Video Games and the Frontrunners Who Are Placing the Spotlight on Africa

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The internet is undergoing an extensive revamp into what is and will be known as Web 3.0. Unlike the current version of the internet where most users passively browse content, Web 3.0 will provide a more personal and immersive digital web experience that is more open, decentralised and useful to web surfers. 

What does that mean for video/ mobile game designers based in Africa? In this digital era, art is not confined to the walls of a studio. With the growth of media technology and the internet, artists and designers can display their masterpieces on the universal digital stage. These artists and designers also have the chance to draw limitless inspiration from outside their worlds and explore alternative art mediums and styles. The decentralisation of the web means that the continent’s independent digital game designers can give mainstream video game companies like Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft Games and Electronic Arts some serious competition.

All the efforts by various organisations and governments seem to be worthwhile as more people across Africa are able to purchase mobile phones and have stable internet access. The youth, specifically Gen-Z, eager to interact with new digital technology also accounts for a large part of the continent’s population. Some video game designers and studios have already seized the opportunity to appeal to this new, niche market by creating games that celebrate the diverse cultures and heritage found across Africa.

Maliyo Games

Maliyo Games founded by CEO Hugo Obi, is based in Nigeria. Maliyo Games is a pioneer local gaming company and is one of the first indigenous gaming companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Obi launched the company in 2012. Maliyo Games aims to create first-rate digital games for Africans by Africans. The company launched Disney Iwájú: Rising Chef, a popular online cooking game based on the Disney animation show of the same name. Gamers can play with Tola, Kole and other awesome characters from the animation and rise to the top of the cooking profession by making flavourful Nigerian dishes like puff puff, jollof rice, as well as pounded yam and egusi soup. With a rating of 4.8 on the App Store and a five-star rating on Google Play, Rising Chef is a game that no one should ignore.

Kiro’o Games

Established in 2013, Kiro’o Games is a trailblazer in the Cameroonian gaming industry. The company came out with its first roleplaying game ‘Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan’ in 2016. The game is praised for its African-inspired narrative and hand-drawn illustrations. The game follows the story of the prince of Zama, Enzo Kori-Odan, who is overthrown by his wicked brother-in-law. The aim of the game is to play as the prince who is on a quest to fight for the restoration of his crown and the kingdom of Zama. Due to the game’s global success, Aurion is available to play on Xbox as of June 2024.

Aluta Null

As someone who has had a penchant for all things creative since their early days, Aluta Null found themselves captivated by game design when pursuing a digital arts degree at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Aluta Null is a digital artist and video game designer who makes games that audaciously incorporate avant-garde themes such as mental health, abuse, addiction, other social issues and pop culture.In Ecstasy’s Name is one of their creations. In the game, the player is a character who copes with a toxic relationship and the difficult emotions bugging them down by self-medicating with substances. The game is available on which is an indie game platform.

In spite of the many challenges that the African gaming industry faces such as the lack of diverse representation and the lack of funding, which could aid aspiring game designers and digital artists to improve their craft and market their talents, the industry continues to grow and thrive. There is a massive chunk of untapped talent throughout the continent and no one can deny that Africa has the potential to turn investors heads and be a major player in the world of gaming.