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Africa Gaming Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Africa Gaming Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • April 2021
  • 97 pages
  • ID: 6062862
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP

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The gaming industry is expected to register a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). The most recent trend is the growing availability and popularity of multi-functional gaming console, which is emerging in the market and helping in growing the market of video games in the region.

- The African region is one of the regions in the world where the youth population is increasing. By 2050, Africa’s young people, i.e., those aged between 0 and 24 years, will witness an increase of around 50%. Africa is expected to have the most significant number of young people. Africa’s youth is critical to the continent’s future when it comes to gaming.
- Moreover, African studios are making new inroads with the launch of original, locally produced content on Netflix. Several local content productions have also been nominated for several global awards, including the Oscars. The Annecy Festival in 2020 will be focusing on animation from Africa. In addition to this, government initiatives in the region are also adopting gaming solutions for educational purposes. These developments are providing opportunities for the gaming industry.
- The video games market in South Africa has witnessed strong growth in the past few years. It is expected that there were more than 11 million gamers in South Africa. Gamers in the country are moving to social gaming, the free-to-play revenue model with downstream in-game purchases. It has become increasingly popular in the country.
- According to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA’s) new report, smartphone penetration was 81.72% at the end of September 2018, compared to 74.2% in September 2017 and 43.5% in September 2016. ICASA recorded smartphone subscriptions at 46.9 million as of September 2018.
- Owing to such factors, the market is expected to witness growth over the forecast period. Countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda are the other top game developers in the African region. The gaming industry is also bringing millions of dollars for countries per year. This is for all categories of video games: mobile, PC, Xbox, and PS.

Key Market Trends
Smartphone Segment is Expected to Have Major Market Share

- The proliferation in mobile technology and its associated use cases have unleashed technological evolution in the region. Further, the development of communication technology with leapfrogged traditional advances such as telephones has led to smartphones’ direct adoption. These instances have allowed the region to skip the cumbersome and time-consuming process involved in the traditional practices and gave access to newer technologies such as satellite that allowed for quicker installations and reduced costs.
- For instance, according to a report from GSMA published in 2019, an association of mobile network operators worldwide, there are over 747 million active mobile users in sub-Saharan Africa, thereby representing 75% of the population.
- Evidently, with the growing smartphone leading to internet adoption has further leveraged the increase in the adoption of common use-cases such as gaming, social media, and online shopping. Theses instance led to the formation of the mobile money market in the region, further with over half of the world’s mobile payments occurring in Africa alone, showcases the untapped potential of the market with growing monetization standards in gaming apps such as paid apps, and in-app purchases, among others.
- In October 2019, Rwanda’s Mara Group announced two budget smartphones described as Made in Africa. The company reported that the whole assembly of the smartphone was conducted in African countries. Thereby, with the company marking its entrance into the smartphone market as the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa, it has boosted the region’s ambitions to become a regional technology hub and is expected to the smartphone gaming market.
- A comparative study conducted by the National Center biotechnology information on mobile gaming worldwide stated that smartphone gaming as a form of entertainment accounts for 24% in Africa. Further, it is expected that this percentile to grow steadily for years to come owing to the growing number of mobile gaming titles and the emergence of freemium games.
- Moreover, the increasing youth population is further attracting investment into the region. For instance, In May 2020, Carry1st, a gaming development startup, announced that it had raised an investment of USD 2.5 million led by CRE Venture capital to support and invest in-game publishing across Africa.

Piracy, Laws and Regulations, and Concerns Relating to Fraud During Gaming Transactions will Impact the Growth of the Market

- Most African countries have gaming commissions and laws that regulate gambling. South Africa has clear gaming laws and regulations. It was the first country to create gambling regulation in the continent. Also, online casinos are popular in the country.
- In South Africa, several legislative attempts to further restrict online gambling and payment transactions of unlicensed operators have been postponed in recent years. However, some legislators and regulators at the provincial level have called for a less restrictive regime.
- There is currently an ongoing political and religious debate on the perceived high number of minors accessing gambling. As a result, in May 2019, the minister of finance urged the National Gaming Board (NGB) to stop issuing gaming and betting licenses immediately. The government restricted gambling advertising as of January 2019. Additional measures to ensure responsible gambling and revenue collection to the state budget are on the list.
- A new advocacy organization designed to collaborate, coordinate, partner, build, and sustain the growth of esports on the continent has been formed. ESFA or The Esports Federation of Africa is established by a community of both private esports entities, and national federations. WESCO affiliates it. With the launch of the ESFA, African gamers now have a voice, an advocate, an organization with grassroots developments of players at its core. These will provide better opportunities and therefore strengthen the local market in the region.
- In June 2020, UNICEF published a set of recommendations for the online gaming industry, primarily designed to guide and support the online gaming companies through a process of incorporating child rights considerations throughout their business activities.

Competitive Landscape
The gaming market is fragmented as the demand for online games, and increasing penetration of mobile applications across the region will help attract new players in this market over the next few years. Recent developments in the market are -
- May 2020- Sony announced new PlayStation Studios branding for its first-party PS5 games. Sony will be using the new PlayStation Studios brand for its first-party exclusives going forward as a way to let customers know that a game comes from one of Sony’s in-house development teams.
- August 2019- Konami Digital Entertainment BV announced that the mobile version of e-Football PES 2020 would be released in October, and it represents a complete overhaul of the current PES 2019 mobile game. The latest major update to the PES Mobile series, which celebrated over 200 million downloads earlier this year, brings many of the critical features and licenses already announced for e-Football PES 2020 on PC and console.

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