Many of us who game have taken to gaming on mobile like fish to water. While I do game on mobile myself, I belong to a biased school that until recently did not think too highly of the platform. For me, mobile games where but a fraction of the real thing. Something like what a sleeping bag is to a mattress. Now I am seeing that I may have been wrong because mobile gaming is booming and mobile games are becoming important money-spinners in an increasingly lucrative industry.
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Globally, the mobile gaming industry is worth over $150 billion with a year on year growth of over 10%. Mobile games account for 45% of that number and according to TechCrunch, nearly $10 billion has been invested in the industry in the past eighteen months. Mobile games account for 33% of apps downloaded off of app stores. In popularity, games are neck and neck with music apps and only behind social media apps. Game developers are raising capital even if on a more muted level to other tech start-ups. Globally, the investors have themselves been entangled with games for the longest time or even big game developers themselves with familiar names like Ubisoft Riot, Activision, and Chinese behemoth, Tencent.
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Closer home, the Nigerian gaming scene has not really kicked into gear if we are being honest and most of the success has been muted really. But the fact that there are a few players is a testament to growth, however, small. Zubair Abubakar’s Chop Up has been a breakout success locally in the last five years. Ludo and Naija Whot are some of the most popular Nigerian-made titles on Google Play and it can only get better. Interestingly, many of the games are locally themed because many of these developers are keen on selling a uniquely Nigerian perspective to an audience that is largely based outside of Nigeria. Prominent Studios include Gamsole, Maliyo and Kuluya.
It might be hard to say presently but the local gaming industry may yet experience growth and I have learnt not to put it past these guys to spring a surprise because games are uber-popular among young Nigerians.
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