The video game market is relatively new in Nigeria but is rapidly gathering momentum, which might be partly due to the large population of young people in the country and largely due to the fast growing mobile market and the rise of internet availability across the Nation.
Video games has really evolved with the rise of technology, it was reported that there are over 2 billion gamers globally. According to reports, Tech giants like Meta (FB), Google and Apple are all gearing up for the video game market which is predicted to generate more than $260 billion in revenue globally, through video game streaming, that will allow players to stream video games without the need for a computer or a video game console.
According to the report by Newszoo, revenue generated by the video game industry across Africa rose to a record $590 million and that Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest growing region for mobile gamers globally. The report, released on January 17, showed that South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia are the countries topping revenue collection in Africa.
South Africa being the largest gaming market, generated revenue of US$289.5 million in consumer spending throughout 2021. The number of players in the Sub-Saharan country was 23.9 million representing 40.67 per cent of the population. Nigeria came in second with generated revenue of US$184.6 million; Ghana had generated revenue of US$41.7 million, while Kenya and Ethiopia collected revenues of US$38.1M and US$35.2M, respectively.
According to the market research company; Mordor Intelligence, the video gaming industry in Africa is projected to register a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent in the period 2021 to 2026 and that cross collaboration between game development studios within Africa will increase.
Also according to the report, Africa’s gaming industry is expected to register a CAGR of 12% between 2020 to 2025, due to the fast pace growth of its major consumers – the Millennials and Gen Z’s.
With the fast growing availability and popularity of multi-functional gaming consoles in the market; the shift from traditional gaming to mobile gaming and the high increase in network rollouts by mobile operators in Africa (cables for 5G network coverage is already being laid) the tremendous revenue growth of the gaming industry in Africa can only be imagined.
It was reported that in 2019, Nigeria had about 91.5 million active mobile app users and the video gaming market generated more than $67 million, and is projected to rise to a record $176 million by 2023 with most of the revenue coming from mobile gaming.
In Nigeria today, games like FIFA series, Clash of Kings, Dota2, Grand Theft Auto V etc. are quite popular among gamers and video gaming centres are now springing u, to offer these games to the public. The younger generations are patronizing these centres constantly, where they are said to spend minimum of N100 on the games offered by the centres. Revenue made from these centres depends on how big the centres are and the games they offer. Some facility owners are said to make thousands of naira within hours, making this venture, a lucrative start up business opportunity.
Also with the massive focus on video gaming market; the young population of the country and the penetration and availability of the smart phone; the market is said to become very popular. There are a lot of opportunities in the gaming industry in Nigeria, game development is one them, this aspect of the gaming market is turning young people into millionaires worldwide, as people will always want to play something new.
Angry Birds’ game franchise was developed by a group of university students; called Rovio Entertainment, and today it has become a huge global success; Alex Baltanz, an 18 year old student in the US, created the game ‘jailbreak’ and it has already yielded seven figure profits ; indie games like Flappy Bird has also become worldwide sensation and has achieved overnight success etc. More Nigerians can capitalize on the increasing access to mobile and internet and delve more into developing games with ideas that will improve society.
There are huge opportunities in the gaming market and the potential is endless. One can start video game business, build and develop games for android and online sales platforms like Appstore, Steam, Roblox etc that offer game developers the opportunity to reach more than a billion people, become game programmers, testers, artists and designers. There is also the opportunity for live streaming while playing video game and allowing strangers to watch as you play. The popular site ‘Twitch’, which was bought in 2014 by Amazon, is devoted to streaming videos of other people playing video games. Once the gamer gets enough subscribers, she can then monetize through advertising, partnership or paid subscription.
A person can also become a professional video game player, which is called esports (A topic for another time)
Platforms in the entertainment industry can collaborate to create better impact and drive the economy forward. Game developers could form a synergy with the movie industry for television series and films. Globally, video games are being made into movies now e.g. tomb raider, the assassin’s creed etc have all been turned into successful films.
With the increase in the accessibility to mobile and internet, the Nigerian gaming industry is bound to skyrocket and it is time for the government to invest more in the booming market would definitely contribute largely to the nation’s economy.