African Video Games – a Growing Sector
The continent has a billion people under the age of 35 and more smartphones than North America. Mobile internet use is rising by 9% a year. Drawing on local folklore, developers hope to do for gaming what Afrobeats has done for music and Nollywood for film. African video games are not yet very lucrative. Most are designed for casual players to download for free on their mobile phones. Revenue from adverts or selling in-game goodies is modest. But venture capitalists are starting to take notice. In January investors put $20m into Carry1st, a SA publisher which helps studios worldwide launch their content in Africa. Its platform offers punters more than a hundred ways to pay (many African gamers lack credit cards or live in economies hamstrung by foreign-exchange restrictions).
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