By Ben Roberts, Chief Technology and Innovations Officer at Liquid Telecom
E-gaming is emerging in Kenya and East Africa as an industry: delivering revenue growth of over 25% a year and seeing African games and gamers move into the global arena.
The sport is a growing phenomenon worldwide, expected to generate $125.4bn this year, up 15% on 2017, and to attract over 190m gamers, according to the Global Games Market Report.
But in the region, the growth is now greater still, spawned by an emerging ecosystem of gaming communities and organisations, including the Africa Game Developers Community, the continent’s first game developers and friends’ community, with its roots in East Africa.
Africa Game Developers is an initiative of Ludique Works, led by Douglas Ogeto, Nathan Masyuko and Lillian Nduati. Started in January 2018, it already has over 150 members across 12 countries, including Kenya Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Zambia, and Ghana, spearheading the commercialisation of games developed in Africa.
Together with Liquid Telecom, the community is holding monthly meetings covering development demos, talks, and game showcasing. Games built by members include The Orchard (Kenya), Recce Squad (Kenya), and Kukulu (Ethiopia).
The Orchard develop David Kamunyu is a self-taught game developer whose game is a slow-paced PC game that requires logic and foresight to restore an inherited farm to its original state.
The game is not as straightforward as it sounds. The player has to manage their health and well-being, follow the Kenyan seasons for successful crop and animal yields, and play the market to get the highest profits – or earn elsewhere to make ends meet.
Towards the end of 2017, The Orchard was recognised in two international events; A Maze Johannesburg in South Africa, which showcases independent and alternative games and virtual realities, and The Game Mixer, organised by the Goethe Institut, Johannesburg to promote professional exchanges between game developers.
David also emerged as one of the top five game developers in the Digital Lab Africa Competition.
Another rising East African gaming developer is Cukia Kimani, from Kenya, who is currently in Johannesburg pursuing degrees in Computer Sciences, Maths and Digital Arts.
In 2015, Cukia won the Amaze award for his game, Boxer, which he created with a colleague game designer, Ben Crooks. The game has been selected in several international awards including the Utrecht Indigo Awards 2016, Chicago Bit Bash 2016, and Birmingham Leftfield collection 2016.
Gaming tournaments are also now on the rise in the region. NAICCON 2017 was Africa’s first international multiplayer video game tournament, with a total of 16 PC and console gaming teams from Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. It drew over 3500 creative minds in the animation, gaming and comic book industries.
Nairobi also saw, this year, the largest gaming prize pool yet, of Sh1m, at the second regional E-Sports convention organised by Pro Series Gaming (PSG) Tournament and featuring Mortal Kombat XL.
At the same time, PC gaming is moving into theatres, offering fans, supporters, enthusiasts and newcomers dedicated stages complete with LED screens and live commentary and generating a new source of revenue for event organisers, cinema owners, and sound and video agencies.
This entire gaming ecosystem has created an abundance of job opportunities, for 3D modellers, animators, music composers, sound effect creators, User Interface (UI) modellers, customer support staff and others.
In this, David is typical in planning to incorporate local music into The Orchard, and working to draw local advertisers, such as clothing brands and hotels: aiming for commercialisation with an African feel.
As this new array of activity has intensified, Liquid Telecom has played a continuous role in promoting e-gaming. For the past four years, we have sponsored a Ugandan gaming community www.gamersnights.com, which is a multiplayer video gaming community, hosting its gaming servers and providing its connectivity, which is critical for seamless online video gaming.
Liquid Telecom has also been the connectivity partner for all of the region’s major gaming tournaments, providing technical and connectivity support to achieve modern age video gaming experiences. Our gaming-quality internet of up to 400Mbps enabled streaming and a gaming LAN Party at NAICCON’s first international multiplayer video game tournament last year.
We have provided this support because we understand that e-gaming is an industry that will bring jobs and growth to the region, both as a competitive sport that is attracting professional gamers and through local content generation.
However, the rise in e-gaming has created issues of addiction, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in June 2018 beginning the process of classifying gaming addiction as a mental disorder, placing it into the framework used to plan public health strategies.
But the nature of the addiction classification has been driven by players setting aside other responsibilities. In 2016, Oxford University researchers found that e-gaming is not as addictive as gambling. Most gamblers are unable to stop once they start betting. Whereas gaming addicts tend to get so engrossed in gaming that their lives can deteriorate as they neglect other activities.
For professional players and young talents moving into e-gaming as a full-time job, earning a living and taking gaming into the international arena, their hours of focus on gaming are, instead, creating a livelihood.
Thus, with an internet infrastructure that is now running ahead of many regions globally, East Africa is positioned to lead the way in developing Africa’s online gaming ecosystem.
Photos: What you missed at the Buzz Leavers Rock party
By Our Reporter
With the school term finally over, there was no better way to usher in the long holiday than with a fun-filled fiesta that is Buzz Leavers Rock party that was hosted at Garden City rooftop on Saturday. Known for always turning up in outfits that turn heads, the teens lived up to this reputation as they started streaming in for the mega party as early as 10 am dressed to make a fashion statement.
The holiday makers were welcomed to music mixes from several deejays, who later paved way for performances from several artistes who included Nina Roz, John Blaq, Vampino, Levixone and Vinka among others. With the rich entertainment line up, revelers were kept on their feet as they danced away the day.
The teens also indulged in other fun activities that included skating, reading zone and photo booth moments among others.
Meanwhile, organizers also used the event to unveil the new look of the Buzz Magazine. They also launched a new campaign aimed at inspiring teens to follow their passions and reach their full potential.
Here are some photos from the event:
Tecno Camon 11 Pro to be launched
By Staff Writer
Ugandan’s who want to keep up with the latest in trends and gadgets know that Tecno is one brand that always has their back. Tecno is launching the Camon 11 Pro soon with a promise that it will be bigger, better and smarter. This has caused a lot of excitement on Social Media.
According to the Tecno Mobile Uganda Social Media pages, the Camon 11 Pro is nothing less than the best at the moment at a pocket friendly price. The phone prides itself in the latest budget camera technology hence the tagline Capture more beauty. We also have it on good authority that with the new camera, you can now capture extra beautiful selfies even under very low light.
Although the team at Tecno remains tight lipped about the full spec of the phone, we have been told that AI – Artificial intelligence which is a must have for all new smartphone is available in the new Tecno Camon 11 Pro that will hit the market soon.
Tecno Camon 11 Pro Specifications and Features
- OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo) + HiOS 4.1 OS
- Display: 6.2-inch HD+ (720 x 1520 pixel) IPS LCD Display
- Processor Type: 2.0GHz octa-Core MT6762 Helio P22 CPU
- Graphics Processor: PowerVR GE8320
- Internal Storage: 64GB Internal Storage Expandable to 256GB via SD card
- RAM: 6GB RAM
- Back Camera : 16 + 5 Megapixel dual Rear Camera with quad-LED flash
- Front Camera: 24 megapixel front Camera with LED flash
- Other Features: Fingerprint scanner, FaceID, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM and 4G LTE Networks
- Battery: 3750mAh with Mediatek Pump Express
- Price: Not yet confirmed
We cannot confirm how much this phone will cost but we know that it won’t exceed a million shillings. We will keep you posted.
Diamond Platnumz Unveils New Lover:
By Consolate Namyalo
From what is currently happening on Diamond Platnumz’ social media, there is definitely a new girl in the ‘picture’ who the singer is introducing to fans and followers. The Tanzanian crooner has introduced his new girlfriend whose name is Natasha. She also happens to be the same lady that spent time with him in Mtwara, while he was on his Wasafi record music tour over the weekend.
He took to instagram to profess his love for the Natasha by sharing a video which featured him and a lady, whose identity is hidden, at the beach, captioning it;
“Poor lion is in love. I love you Natasha” he continues “I told you, Lion is in love. Trust me, he is in love. She is cute even from her shadow.”
He was dumped by Zari on Valentine’s Day for infidelity.
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