Growth of Online Gaming Sector in Africa: Overview, Stats, Forecasts

Leah Shepherd | Updated: 22-11-2021 14:23 IST | Created: 22-11-2021 14:23 IST
Growth of Online Gaming Sector in Africa: Overview, Stats, Forecasts
Image Credit: Enrique Guzmán Egas on Unsplash

The worldwide gaming market was worth over $203 billion in 2020. Industry experts unanimously agree that they can expect growth in the coming years, especially in the online sector. It seems that the African market has the biggest growth potential. The main question is – how to achieve it?

This article analyzes the current situation and gathers important statistics about online gaming in Africa. You’ll also discover how the market will grow and adjust to the player requirements in the future. Here is how the coming years could look for gamers on this continent!

COVID-19 Pandemic Didn’t Stop the Industry’s Growth

The virus outbreak caused people to stay at home more. While most industries suffered a big hit, that was an opportunity for the internet entertainment industry. More people explored internet streaming services or casino platforms recommended by the South African CasinoHEX website. Spending time at home also meant people had more time to play games.

It’s the “online” factor that set the ground for the gambling industry’s development. Even if the pandemic forced you to stay at home, you could still play with friends. The internet can also connect you with players worldwide. That means you can test your skills against the world and see where you stand.

We shouldn’t forget the sheer number of games people have available today. You can pick from sports to adventures and shooters. All these factors ensure that online gambling remains attractive to different generations.

What Factors Drive the African Market Gaming Growth?

The reports firmly believe that the African casino and gaming sector will continue growing in the coming years. According to estimations, the industry’s CAGR will be at 12% annually by 2026. That indicates noticeable expansion, but what are the factors behind this growth?

More Internet Users and Improved Connectivity

It’s no secret that Africa has many infrastructure and technology problems. That’s why you won’t see many electric vehicles on the streets, although carmakers plan huge investments on a global level. However, an area where the continent made huge progress is internet and smartphone penetration. Only 10% of entire Africa had access to the internet in 2010. That percentage increased to 28.2% in 2019, which indicates an almost 300% increase in less than a decade.

The continent’s problem is that internet use varies by region and country. According to Statista, Kenya has an internet penetration of 85.2%, while Libya is at 84.2%. On the other hand, only 6.9% can access online services in Eritrea, and 7.9% in South Sudan.

A Notable Rise in the Number of Smartphone Users

According to Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans owned at least a single smartphone in 2018. In Africa, the only country that exceeded the 50% mark is South Africa. Most people on the continent own a phone, but smartphone prices seem to keep them away from these devices.

Smartphone access is important because mobile gaming is an integral part of this industry. The players’ benefits include:

  • Play from anywhere. You probably take your cell phone everywhere. That means you can play mobile games at any moment. Even if you don’t have an internet connection, many releases have offline versions.
  • Most games are free to download. Console games require an investment into the hardware and then purchasing titles to play. Unlike that, you can download a mobile game for free. Most come with in-app purchases, but they aren’t mandatory.
  • Different genres are available. Many leading companies and developers have mobile versions of their gaming franchises. The genres vary from strategies and RPGs to card games and sports. You can even acquire a controller that will improve the gaming experience.

Youth Population Is on the Rise

Africa’s youth population is increasing. The expectation is a 50% rise will occur in the group from zero to 24 years old by 2050. Not only are younger people more eager to play games, but new generations are more open to technology. That comfort is what can drive an increase in online gaming users, whether it’s via smartphones or consoles.

What Can We Expect in the Future?

There’s a unanimous agreement things can get only better for African online gaming. What other trends can we expect apart from the industry growth? Here is what the coming years might bring for this sector!

Better Internet Quality

It’s not only about having access to the internet, but also about its speed. Africa made significant progress in this area, too, but it highly varies on the region.

You might not need a high-speed internet connection to play a mobile game online. However, console gaming over the web requires a stable network with high bandwidth. That creates a problem in some regions, but we can only expect infrastructure improvement in the years to come. As that happens, we can expect more users to try online gaming in different countries.

More Mobile Gaming Developers

Leti Arts and Kiro’o Games are only some names that currently lead the African mobile game development industry. We can expect more companies that create titles designed for the African audience. Cross-continental collaboration might be an option to educate and secure resources for developers and designers.

The Esports Factor

Mobile gaming seems to be most attractive for Africans due to its affordability. However, that doesn’t mean PC and console gamers should be neglected. There are millions only in South Africa, and that number could increase.

The esports factor can play a huge role because gaming competitions often come with huge prize pools. Many games offer millions to teams and players who prove to be the best in the world. The opportunity to earn a livelihood could attract youth to online gaming.

Final Thoughts

Africa follows the worldwide trend of online gaming being on the rise. The industry’s value will only increase in the coming years, but there’s still a long way from reaching its true potential.

The industry worth and the number of players are still far from developed countries. Most countries still need to resolve problems with the economy and infrastructure to facilitate the opportunity of online gaming for most citizens. But despite all issues, more Africans seem interested in games every day. That indicates exciting games are coming for this continent’s gaming market!

(Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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