Flanked by the borders of Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic, Cameroon has the unique position of being home to one of the continents earliest and longest standing studios – Kiro’o Games. However, whilst that implies a country at the forefront of game development, that is sadly not the case, with only a handful of other entities active in the local ecosystem.
With 14 million mobile subscribers, or 52 per cent of the population, mobile is the primary connectivity channel in Cameroon. Barriers to mobile adoption include consumer readiness (largely due to a lack of literacy and digital skills) and affordability (in part due to high taxation and accessibility). Mobile is the technology of choice for Cameroon’s entrepreneur community and plays a key role in the development and scale up of innovations. (source GSMA)
Mobile has been readily adopted by the country’s premier developer (Kiro’o Games) to good effect. Not only in game development, but in exploring new financing models. Whilst their efforts have been recognized by the state, gaming is still some way off from being a lifestyle or viable career path.
Voice of the Developer
There is a lack of ecosystems that can finances game development. Also, infrastructure problems such as lack of electricity hinders work, other developers abroad don’t have such problems. The video game industry in the West has developed because the book industry and even board games were already present in families; the video game was just and addition to an already existing family habit. However, in Africa this is not the case, there is a challenge to integrate the game culture in the African familyOlivier Madiba (Kiro’o Games)