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South Africa’s Gamers Mean Business – iRiverAmerica

As the gaming industry continues expanding in Africa, more businesses are focusing on South Africa’s multimillion-rand industry.

These companies are investing in games that empower employees, add value to the customers and differentiate brands.

Over the last several years, this industry has been experiencing steady growth all over the country.

According to Sea Monster game designer and creative lead Jade Mathieson, the industry recorded a 17% growth in 2017.

Sea Monster participated in making the Games Africa Conference which was recently held in Cape Town. The conference presented a great chance for African game developers to network and link with leading thinkers.

Mathieson believes that the conference is a diverse space comprising of everything from serious PC and console players to casual mobile gamers.

The criteria are also very straight-forward, though it depends on the amount of money that each person spends.

According to him, while individual purchases in both casual and mobile gaming are relatively small, they add up to a good value.

As revealed by the PwC, app-based casual/ social revenue realized from platforms like Betway South Africa’s top gaming app, accounted for about 17% of all the video games revenue in 2013.

In 2017, the number rose to 46%, with the 2022 forecast being 70%. That shows that the number is rising at a tremendous speed, as bookies like Betway continue embracing virtual sports.

Besides from the consoles, gamers spend their money on different titles, accessories and in-game purchases. PC gamers also spend thousands of Rands trying to assemble the best gaming machine.

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Statistics also suggest that consumers-driven video gaming is a money-spinning activity. Essentially, the industry is constantly making money, but only a fraction of this revenue goes to the local developers.

That’s why some developers are shifting their attention in the B2B space.

Recruitment and Training

According to Mathieson, companies are starting to use games for the recruitment process and also to challenge high-school learner to acquire the necessary skills to penetrate the market.

Mathieson refers to the “Working at Heights Virtual Reality” program from Sea Monster as a great example of how gaming can be used in training.

Explaining the project, Mathieson revealed that the project is designed for Arcelormittal to create an experience that tests for fear of heights.

The game exposes the prospective employee to a simulation of the company’s Vanderbijlpark plant, taking them through different heights while asking them to perform different tasks.

Scaling The Ambition

The South African game development industry is relatively small, though it tends to be more supportive and collaborative than competitive.

As such, the cost of a title depends on the scale of the developer’s ambition. For instance, if you’re planning to create a simple mobile or web-based game, you can do that at a relatively low price.

However, the more complex the game requires to be, the more resources and time it will require you to put in.

With an “AAA” game such as GTA V, it can cost more than $250 million to create.

Such a cost is unattainable in South Africa’s development houses, meaning that local developers have to be satisfied with developing small indie titles.

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However, that doesn’t mean that these titles won’t be profitable or well-produced.

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