Business Trends

The African gaming industry and its potential growth


Looking critically into the future of gaming in Africa, the youths have the major roles to play. Based on reports the African gaming industry is influenced by factors which include: income, population, and the laws guiding the industry. With many countries enjoying inclusion and market share due to an increase in youth population and better infrastructure development, South Africa is leading as the largest gaming market in Africa.

The increase in the speed of internet connection, most importantly in emerging countries has made online gaming more widespread amongst the people in the years.

Overview of the market

The African gaming industry in years to come is supposed to be on top of the trend tables of online gaming, due to the expected growth of the multifunctional gaming that helps to grow the market in regions around the continent.

According to research by 2020, the youths in Africa between the age range of 0-24 years will skyrocket with an increase of 50 percent if not exceeded. Africa will be a region filled with a large number of youths scattered in different countries, this automatically implies the important roles of the youth when considering the gaming industry as they serve as the major target consumers.

Although African entertainment industries seem to be making new waves by being nominated for awards which include the Oscars, gaming is intended to be added in educational systems as a development that provides opportunities for youths to be actively involved in learning.

The growth of the gaming industry in Africa has been massive in recent years. According to statistics it’s envisaged that there are more than 10 million gamers in South Africa, ranging from social gaming to other genres like casino games, sports betting, simulation, strategy, and lots more. The future of the online casino industry in South Africa is considered as one of the fastest growing markets in the world, quickly moving South Africa to the top of the online gaming industry in the world.

In respect to the report from the Independent Communities Authority South Africa(ICASA) at the end of 2018, there was a massive increase in smartphone phone subscriptions when compared subsequently to 2017 and 2016. A total of 46.9 million was recorded as a percentage increase of 81.72% in the year 2018. Following the reports, the gaming market will witness more growth in the years to come. Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya are top gaming developing countries with the potential of bringing in a large turnout of revenue per year from all categories of games.

Smartphone divisions expected to have major shares from the market, these indicators include:

  • The revenue generated from mobile gaming is close to the whole revenue the industry gets annually. The figure of Africans currently active in gaming is expected to double in the decade
  • The remote regions of Africa are now gaining popularity in mobile gaming with regions like North Africa estimated to generate $90 billion per year.
  • The major drive towards the growth has been identified to legal bettings and online gaming through mostly the use of smartphones in Africa.

Industry Issues and Solutions Implemented

In most regions in Africa, there have been commissions set up with laws that regulate gambling. South Africa leading in this stead created rules and regulations to be used in the continent and also for casinos online.

  • Several attempts have been made to stop online transactions related to gambling and cryptocurrency payments of unauthorized platforms in South Africa. Though there has been pressure for less strict laws.
  • During the early months of May 2019, the National Gaming Board ordered the finance minister to put a hold on betting licenses because of the high number of minors affected by gambling. Restrictions were placed on adverts also as measures to ensure gambling is done responsibly.
  • ESFA established by private esports and federations attached to countries to partner and sustain the growth of esports in Africa affiliated with WESCO was launched to give a voice to developing esports in general. This, in turn, provides opportunities for such regions and strengthens the gaming market

Competitive Landscape

The high demand for mobile applications access to online gaming in different regions across Africa has given birth to development in recent years. Some of these developments include:

  • Using the brand new Playstation studios for exclusives, Sony in May 2020 is developing in a way to allow customers to interact with family and friends over different platforms and into the mobile landscape.
  • The mobile version of PES 2020, was announced to be released in October 2019 and a total of more than 200 million was already recorded as downloads in the early days of the release.

In relation to points that have been made about the Africa gaming industry, facts have been established that the rate of growth in the coming years would be massive. Hence, presenting a potential market for the future of the global gaming industry.

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