Why Africa is next in the iGaming market
2014: Africa had 23 million video game players.
2018: Africa had 500 million video game players.
With the rapid penetration of smartphones and a young population, gaming in Africa is a young but rapidly growing field. The third-most popular type of mobile app, the African gaming market grew from USD 105 million to USD 570 million within this four-year timespan with Nigeria as the highest spender – USD 122 million in 2018 alone. Combine all that with hardware sales, and the iGaming market is a billion-dollar industry.
As a digital marketing agency, it’s important for us to keep up with the latest trends to help you create inspiring and relatable content for your business. In this post, we’ve explained a bit about how Africa is emerging as the next iGaming market, especially in mobile gaming, mobile payments, and multi-channel experiences.
More than just a pastime, iGaming (or online “gambling”) has introduced new ways to play or bet on virtually anything, from who you think will win the African Nations Championship to your opinion on which countries will perform best at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Now, it isn’t just the average person playing recreationally, but people who have spent hours perfecting their hand at a game of Pokemon or Blackjack to play professionally.
Image Source: Global Games Market (2018)
How can this industry inspire job creation?
Gaming ecosystems comprise of game designers, creators, publishers, distributors, and players. If you can design and keep up with the global standards of video games, monetising becomes easy. For example, Nigeria’s Gamsole managed to do so by involving telecommunication companies – this saw their game GidiRun achieve 3400 downloads within a few weeks of launch.
Africa has a lot of stories to tell, with challenges widely different from other countries. Despite being a growing industry, it is still fraught with tensions and stereotypes.
Game developers face issues with slow and unreliable Internet connections, and expensive broadband at up to $150 per month. Hardware is still lacking compared to other regions and programming talent scarce. In addition to this, issues that hamper game development include a lack of an integrated payment system for in-game purchases and advertising exchanges that could allow developers to give games for free.
Gamers are often seen as lazy or immature, despite having high incomes from their professional plays; cultural norms do not progress as quickly as technology and tend to create a digital divide that can only be overcome by accepting and empowering the iGaming sector as a genuine alternative to traditional jobs.
However, global gaming revenue is set to increase to USD 174 billion by 2021, and Africa is gearing up to be a part of it. East African nations present opportunities even within the regulatory space as legislators try and keep up with changing technology. The legislative changes in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya hopefully have, and will not, dissuade investors from looking into the iGaming industry in these countries. Though it is not possible to look for the perfect legislation, we can come to balanced solutions for investors, legislators and gaming companies to meet their requirements in the middle.
Africa is the next new market in iGaming. With their growing economic power, we can use the industry to create a powerful job market and creative contribution to society. Digital Odyssey can help you stay on top of trends to effectively navigate the complex waters of the internet. Our marketing agency can help you with further ideas of how to design world-class websites, seamless user journeys, and digital marketing campaigns.
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