A recent report published on the Global Games Market by NewZoo, a global provider of games and e-sports analytics, has revealed that Nigeria is currently ranked second place of all countries on the continent, after Egypt, with regards to the amount of revenue generated from gaming activities between January and October of this year. It was reported that in total, Nigeria generated $180 million in revenue while Egypt thrived and secured a place in the lead with $286 million in revenue for the same time period.
Algeria came third, with $142 million generated, whilst South Africa made $129 million and Kenya $31 million. Of course, this news continues to confirm and solidify the boom that has hit the gaming industry in Nigeria, as it once again receives a global recognition, despite the fact that online gambling is very much a hot topic both in Nigeria and other African countries. In fact, there has only ever been one Nigerian online casino launched back in 2013 which is no longer operational. Instead, there are a number of online casinos in Nigeria that are run by overseas operators that accept Nigerian players.
Nevertheless, the numbers keep growing and there is still much to be done, and there is plenty of room for improvement for Nigeria and all other African countries, for the bigger competition lies beyond the continent of Africa. The report evaluated 100 countries in total from all over the world, and out of all of them, Egypt ranked 37th whilst Nigeria ranked 45th. Furthermore, South Africa ranked 56th and Kenya ranked 89th.
The number one country leading the industry by storm is none other than China, that managed to make a whopping $37.9bn in revenues. In the second place, were the United States and Japan, and were both also the third-largest by game revenues with $30.4bn and $19.2bn, respectively.
The report claimed the revenues were based mostly on consumer spending in each country and excluded hardware sales, tax, business-to-business services, and online gambling and betting revenues. This means that these numbers would be even greater if one had to consider all the aforementioned criteria, especially online gambling and sports betting, which have always been, and continue to be, increasingly popular in various places around the world including Africa!
So, what has caused this surge in revenues over the years?
Chief Executive Officer, Newzoo, Peter Warman thinks that the answer is down to one little, important invention: the smartphone. Commenting on the findings, the Chief Executive Officer, explained how the smartphone was key to boosting this market:
“It took more than 35 years for the global games business to grow to $35bn in 2007, the year that the iPhone was introduced. Since then, the games market has added an extra $100bn in revenues to arrive at this year’s total of $137.9bn worldwide. The uptake of smartphones has been a key contributor to the accelerated growth of the games market, in terms of both engagement and revenues, but is only one of the many factors that have brought us to where we are today.”
It is not hard to imagine why this statement rings true. Just listing one example from the findings is enough to see how powerful mobile gaming has become; in Japan, the mobile market is almost the same size as North America’s, despite it having one-third of the number of players in North America, and considering that North America is the second-largest region with $32.7bn in game revenues. This is due to the fact that mobile gamers in Japan spend more than anyone else in the world.
On this note, the report also added that; “In terms of regions, Asia-Pacific builds out its lead with revenues of $71.4bn in 2018. With markets like India and Indonesia, Asia-Pacific is home to the fastest-growing games market globally. Driven by increased smartphone adoption, better Internet infrastructure, and competitive and immersive mobile games, these markets have boosted the region to capture 52 percent of the global market.”
So, it seems there remains a lot to be done in Africa on various fronts in terms of creating better internet infrastructures and creating better games, and more, and although the use of smartphones is growing extensively, there is a long way to go before the user experience can compete with that of other countries.