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Lagos aims to rule the African gaming sector

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By Mercy Kelani

The industry is rapidly expanding due to the rise in internet accessibility.

In Nigeria, Lagos is longing to become a dominant force in the African gaming sector by aiming for a 30% market share in the projected $4.28 billion market by 2024. Governor Sanwo-Olu revealed plans to transform gaming into a key source of income and catalyst for economic growth during the Africa Gaming Expo 2024. Cape Town is a thriving hub for the gaming industry in Africa, boasting over half of South Africa’s game development studios. With the annual Africa Games Week hosted in the city, Cape Town is quickly becoming a prominent player in the gaming world alongside Lagos.

Kokua Games, a mobile game developer specializing in African themes and stories, is located in Nairobi. On the other hand, Cairo is witnessing an increase in gaming cafes and esports competitions. Africa Games Week in the city serves as a high-end business gathering for the video game sector, drawing developers, content producers, and industry experts from all over the continent. The industry is rapidly expanding due to the rise in internet accessibility, widespread use of smartphones, and the implementation of advanced high-capacity network systems.

It exudes influence extending beyond its borders to impact other regions.

With an estimated population of 16.3 million and a strong focus on the gaming demographic of 15 to 34-year-olds, Lagos has a vast potential player base for developers and publishers. As the leading city in Nigeria, Lagos serves as a hub of activity and opportunity. With its thriving industries in music, film, and technology, the city exudes influence that extends beyond its borders to impact other regions in the country and even the continent as a whole. The vibrant tech sector in the city not only supports the gaming industry but also encourages developers to come together and build a robust gaming community.

Also, Lagos is facing obstacles when it comes to developing the necessary infrastructure to support a thriving gaming economy. E-sports, a crucial component of the gaming industry, also requires focus and investment. This sector includes console and PC gaming, competitive gaming, and structured video game competitions involving skilled players and teams. In addition, the economy of Nigeria has experienced significant fluctuations. The country’s inflation rate stands at 29.9% officially, with interest rates peaking at 22.75% in recent times.

Collaboration between game developers & creators, breeds fresh ideas.

Even though Seoul and Los Angeles are well-known gaming centres, they provide useful insights for Lagos as it pursues its ambitious goals. In South Korea, the gaming industry receives strong government backing in the form of tax incentives and infrastructure improvements. The government has allocated more than $800 million towards the games sector from 2018 to 2022. Seoul’s focus on e-sports infrastructure, such as LoL Park with its capacity for 500+ viewers, has made it a key destination for major tournaments like the League of Legends World Championship.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is tapping into its entertainment industry knowledge, with big players like Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. bridging the gap between traditional filmmaking and interactive gaming. The collaboration between game developers and creators breeds an environment ripe for fresh ideas and inventive partnerships within the gaming sector. Just like Los Angeles uses its entertainment industry to its advantage, Lagos also benefits from Nollywood, the second-largest film industry in the world. A great illustration of this collaboration is Play Network’s game Aki and PawPaw, which not only pays tribute to a popular Nollywood series but also represents a major milestone in blending movie storylines with interactive gaming technologies.

Related Article: Developing Nigeria’s Gaming Industry Capacity

Iwájú: Rising Chef, a mobile game developed by Maliyo Games in Nigeria, is a prime example of tapping into potential. The game is linked to the upcoming series, Iwájú, produced by Pan-African company Kugali Media. With its setting in a futuristic Lagos, Iwájú showcases the city’s capacity as a unique and innovative gaming environment. A new mobile game targeted towards Nigerian players offers a variety of traditional dishes such as jollof rice and pepper soup, drawing inspiration from popular cooking games like Cooking Madness and Cooking Fever.

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