In the heart of Nigeria’s economic capital lies a suburb popularly known as Mushin Olosha. A well-known street in the neighbourhood has four video gaming centres. Young boys between the ages of 12 to 18 are seen walking in casually now and then to spend a minimum of N100 on soccer games or other games these centres offer.
Facility owners say they make between N8000 to N10,000 in 12 hours, depending on how big the gaming centre is and the day of the week it is. These figures contribute to the steady and fast growth of Africa’s gaming industry, driving it to be one of the largest gaming markets in the world, now valued at $590 million.
According to a report released by Newzoo, revenue generated by the video game industry in Africa rose to $590 million as the number of gamers in the continent doubled over the last five years. The report added that Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing region globally for mobile gamers and people who pay for games.
While other industries across the globe suffered downtime due to the covid-19 pandemic, the gaming industry soared majorly due to mandatory stay-at-home orders. This resulted in customers spending more time and money on various games and gaming consoles, which contributed to the growth of the commercial segment of the gaming market.
Value of Major Video gaming Markets In Africa
6 major countries are outshining the rest in the gaming industry in Africa, with a revenue turnout higher than that of some countries’ annual total revenue turnout. Newzoo’s report shared that countries topping the industry’s revenue collection in Africa are South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia.
South Africa has been the largest gaming market, generating a revenue of US$289.5 million in consumer spending throughout 2021. The number of players in the Sub-Saharan country was 23.9 million representing 40.67 per cent of the population. The video game industry is expected to grow from 3.5 billion South African rands in 2018 to 5.44 billion in 2023.
Nigeria takes second place with a revenue generation of US$184.6 million, despite having the highest number of gamers. The number of players is 46.5 million representing only 21.83 percent of the population.
Ghana comes third place with a revenue generation of US$41.7 million with a population percentage of 26.94 percent embracing gaming.
Kenya and Ethiopia follow with revenue generation of US$38.1 million and US$35.2 million, respectively.
Highlighting Trends And Growth From 2020 – 2025
Africa’s gaming industry is expected to register a CAGR of 12% between 2020 to 2025 due to the fast pace growth of its major consumers – the millennials and Gen Z’s.
According to research, by 2050, Africa’s young people, i.e., those aged between 0 and 24 years old, will increase by nearly 50 percent. Africa will have the most significant number of young people which would directly influence the growth of the gaming industry in Africa.
The most recent trend is the growing availability and popularity of multi-functional gaming consoles, which is emerging in the market and helping in growing the market of video games in the region. Another popular trend is the shift from traditional gaming to mobile gaming.
Mobile gaming generates close to half of the revenue that the gaming industry gets annually and is expected to generate more by 2050. Mobile gaming is gaining popularity in remote parts of Africa. For example, more than 290 million people in North Africa use mobile phones. The mobile market in the region generates $90 billion annually.
One of the major drivers for the growth of mobile gaming in Africa is the acceleration in network rollouts by mobile operators in Sub-Saharan Africa. Infrastructure deployment in Sub-Saharan Africa increased 3G coverage from 63% in 2017 to 70% in 2018, extending access to more than 80 million people. In 2021, network providers offered wider and faster coverage with 4G, LTE and are already laying cables for 5G network coverage, which would positively influence the revenue growth of the gaming industry in Africa.