With the global games industry in a state of re-alignment following a post pandemic boon, the African games industry looks set to build on a growing momentum of interest that nudges the industry ever closer to a semblance of structure and untethered maturity.
When does an industry transition from nascent to maturity? Is it down to the number of thriving and sustainable gaming companies that exist? Is it down to the cumulative annual revenue generated? Is it when the ruling government presents a strategy to help support the growth of the local industry whilst actively promoting its merits internationally?? Is it down to the number of independents looking to stake their claim in that industry’s space?
An argument can be made for several countries falling into one or more of those categories, but whilst the industry falls behind its continental contemporaries, there is a groundswell of interest from more international entities wishing to be part of a continent on the cusp of some major breakthroughs.
2022 showcased the value of identifying, believing in and backing the essence of intentionality each studio has within them. Essential initiatives such as Africa Games Week and SpielFabrique brought the gaming world to the continent and helped forge commercial partnerships whilst Carry1st and their publishing partnerships helped elevate one Kenyan studio to the mobile store front summit.
As the rest of the gaming world tries to come to terms with a post growth couple of years some pieces might be in play to see the region continues its growth. A fact backed by recent global reports from NewZoo.
According to Newzoos report which forecasts a decline in the global gaming market in 2023, It however points at an increase in emerging markets with Africa joined by Latin America and the Middle East.
“Driven by new players entering the (mobile) gaming ecosystem and better access to payment methods. However, average spend in these regions is still low compared to the established markets.”
Revisiting the 2022 African Games Industry Trends
For a refresher on last years African games industry trends, check out the 2022 summary which touted an increase in funding and the hope for more Pan-African collaboration. Both trends came to pass with the Pan-African Gaming Group growing and a host of developers spanning the length and breadth of the continent joining forces on development projects as well as initiatives to bolster their respective entities.
Global Games Market Data | Revenue | 2022 – 2025
Despite the continued growth of the industry, according to data provided by Newzoo, revenue from the continent still only accounts for 0.5% of the 2022 global share. It’s a continent with a significant proportion of its revenue generated from mobile with the App Stores closed ecosystem accounting for 0.5% of global share while Android stores revenue was marginally higher at 1.1%
Mobile revenues continue to account for a sizeable percentage of the continent’s total revenue in 2022. About 90% which is $778.6M of the total $862.6M. PC revenues amounted to $49.4M whilst console revenues amounted to $34.8M.
The same data dump from Newzoo also features a top 10 sub-Saharan countries ranked by revenues in 2022. Topped by the continent’s most populous country – Nigeria followed by South Africa, it doesn’t feature any North African countries which by all accounts have a history of strong revenue performances. It might also explain the huge revenue gap between South Africa and Kenya in second and third place on the list, which could feature the likes of Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco.
Data like the above is invaluable but once again reinforces the need for access to sales data. Something the continent is still yet to fully attain.
2023 African Games Industry Trends
Mobile adoption continues to gather pace, but a platform agnostic embrace is sweeping the continent with increasing number of developers seeking ways to showcase their technical maturity as well as utilize a lot of the readily available tools that lend themselves well to much more aligned PC infrastructure.
- Collaboration continues – Across the length and breadth of the continent, there is a growing desire to pool resources, know-how and knowledge together. We can expect to see a bunch of North African countries explore opportunities with their Middle Eastern peers as well as some of their Sub-Saharan contemporaries.
- Investors turn to Africa – With the global gaming market experiencing a downturn, publishers and other heavy hitters will turn to emerging markets as they seek value in their quest to see a higher return on investment.
- Creators embrace the social network – Whilst not unique to African developers, an increasing number of developers have identified and seen the value of platforms such as Tiktok. However, with the social network economy becoming an increasingly fraught space, alternative channels will be found or / and created as a means to cultivate community around their brands and projects.
Speaking of distribution channels – Keen to learn more about the data above as well as what it takes to bring your games to platforms such as Steam and Gara? Then sign up to GIA Talks taking place on February 9th. Places are limited with registration opening soon.