06th Feb2023

Is Africa The Next eSports & Video Game Hotspot?

by James Smith

Africa is becoming a counterweight to what’s happening in other parts of the world when it comes to the ever-growing video game and eSports industry. However, this isn’t happening accidentally. Numerous factors and reasons determine the rapid growth of the eSports and video game industry across Africa. Simply put, it’s a mix of geographical, demographical, political, and economic factors. Faster than expected, Africa is becoming the next eSports and video game hotspot! Keep reading as we analyze the various factors and circumstances enabling this market’s rapid growth.

The Main Reasons Behind The Tectonic Growth

Many factors determine the rapid growth of Africa’s eSports and video game market. Firstly, the continent’s population jumped from 811 million to more than 1.37 billion between 2000 and 2022. Consequently, this means that the participation of youth in the total population has also increased.

Secondly, there has been a huge shift in the perception of the Internet and mobile phones. Now, more than ever, Africans are using the Internet and smartphones to download apps, play games, and entertain themselves.

Lastly, with the development of the eSports and video game market, influencers have popped out from all corners online. An example of this is Sylvia Gathoni or better known as Queen Arrow, a Kenyan eSports influencer.

The Growing Internet Penetration

In 2022, the continent had more than 570 million internet users – more than double compared to the stats from 2015. What’s more, it is predicted that by 2025, an additional 300 million people will join them. There Are many reasons for the growing internet penetration in Africa. Some of the more important ones are rapid economic growth and development, increased literacy rates and digital skills, easier access, etc. Africans can even bet on the African Cup of Nations or play multiplayer video games online at credible sites like www.paridirect.com.

Moreover, the increased usage of smartphones is mainly due to the higher living standard and career opportunities. The African youth’s mobile lifestyle is developing, and young people use it for all types of entertainment, including eSports and video games.

The Local Game Development Studios

Africa has marketed incredible growth in investments in local game development studios. The prevalent trends and statistics forecast that the video game market will grow by 6.52% by 2027. It means that even more investments and game developers will enter the industry.

Today, top-notch video game and eSports developers come from countries like Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya. Leti Arts, Ace Pro Gaming Inc., Carry1st, Mettlestate, and Fuzzy Logic are only some of the companies that are providing their games to the African youth.

The Gaming Influencers & Professional Players

Parallel to the industry’s growth, the number of professional eSports and video game players is also growing. For instance, in 357 tournaments, South African players earned around $1.5 million in tournament rewards. Furthermore, the number of gaming influencers is constantly growing. With an enormous population playing eSports and video games, South Africa has hundreds of Instagram and TikTok influencers.

Government Support

African governments are slowly acknowledging the opportunities enabled by professional eSports and video gaming. Such an example is the South African Department for Arts and Culture which already recognizes the economic potential in the eSports and video game market.

That’s why the Department for Arts and Culture plans to support domestic developers and players with grants, tax rebates, and other financial incentives. Other African countries, like Kenya and Ghana, consider this support model to boost their company’s efficiency and success. Similar measures are thoroughly analyzed.

The Challenges

Despite such improvements, the story isn’t as good as it seems. Many companies and gamers still face the challenges of underdeveloped countries. For example, only four out of ten people had internet access across the continent in 2021. On the other hand, companies can hardly finance their developing, maintenance, and updating operations because of a lack of support and internet accessibility. Furthermore, there’s a lack of sophisticated gadgets and poor internet connectivity, which is a huge disadvantage for professional and international players. The cherry on top is the high cost of data and frequent electrical problems.

Final Thoughts

Many factors and circumstances convince us that the African eSports and video game market will bloom in the next few years. There’s increased government support, internet accessibility and mobile usage, and more game developers and influencers.

However, Africa still has to tackle some major problems. It has to support the market’s growth with economic development in other primary fields, such as boosting its citizens’ spending power, living standards, and other essential living aspects. Nonetheless, the market is looking at a rapid expansion, so don’t be surprised if you see more players from Africa at eSports and video game tournaments.


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