Mobile Gaming in Africa

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Written By Larious

Larious is the Executive Editor of LowkeyTech. He is a tech enthusiast and a content writer. 





Last Updated on June 3, 2021 by Larious

Mobile gaming is a massive industry globally, with Africa playing a significant part in its rapid growth. According to Newszoo, mobile gaming accounted for $68billion of the $152 billion gaming revenues globally in 2019. Sitting healthy in this huge market in Africa, it is estimated that the continent houses over 225 million Africans with mobile gaming a common phenomenon among youths.

More and more games are lowering their entry barrier for gamers because of the huge potential that mobile gaming has to overcome and these figures are just about starting.

Why is there this new surge in mobile gaming in Africa?

There has been a crazy increase in mobile phone adoption across Africa over the last fifteen years. While the rest of the world struggled with the movement from telegraph lines to landlines, Africa was lucky to skip this process to jump straight to mobile phones. This has led to quicker adoption of mobile technology and thus mass adoption.

Over the last decade, there have been around 216 million internet subscribers on the continent. With this figure representing just 18% of the continent’s mammoth population of about 1.2 billion people, it can only keep increasing.

There has also been increasing ownership of smartphone devices as the continent tries to follow up the trends of more advanced countries, this has seen the number of internet providers skyrocket thus creating an opportunity for entertainment-based resources like games to flourish.

With smartphones’ performance getting better, gaming has slightly shifted from console-based games to more mobile-based platforms. The biggest push here is the availability of mobile phones as against traditional gaming.

Availability of Varied Games

Another factor that has led to the boom in mobile gaming has been the massive amount of varied games available. Gaming companies, understanding the need to be diverse, have created different types of games that even those that don’t tag themselves as “gamers” have something to look forward to.

Games like Subway Surfers gaining mainstream followership among males and females while games like PUBG and PES are having billions of downloads worldwide. The simplicity and entertainment that some of these games come with make it almost impossible for some gamers to ignore.

Many classic board games have also been adapted into a mobile format, with Monopoly and Chess being played conveniently on Mobile these days. Casino games such as roulette and slots can be played in this way too, with new gambling sites to play online popping up daily shows the huge potential of this market.

Gaming market in Africa

The African population is one in with a huge chunk comprising youth; the specific gaming consumer section of the population globally.  By 2050, the African youth( Specifically aged 1 to 24), is expected to rise to a staggering 50% of the continent’s population.

Africa’s youth is a critical section of the continent in the gaming market with easy access to mobile devices and internet connectivity. Since mobile phone ownership remains high and it is expected to see continuous upward movement thanks largely to the extreme youthfulness of the African population it is most likely that we would continue to see more mobile gamers.

In the North American markets, mobile gaming revenues reached $5 billion in 2018 alone, almost doubling the revenue that was made in 2013. Given the way the market is growing, it’s no surprise that the forecast for this market has been positive.

For the South African market, the future looks very promising with authorities claiming that about 80% of its population would have internet access by 2024. On average, South Africans spend about 4hours 55 minutes a day online, with a significant fraction of that time spent playing games. Statista estimates the mobile gaming industry to reach $111m, with concrete plans to roll out a 5G network in the coming months this figure can only keep increasing.

The Nigerian market is a rather interesting one, too. With a population of Nigeria of almost 200 million out of which about 95 million have access to the internet. This number is expected to rise to about 65% by 2025. One trend that has surely been noticed is the number of online gaming platforms in the country. With different firms springing up daily hoping to grab something from the market.

The growth of mobile gaming in Africa has the right combination to explode, with a young population, increased adoption of smartphones, and more games going mobile. These factors point to more revenue for developers that plan on developing more mobile-based content. It becomes important that investment in Mobile gaming takes center stage as the market for it is huge and is constantly on the rise.


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