After a successful 2022 for the Sub-Saharan African games market, data provider Newzoo reveals that the region stands on the precipice: Within the next year, it is predicted that the games industry in Africa will surpass $1 billion in worth, thanks in no small part to the mobile gaming sector.
Following an 8.7% year-on-year revenue rise in 2022 – a year when mobile gaming overall took a tumble in revenue for the first time ever – Africa has been thriving despite challenges around access to gaming content. Mobile gaming revenue in particular is driving this success and continues to increase, currently representing a mighty 90.2% of the market, at $778.6 million in 2022. Of that revenue, 74% came from Android users versus 26% from Apple users.
This time for Africa
The report, commissioned by African publisher Carry1st, predicts that the gaming market of Sub-Saharan Africa will grow by 10.6% in the next year. Furthermore, the growth in mobile is foreseen to outpace console and PC gaming revenues combined. In fact, mobile is expected to be worth $1.25 billion alone by 2025, almost triple the expected console value of $44.2 million.
10 major countries were considered in Newzoo’s study, namely Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Angola, Tanzania, Cameroon and Uganda. The findings showed that in 2022, Nigeria led in games revenue with $249 million and was followed by South Africa’s $236 million. Between the two, they contributed double the revenue of the remaining eight combined, yet all saw YoY growth – Ethiopia growing the most at 13%.
"The African games market is a story of potential. For the last three years, growth in the market has outpaced the global average, and it is set to keep doing so for the coming years," said Newzoo lead games analyst Tom Wijman.
"Sub-Saharan Africa houses 7% of the global player audience, but its players spend less than half a percent of global gaming revenues. Infrastructural improvements will ensure that Africa’s player audience will continue to grow rapidly."
Carry1st CEO and co-founder Cordel Robbin-Coker commented: "Historically, it has been nearly impossible to get reliable data on the African market so we’re pleased to partner with Newzoo to share this report.
"With a massive influx of internet users and rapid adoption of digital payments, Africa is poised to follow in the footsteps of Southeast Asia and emerge as a major player in the global gaming industry."