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10 exciting African gaming start-ups to watch

There is no doubt that the worldwide gaming industry is huge – so large in fact, that it generates more revenue than Hollywood. According to an article published on IT NEWS AFRICA, while development studios in the rest of the world have been producing mobile, PC and console games for many decades, Africa seems to be the youngest player in the market.

With that in mind, IT News Africa profiles the leading players on the African gaming scene.

1. Kunle Ogungbamila – Kuluya

Based in Lagos, Nigeria, the studio develops games with African players as the key focus. At the helm is Kunle Ogungbamila, and he knows exactly what he wants to produce for a market that is hungry for any form of electronic entertainment. “We know that gaming will explode across the continent of Africa, just as it has in the West, usurping other forms of entertainment to become a multi-billion dollar generating industry,” he said in an interview. Ogungbamila graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) with a degree in Computer Science and Economics, and has experience in the Oil & Gas, Banking and Technology sectors. With over a hundred titles under their belt, the development studio is comprised of a team with experience in advertising, video animation, software development and marketing. The Kuluya team recently raised additonal funding, pushing them into the big leagues. “We have grown the company to a $2 million valuation in six months. Our goal is to become one of the most successful media companies in Africa, and with today’s news, I see this as being totally achievable,” Ogungbamila said.

2. Abiola Elijah Olaniran – Gamsole

Founded by Abiola Elijah Olaniran, the Nigerian gaming startup has one simple goal in mind – to make mobile games that are as much fun as possible. Olaniran says that he has always had a passion for technology, and that was in part the reason for creating the studio. “I have always been a computer programmer with great passion for technology entrepreneurship. I studied Computer Science and Mathematics at Obafemi Awolowo University and I created some fun games while in school then,” he said. He added that while gaming in Africa is still in its fledgling stages, they can code for a bigger audience. “Gaming is relatively new in Africa but our market is not restricted to Africa. We only take advantage of the African lifestyle by using it to create fun experiences that can be enjoyed by people from different parts of the world.” And he has been doing something right, as he was recently named by Microsoft Nigeria as the highest paid app developer in the country at the Lagos iDEA launch.

3. Hugo Obi – Maliyo Games

Another Lagos-based start-up, Maliyo Games was created by Hugo Obi and creates mobile gaming titles with a very African flavour. “At Maliyo we have a simple philosophy; to share the experiences of everyday Africans with a global audience through games. Our narratives, characters, environments and sounds help us achieve this,” Obi states. He added that the studio was born out of a passion for creating web and mobile content and after scrutinising the Zynga title, he saw an opportunity in the African market. He studied computer engineering and science at the University of Benin, but after dropping out of the programme, studied International Business, Finance and Economics at the University of Manchester. After his studies in the UK, he acquired a degree in International Strategy from Nanyang Business School in Singapore. Maliyo Games has been featured on CNN and in Forbes magazine.

4. Eyram Tawia – Leti Games

Co-founded by Eyram Tawia and Wesley Kirinya, the Ghana-based studio functions as a double-pronged machine – producing video games as well as comic books based on African characters. Tawia studied at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi and the Meltwater Foundation. From a young age, he showed a keen interest in graphic novels and computer games, which in turn sparked an interest in programming, stating that he wanted to make the comics he drew as a youngster come to life on the computer screen. “Ever since I was a child, the strategy has been the same. I think of an idea, and then put in all it takes to make it happen,” he said in an interview. As with most developers in Africa, it’s the continent that give him his inspiration. “That Africa is forgotten totally and not considered to be capable of making quality video games, makes me passionate every second. Game design is a totally lucrative industry that can work in Africa.”

5. RW Liebenberg - Thoopid

Hailing from Cape Town in South Africa, the mobile gaming development studio was founded in 2013 by RW Liebenberg. Serving as Managing Director, Liebenberg is also the owner of Runtime Digital, an application development company. In a rather modest tone, the company claims that it was created by “avid gamers with award winning experience in design, development, digital marketing and emerging media.” The studio is known for their extensive work on their Snailboy title, which has been garnering praise in the local gaming scene. “Snailboy is a physics based puzzle game with rich graphics, killer sounds and over 40 levels of intoxicating game play,” the studio states. The title is currently available on Apple’s App Store.

Read more on IT NEWS AFRICA

Original source

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