According to The Guardian, the gaming industry generated over $100 billion in revenues in 2016 out of which over $40 billion was generated through mobile gaming. Over the last decade, the African gaming industry has experienced substantial growth with the establishment of game development studios in parts of the continent. Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, Kenya and Ghana are some of the countries where the industry has had considerable success. However, compared to the rest of the world, the gaming industry has a long way to go thanks to the less developed internet infrastructure. The need and the opportunity for investments in e-gaming in the continent are real as the following factors demonstrate.
Africa has turned to mobile technology to compensate for its underdeveloped infrastructure. A survey by PwC revealed that the gaming industry in South Africa alone is worth more than $217 million. Mobile gaming has surpassed PCs and consoles and remains the single biggest gaming channel in Africa. The mobile provides readily available internet connectivity using prepaid internet bundles to overcome the challenge of underdeveloped internet infrastructure. Therefore, mobile gaming is in essence e-gaming through the mobile. Abiola Olaniran, the founder and CEO of Gamsole says that mobile is the only channel that cuts across all demographics of gamers. He further observes that although gaming is a nascent industry in the continent, the high rate of mobile penetration can serve as the converging point for both hardcore and casual gamers.
Gaming is a fast growing segment of the media
In countries such as South Africa, gaming is the fastest growing segment of the media market both in terms of online downloads and physical sales. Additionally, consumer spending on gaming has risen considerably and is estimated to reach $ 279 million by 2018. The country’s gaming industry is predicted to keep growing at an impressive rate of 10% per year. In Morocco, the trend is similarly impressive with telecom companies such as Inwi investing in gaming. In Ethiopia and South Sudan, women are exploring opportunities in the industry including the participation in hackathons and video games as a means of promoting social cohesion.
The rise of Africa themed games
The International Game Developers Association is a non-profit organization for game software developers. As of May 2017, the association had seven chapters across Africa. Kiro’o games are part of an initiative to amplify African stories, myths and traditions taping into the global demand for games based on unique, locally produced narratives. These games depict African superheroes, chaos and constancy; characteristics of African village and city lives. For example, the Okada rider is designed by Nigeria’s ChopUp Studio and simulates the traffic gridlock of the streets of the city of Lagos.
Several African countries are now connected to the internet through undersea cables. This has increased internet connectivity on the continent creating further opportunities for expansion of internet dependent activities such as e-gaming.
The use of blockchain technology in e-gaming
DT X’s e-gaming 4.0 project being piloted in Democratic Republic of Congo and Moldova will leverage blockchain technology in developing e-gaming programmes that will use digital currency. The programme will integrate proof of concept, KYC, AML among other pertinent areas to ensure secure e-gaming.