The traditional games markets are the United States, Japan and Europe. But in recent years, new markets have opened up around the world, especially as mobile gaming has become a legitimate and respected format.
One such market is Africa, and across the continent, a whole new generation of gamers are being drawn to console classics and all-new titles made especially for tablets and smartphones. In fact, experts suggest that Africa could become one of the top gaming markets. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind it and some of the most popular games enjoyed across the continent.
Looking back about five years, the game in Africa looks very different from today. Most gamers should visit internet cafes, or similar, to enjoy playing on PCs or consoles. But in 2022, the continent has witnessed an astonishing growth rate in the gaming sector, mainly due to the boom in mobile gaming.
Since 2015, the number of people playing video games across the continent has grown from 77 million to 186 million, with South Africa accounting for the largest share of that figure – 24 million gamers. Relatively low income levels in many African countries mean that buying PCs or game consoles is out of reach for most people, but like everywhere else in the world, smartphones (and tablets) are ubiquitous .
The biggest markets
The biggest gaming market on the continent is South Africa – 40% of the population plays video games, in part due to the country’s young median age. Console and PC games are popular in South Africa, and this goes for both African-themed titles and locally developed games, as well as those that are globally popular – this is due to a considerably stable middle class who can afford the equipment – but mobile games are just as popular as elsewhere on the continent.
The Nigerian market follows behind, but in contrast the numbers match the rest of Africa – 95% of gamers use mobile devices, moving from playing in cafes or even barbershops. The growth of the market across Africa indicates that Africans are not only indulging in games through their smartphones and tablets, but are also willing to pay for them.
African inspired video games
Africa is a vast and incredibly diverse continent and, unsurprisingly, the popularity of games varies from place to place. Additionally, Africans like to see their own country and culture in video games, and there are a plethora of popular African-themed titles that they like to play. Here are a few:
Set around 15 majestic African locations, Mzito is a 2D adventure and platform game developed by Weza Interactive Entertainment. It is an epic adventure, in which the player must liberate Africa by purging corruption and “waking the sleeping lions”. The game is not only fun and entertaining, but is full of symbolism and, according to the developers, is meant to inspire Africans.
Okada Ride (Naija MotoTaxi)
This old fashioned and highly addictive free mobile game was developed in Nigeria and is set in the chaotic streets of the country’s largest city, Lagos.
You play as Abu, an innocent bystander minding his own business until carnage erupts around him. The object of the game is to escape the city unscathed, weaving through traffic without getting hit by a motorbike. The game is extremely popular in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, and the soundtrack actually includes recordings from the streets of the city.
Plus, besides these popular titles, there are dozens of other African-themed video games that keep people playing. A great influence in the spread of the gambling industry has also been brought by certain online casino games that feature African culture, symbolism and themes, where titles like Safari King, Great Rhino Megaways and a leafy classic Mega Moolah evergreens are just a few of the options. who stand out.
Not to mention that many online providers offering these games like Springbok, Punto or Yebo Casino now also offer excellent bonuses and promotions. For example, “Springbok Casino really rolls out the red carpet for new players, as this casino offers lots of free bonuses,” says Rudie Venter of playcasino.co.za. With great opportunities like these, followed by an increase in mobile games and internet usage, many people have turned to these games as well.
Popular all over the world
Additionally, here are some of the evergreen and globally popular video games that are currently capturing the imagination in African countries:
Many great console classics have made a smooth transition to mobile, and FIFA is one of those titles. Football is the most popular sport in Africa, and the iconic football game reflects that popularity. Fast and realistic action, beautiful graphics and recognizable teams from around the world make it a favorite among African gamers.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
First-person shooters are as popular in Africa as they are in the rest of the world, and CS:GO is one of the best. Multiplayer modes are behind the popularity of shooters, with millions of Africans playing against each other or collaborating in teams. There are even professional players from the mainland.
The spotlight is on Africa as an ever-growing market for games. With mobile gaming growing year on year, with more smartphones in circulation than ever before, don’t expect the boom to slow down anytime soon.