South Africa video game industry

September 3, 2017

South Africa video game industry is growing fast and games are finding their way into almost every South African family, and parents and grandparents are increasingly joining children for a slice of gaming action either through their console, mobile or PC.New research in your blogger’s possession has found that 45 per cent of households with children have a video game device and six out of 10 have more than one. Games are found in 53 per cent of households overall.Spending on video games is expected to surge past $200 million this year as new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality increase their foothold. Over-50s are the fastest growing group of users, with 31 per cent of seniors now playing video games, according to the report.The data also shows that two third of South Africans play video games either through traditional consoles, PCs, handheld or mobile devices.In main cities gamers spend an average 49 minutes a day playing and only 17 per cent of people do it alone, with most playing with family, friends or strangers. Female comprise 41 per cent of video game players, up from 26 per cent three years ago.More than half of parents play games online with their children.Older South African users were not only using games to keep their minds active, but also for enjoyment and to spend time with younger family members.The report’s authors interviewed three thousand older South Africans who had built better relationships with grandchildren by playing video games.Mobile phones and tablets were now used for gaming as much as traditional consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox.Devices today in South Africa are very common and affordable.

Games are no longer a subculture everyone plays. Women at retirement are playing more than girls in their teenage years.Major trend in the past five years had been people playing video games on public buildings and sports arenas.South Africans were expected to spend $200million on video games this year.The report says mobile gaming, digital downloads and subscriptions would grow quickly at the expense of the retail market.The digital gaming industry will benefit from better telecommunications infrastructure.Everyone’s got a mobile phone so the access to games is universal now.Various government agencies have joined forces with local game developers to set a framework to propel South Africa’s gaming industry to a global level.The South African gaming market is projected to reach $500 million in 2019, making it the largest gaming market in Africa.However, despite the large projection target, the contribution from local developers to the industry remains small. The road map is still in the infancy stage according to a friend familiar with the issue. Nothing has been set in stone, but we’re going to keep a positive attitude, one of the insiders told your blogger. All stakeholders in the meeting recently agreed that the gaming industry is as important as other digital industries. It even expected to make more money than films.According to data, South Africa is the fastest growing markets in the African region. However, South Africa’s local developers only contributed to less than three percent to the domestic market in 2016. Their contribution to the global $100 billion gaming market were even non recognizable but the country is headed in the right direction.

Contador Harrison