Game Studios Come Together to Grow Industry in Africa

Game Studios Come Together to Grow Industry in Africa

The Pan Africa Gaming Group (PAGG) has brought together ten African game production companies under one banner in an effort to unify the continent’s fragmented gaming market. The group also aims to increase gaming adoption in the region and cultivate developer talent. The news was made today, in the midst of Africa Games Week 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. The PAGG stated that its goal is to double the industry’s annual growth and place Africa “on the map of the global game business.”

South Africa’s Sea Monster, Senegal’s Kayfo Games, Cameroon’s Kiro’o Games, Ghana’s Leti Arts, Tunisia’s Digital Mania, Ethiopia’s Qene Games, Kenya’s Usiku Games, Tanzania’s Khanga Rue, Rwanda’s DopeApps, and Messeka Games are among the gaming studios in the new lobby, with more expected to join soon. The current members have created more than 50 games in total. Under Gara, an African gaming store, and AfroComix, a content platform for Afrocentric creative work, the PAGG will bring together games made by its members for publication. By permitting locally relevant payment methods such as mobile money and airtime invoicing, these channels will enable content distribution and monetization.

They also intend to boost the number of Africa’s next-generation game developers by providing training and incubation, a role that has already begun in Kenya at the Nairobi Game Development Center. “One of our main values is to nurture Africa’s gaming business of the future, not just build a collection of games.” On the continent, there is already a lot of exceptional talent, with more graduating every year from top-tier game development institutions like Rubika. Due to a shortage of local gaming career possibilities, most graduates are confined to undertaking remote work for offshore clients. Leti Arts CEO Eyram Tawia stated, “We’re going to fix that.”

The lobby will be governed by a founders’ council made up of top African gaming entrepreneurs, with Peter Kihara (ex-Goldman Sachs and PWC) serving as group financial officer and Jake Manion, BAFTA-nominated director, and former game director at Aardman Animation in the UK, serving as group creative director. Each game studio will retain its autonomy while participating in the council’s voting proposals and resolutions. The PAGG’s spokesperson will be Dawit Abraham, CEO of Gene Games (Ethiopia).

Due to a surge in interest among the youth and as more people gain access to the internet, the gaming business in Africa is expected to grow dramatically. According to the GSMA mobile economy report for 2021, 303 million individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa are linked to mobile internet, which is expected to increase to 474 million by 2025, generating a larger market for the gaming sector. 

According to the Games Industry Africa report, South Africa has the largest saturation of gamers in Africa, with 24 million people (almost half of the population) playing. Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia are among the other key markets. With $290 million in total yearly gaming revenue in 2021, South Africa led the way, followed by Nigeria ($185 million), Ghana ($42 million), Kenya ($38 million), and Ethiopia ($35 million).