African mobile game market: Players pay more than India every month, and light games are more popular

So what’s the potential of Africa mobile game market?

December 10th and 11th, the Shanghai International Game Industry Trade Fair was held in Beihongqiao. The theme of this fair is “Digital Cultural Creative Content Going Overseas”. Game Daily also learned during the meeting that in addition to the mature head overseas game markets such as Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States, the potential game market including Africa is also one of the topics of the meeting.


At the meeting, a listed company on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, the game publishing and intermodal department of Shenzhen Transsion Holdings, introduced that Africa currently has more than 50 countries. According to World Bank data, the population exceeds 1.3 billion, and the population is close to China. The current status of the African game industry is also similar to the Chinese market a few years ago.


Africa is also one of TRANSSION’s major business markets. According to IDC, TRANSSION’s market share in Africa in 2019 was 52.5%, making it the “biggest mobile phone manufacturer” in Africa. After comparing the data on their own platforms, they found that in many key data, user feedback from major African countries is not weaker than that of emerging markets such as India, which the game industry is generally concerned about.

Take Nigeria as an example. According to GSMA data, Nigeria’s smartphone penetration rate is 39%, which is far less than 80% of the Chinese market and not as good as 54% of the Indian market. However, the average monthly spending of game users in this region is US$1, which is higher than US$0.75 of the Indian market (US$3 in China). Among emerging consumer markets, the spending power of African players is actually not low. In addition, Nigeria has a population of 200 million, and its economy has considerable potential.


At present, the biggest problem in the development of mobile games in Africa is the penetration rate of smart phones. According to GSMA data, by 2021, the penetration rate of smartphones in Africa is expected to reach 50%, but it is still not as good as the head gaming region or even other emerging markets such as India.

In contrast, the enthusiasm of players for games may be the potential of the African game market compared to other emerging regions. In addition to the higher average monthly consumption of players in India, according to Google data, as of October 31, 2020, Africa is the region with the highest increase in user search matches for H5 games, reaching 29%.

What kind of games do African players like?

This is also reflected in the iOS and Google Play lists in Africa such as Nigeria. “Candy Crush Saga” developed by King and the online earning game “Gold Coin Master” by Moon Active are more popular in Africa. They are long-term free list + top 5 bestseller list in major countries. For moderate to heavy games, “Call of Duty Mobile” jointly developed by Tencent and Activision and the domestic SLG “Last Shelter: Survival” are welcomed by players.

However, relatively speaking, the market for medium-to-heavy games in Africa is far less than that of light-casual products. As in the Chinese mobile game market, in the early days of smartphone popularization, the development of the mobile game industry in Africa may also start with light games.


About 2020 Shanghai International Game Industry Trade Fair


The fair is co-sponsored by the People’s Government of Jiading District, Shanghai and the National Foreign Cultural Trade Base (Shanghai). It is organized by the People’s Government of Jiangqiao Town, Jiading District, Shanghai, Shanghai Online Game Industry Association, and Shanghai Oriental Huiwen International Cultural Service Trade Co., Ltd. The company was undertaken by the Shanghai Cultural and Creative Industry Promotion Association under the guidance and support.

In addition to going overseas, representatives of a number of hit game manufacturers also shared the current status of the rapid development of the domestic cultural and creative industry at this fair. These include Mihayou’s “Genshin Impact”, Coconut Island Games’ “Hundred Scenes of the South of the Yangtze River”, and Lilith’s “Rise of Kingdoms”.

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