Expert advises investors to take advantage of opportunities in Nigeria Gaming Industry

Posted : 26 August 2023
A Gaming Consultant Mr Olalekan Kolade on Friday advised investors in the Gaming Industry to key into the various opportunities in the Nigerian market to maximize profits.

Mr Kolade, Operations Manager, Soloti Gaming Ltd. gave the insight during his opening presentation titled ``The Rise of Mobile Gaming in West Africa: Opportunities and Challenges.

``The rise of mobile gaming in West Africa has presented numerous opportunities for the region's gaming industry.

It has presented us with Economic growth, because the mobile gaming industry has the potential to contribute significantly to the economic growth of West Africa. 

``It creates job opportunities for game developers, graphic designers, animators, and other professionals in the gaming ecosystem. 

``Moreover, the industry can attract foreign investment and foster technological advancements. 

``Mobile gaming companies can establish themselves as key players in the global gaming market, generating revenue and stimulating the local economy,'' he said.

Mr Kolade added that Esports and Tournaments are also one of this indices which the investors can look into to create a viable profits.

``Mobile gaming has facilitated the growth of esports and competitive gaming in West Africa. 

``This has opened doors for local gamers to showcase their skills, compete at international events, and potentially earn a living from esports sponsorships, streaming platforms, and endorsements. 

``Esports tournaments and leagues offer a platform for talent discovery and serve as a driving force behind the professionalization of gaming in the region,'' he said.

Kolade further advised on local game development for better interactions with pointers.

``Mobile gaming has encouraged the growth of local game development studios in West Africa. 

``Developers are creating games that resonate with the region's culture, folklore, and traditions.

``This not only promotes cultural identity but also enhances representation in the gaming industry, allowing players to engage with content that reflects their own experiences. 

``Local game developers can harness their creativity and storytelling abilities to craft games that appeal to both domestic and international audiences, creating a niche market for West African gaming content,'' Kolade said.

He further restated that education and skills development could also be a key factor to developing the gaming industry.

``Mobile gaming can be harnessed as a tool for educational purposes. 

``Gamification of learning processes can help enhance cognitive skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork. 

``Additionally, mobile gaming platforms can be leveraged to develop coding and programming skills, nurturing a new generation of skilled individuals in West Africa. 

``Educational institutions, government agencies, and NGOs can collaborate to integrate gaming into the education system, fostering digital literacy and equipping the youth with relevant skills for the future job market.

``We can also harness social Impact and Inclusivity because mobile gaming has the power to bridge social divides and promote inclusivity. 

``It serves as a common platform where individuals from diverse backgrounds can interact and collaborate, transcending geographical and socio-economic barriers. 

``Furthermore, mobile gaming can be used to raise awareness about social issues and promote positive behavioral change. 

``Organizations and developers can create games with a social impact in mind, addressing topics such as health, environment, and civic engagement,'' he said.

Highlighting the challenges in the Gaming Industry Kolade noted that militating factors such as infrastructure, education, multiple taxation were red flags.

``Despite the opportunities, the mobile gaming industry in West Africa also faces several challenges which includes, infrastructure, monetization and protection of intellectual property are still in the negative.

Infrastructure Limitations: While there have been significant improvements in internet, connectivity in some regions in West Africa still face infrastructure limitations, such as poor network coverage and slow internet speeds. 

``This hampers the gaming experience and limits the accessibility of mobile games to a wider audience. 

Also, governments and private stakeholders need to invest in expanding internet infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, to ensure equal access to gaming opportunities

Another issue is monetization and payment systems: Developing sustainable monetization models for mobile games remains a challenge. 

``In-app purchases and advertising revenue can be hindered by low financial inclusion rates and limited access to digital payment systems. 

``Game developers need to explore innovative ways to monetize their products while considering the local economic landscape.

``Partnerships with telecommunication companies, fintech startups, and mobile money providers can facilitate the development of convenient and secure payment options for gamers.

``Intellectual property rights and piracy are ongoing concerns in the mobile gaming industry. 

``Developers in West Africa must navigate the complex landscape of protecting their creations, as the lack of robust legal frameworks can lead to the unauthorized distribution and replication of their games. 

``Governments need to enact and enforce laws that safeguard intellectual property rights, creating an environment that encourages innovation and protects the interests of developers,'' he said.

Kolade added that skills gap and talent development could also raise the bar the gaming industry.

``While there is a growing interest in mobile game development, a shortage of skilled professionals in areas such as game design, programming, and marketing poses a challenge.

``Efforts should be made to provide relevant training and educational programs to bridge this skills gap and foster talent development. Industryacademic collaborations, vocational training initiatives, and mentorship programs can help nurture a pool of skilled individuals who can contribute to the growth and sustainability of the mobile gaming industry in West Africa.

Gaming Industry should also watch the space for representation and Cultural Sensitivity

``As the mobile gaming industry expands, it is crucial to ensure cultural representation and sensitivity in game development. 

``Developers must be mindful of avoiding stereotypes and misappropriation of cultural elements. Collaboration with local communities, cultural experts, and content creators can help ensure authenticity and respect when incorporating West African cultural elements into mobile games,'' he emphasized.

Kolade added that in conclusion that the rise of mobile gaming in West Africa presents immense opportunities for economic growth, cultural representation, skills development, and social impact. 

``As the industry continues to expand, stakeholders must address the challenges of infrastructure limitations, monetization strategies, intellectual property protection, talent development, and cultural sensitivity. 

``By fostering collaboration between governments, educational institutions, the private sector, and local communities, West Africa can establish itself as a vibrant hub for mobile gaming, fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and inclusivity in the digital gaming ecosystem. 

``With a concerted effort to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities, West Africa's mobile gaming industry has the potential to thrive and make a significant impact on the global gaming landscape,'' he said.


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