Limpho Moeti is the Deputy Festival Director for Playtopia with her industry credits including a stint at Free Lives (BROFORCE, GORN, GENITAL JOUSTING). She is also a seasoned event speaker with some of her festival credits including A MAZE./ Berlin, Nordic Gam Jam and the Game Developers of Color. She devoted some time to chat with GIA.
GIA: As a deputy festival organizer, game designer as well as speaker at events, it’s fair to say you have a broad and unique insight into all aspects of the industry. How would you describe the current state of the industry in South Africa and Africa as a whole?
LM: The Industry in South Africa is small at the moment but full of potential. There are studios that are working on their own IP as well as those that do work for clients. We are at an exciting time where game development is growing at fast paced rate on the continent. South Africa – and Africa – have a massive wealth of talented game developers who have impacted the global gaming community. There are challenges that face the industry as well, but I strongly believe that with support our continent can be a gaming powerhouse in the next 15 -20 years.
GIA: What do you view as significant challenges faced by developers in the region?
LM: One of the biggest challenges facing developers is access to funding. There are a wealth of talented developers, but gaining access to the funding for game development isn’t easy. Another challenge is being disconnected from the larger gaming community. There are conferences and festivals all over the world that African developers may not be able to go to and network because of the cost of international travel. These festivals are where a lot of funding and publishing opportunities are as well as the ability to meet other developers.
GIA: From a festival perspective, what trends do you envision in the coming years in Africa?
LM: I think we are going to see more independent and creative games coming out of South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. There are going to be more small gaming industries across the continent. I also think that there are going to be more games that have an afrofuturistic flavour, and I think that this continent will continue to create excellent mobile and PC games.
GIA: Can you see Playtopia MGA expanding beyond the boundaries of SA to other regions of the continent?
LM: I hope so, in some form! But the festival is still very young so for now we are focusing on creating the premier independent gaming and immersive art festival in Sub Saharan Africa. This means continuing to work with developers on the continent and showcasing their phenomenal talents.
Playtopia MGA will take place at the Castle in Cape Town between December 5 to December 7. For further details as well as how to get your ticket, visit the Playtopia website.