African gaming wants to establish itself on the world stage

African gaming wants to establish itself on the world stage
African gaming wants to establish itself on the world stage

At first glance it seems reserved for an initiated public. Yet the video game industry is one of the most lucrative in the world, with a turnover of nearly $200 billion in 2023 alone. From the youngest to the oldest, gaming as we call it commonly affects all age groups, crosses genres… and even continents.

In Africa, the market has been booming since 2018. Long a consumer of games from abroad, its youth now want to stand out by developing 100% African entertainment to tell different and authentic stories.

“We always have the same types of heroes, the same types of characters who all look more or less alike”deplores Mickaël Newton, CSR manager at Ubisoft and co-founder of the association Digital Leisure. “When we look at the big successes it’s always the big, white, bearded character or the sexy girl who’s going to do brilliant things with her legs. But the idea is how to renew all that a little, how to we tell other things thanks to African video games and people who want to talk about tradition, or to collaborate on slightly more international projects by bringing back their different stories and even their knowledge in the broad sense.”

Collaboration yes, but on a win-win model. An essential factor to impose Africa in this global ecosystem and, why not, see the emergence of a blockbuster from the continent.

“It’s a global market and therefore Africans also play European games, Europeans also have their games so there is a level of competition which is very high”underlines Carl Tamakloe, TV Series Development Manager for Ubisoft Film & Television. “And now what is needed is more collaboration without falling into education. Because it is also important to say that Africans have skills that can be useful to Europeans, have ways of doing things that can serve the Europeans, but the Europeans also have technical means because they simply started earlier.”

The nerve of the war: financing. But how can we attract more investors to this emerging market? For investment advisor Wilson Nyah, it’s all about communication.

“Above all, we need to inform. Meet these investors where they are and make them aware of the scale of the opportunities that the continent offers, make them see the quality of the games that have already been produced in Africa. It’s all there, “It’s just that Africans, who are in a way the ambassadors of the games, need to go there, meet these people in Europe and the United States and let them know the continent’s potential.”

The video games market in Africa and the Middle East recorded the highest annual growth in global revenues in the sector in 2023, reaching more than $7 billion, an increase of 4.7%.

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