 4014.50774
USD 1.074518
UYU 42.304616
UZS 13614.145991
VEF 3892498.781421
VES 39.046688
VND 27349.175558
VUV 127.568928
WST 3.009312
XAF 655.894886
XAG 0.036099
XAU 0.000462
XCD 2.903939
XDR 0.815823
XOF 656.004534
XPF 119.331742
YER 269.005815
ZAR 19.314471
ZMK 9671.958981
ZMW 27.437529
ZWL 345.994436
  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    56.5

    0%

  • RELX

    0.1000

    45.58

    +0.22%

  • CMSC

    0.1260

    24.556

    +0.51%

  • SCS

    0.0900

    12.59

    +0.71%

  • BCC

    -0.5600

    126.29

    -0.44%

  • AZN

    -0.8900

    78.42

    -1.13%

  • CMSD

    0.0000

    24.3

    0%

  • NGG

    0.7000

    56.5

    +1.24%

  • GSK

    0.2900

    40.95

    +0.71%

  • RYCEF

    0.1400

    5.97

    +2.35%

  • RIO

    0.2700

    66.26

    +0.41%

  • BCE

    -0.1400

    32.5

    -0.43%

  • VOD

    0.0500

    8.91

    +0.56%

  • BTI

    0.1800

    31.12

    +0.58%

  • JRI

    -0.2000

    11.85

    -1.69%

  • BP

    0.2800

    35.39

    +0.79%

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

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

Two manga-like avatars lock swords against a comic strip backdrop, as Alexander Poone explains the different worlds of "The Traveller" -- a video game based on a graphic novel.

Text size:

The 27-year-old from Johannesburg is showcasing his creation at the annual Africa Games Week taking place in Cape Town.

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.

Most of the games on the market are from America, Europe and Japan, but African content is negligible, said Poone.

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

The hybrid event opened on Wednesday and will run through Friday, attracting some 2,500 developers, coders, designers, investors, and publishers, with 600 of them attending in-person.

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.

Burdened with poverty and infrastructure problems such as reliable telecoms and electricity supply, Africa traditionally lagged far behind other continents in gaming.

But recent years have seen an extraordinary boom -- 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.

Nine-five percent of the market is on mobiles, reflecting the continent's improved Internet access and affordable smartphones.

Previously, many Africans got their virtual fix on computers in internet cafés.

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.

To cash in on Africa's gaming boom, large developers need to work with local content creators, such as streamers or You Tubers, Hall said.

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.

"Centuries ago there was a gold rush in America. Today, I believe this gold rush is happening here on the African continent, and we (Africans) have to be first".

Others developers are making games not just for fun, but for social causes.

Jay Shapiro of Usiku Games, a Kenya-based social impact gaming company, created Seedballs, which helps replenish Kenya's lost forests in the semi-arid north of the country.

Kenya this year hopes by end of this year to have increased its forest cover from seven percent to 10 percent.

Shapiro says the game is helping achieve that goal.

"We created a mobile game for them when you fly a plane, and instead of the usual dropping bombs and trying to destroy things, you're dropping seeds and trying to plant trees," he said.

At the end of the game, players are congratulated on the numbers of virtual trees they have planted, and are asked if they would like to turn those into real trees.

They are urged a donation of one Kenyan shilling (just 0.008 of a dollar) per virtually planted tree.

"It's the only example we've seen of actually using gaming to plant real trees," Shapiro said.

(F.Schuster--BBZ)