South Africa’s games industry is increasingly dominated by digital titles from other countries – but, despite this, the local market is growing.
Local games organisation Make Games South Africa (MGSA) estimates that South Africa consumers spend 2.2 billion Rand (0.1bn) on games each year, primarily on mobile. Console is the second-most popular format.
Research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) states that digital is driving console, predicting that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of console software revenue will be generated by digital sales by 2019.
The outlet adds that games will see the second-largest growth of any entertainment market, behind only the internet. The games segment is expected to expand by nine per cent between 2014 and 2018.
The South African local game development industry is growing at a healthy rate,” observes Nick Hall, chairperson for MGSA.
In the past few years we’ve seen a number of local titles do well internationally.”
According to MGSA, there are at least 40 game studios operating in South Africa. The organisation values the development sector at 53 million Rand (2.7m).
South Africa has some interesting challenges facing developers,” continues Hall.
Strict exchange controls have made it difficult for developers to get access to digital distribution platforms. Poor internet access and high costs of data also mean that the local consumer market is still heavily skewed towards physical purchases, but no local developer has released a physical boxed game in over 15 years.”
Capital City: Cape Town
GDP (Per Capita): $5,902
BT Games, Incredible Connection, Dion Wired, Takealot, Raru
Ster Kinekor, Apex Interactive, Megarom
Free Lives, RuneStorm, Lighthouse Studio, QCF Design, Fuzzy Logic, 24Bit Games, Sea Monster Entertainment, Formula D Interactive
PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION
Devolver Digital, Microsoft