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Video Game Market in Africa: The past, the present, and the Future

        Now, to say that the Video game Market in Africa is going is an understatement, that industry is fast taking shape. Gone are the days when an African gamer goes to a game house just to play Nintendo Super Mario, to say the least, things has drastically changed for the industry today. The Top 4 Africa video game market as we knew it, in 2018 doubled their revenue towards the end of 2019:

1. Nigeria – 122 million
2. South Africa – 216 million 
3. Morocco – 129 million
4. Egypt – 293 million

Also note that in 2014, the whole video game industry revenue in the whole region was $105 million before rising to $507 in 2018; almost what one region have today.

Friends playing video game in their house
Source: Gettyimages

Today, the story is different as the video game industry revenue as we know it is experiencing some major turn-around.  Newszoo® in it’s latest video game market forest mentioned Middle East & North Africa along side southern Asia, and India as the market to watch in 2020. South Africa today has valued their mobile game market at $50 million (yoy) with 11.5 million users, and it is expected to rise to $64 million in 4 years time (2024).

Nigeria is not left out of the party as local game studios are beginning to get better and bigger patronage from the home front. Kuluya: one of Nigeria’s top performing video game studio revealed that in 2019, the company had 60% of their games downloaded outside of the country, some of those countries it was traced to were Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.

But sadly, it seems that the development in the region is one-sided because the sub-Saharan Africa countries are lagging behind in this widespread development happening in the video game industry.

Present and Future of Africa Video Game Market

Today, there has been a lot of activities going on in the African video game sphere that proves that the industry sure has a brighter feature ahead. The increase in smartphone users has drastically increased the number of mobile phone in the country. The country has approximately 17 million smartphone users, a number that makes it a perfect market for mobile gaming to strive. Other factors that validates a brighter game market in Africa are:

1. Video Game Education

          Video game awareness in Africa is drastically on the increase, days are gone when you hire an installer to connect your new Xbox or PlayStation console, today literally everybody can make the connection, purchase a game Key, and do all other soft and hardware integrations.

Again, there are more video game studios and developers creating local contents that has penetrated the international scene. And with companies like Andela and Gebeya creating a reputation in building the next generation software developers across the continent.

2. Talent Development Centres

We nicknamed these places “Talent Development Centres” because of their capacity to indirectly build future game developers, esports super stars, and future video game analysts. These centres are the IT Hubs, esports organizations, video game centers, e.t.c. Today, world class IT hubs have been springing up in major cities of Africa, competing with their counterparts round the world. Some of them include:

MEST -  Ghana
ActivSpaces – Cameroon
iHub -  Nailab in Kenya
Co-Creation Hub -  Nigeria
BongoHive – Zambia
IceAddis - Ethiopia.

These hubs are providing the region’s tech-hungry youths with the right tools to explore their new found niche. On the side of the video game centers, and esports organizations. E. g. Esports Nigeria, these guys are doing much more in building a new generation esports teams and building a community of video game enthusiasts round the continent.

3. Award for Excellence

We believe this is where the continent really needs to work on, currently, we cannot find an African award for excellence that is of international repute. This is absolutely necessary, all the countries must as a matter of patriotism recognize their own, that way, they will be able to build local content while encouraging individual talents.

Source: Gettyimages

Despite the damage the coronavirus pandemic has caused various industries, and despite the increasing video game market size, there are still huge potential and unexplored market out there waiting to be explored.

To leverage these opportunities already, we must start from creating video game community of active enthusiastic individuals ready participate in the already exploding industry. Our game developers must strive to think outside local content; developing best competitive game apps that will compete with the outside world. 

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