Currently, South Africa boasts the second-largest ‘gaming market’ on the continent. Egypt leads in terms of revenue with revenues 35% larger but then the gap really opens up as South Africa eclipses third place, Morocco’s gaming market, by +40% according to the latest research figures delivered in a report by Statista.
One of the key influential factors contributing to the gaming market’s remarkable continued growth patterns is the rise in popularity in the mobile gaming sector. Within this sector, two main niches, in particular, are on the rise which are eSports and iGaming.
Mobile gaming’s rise has been made possible largely due to successful internal government investment plans into the country’s comms infrastructure. High speed internet and increased 3G/4G coverage now more widely available across the nation would inevitably see this market rise as we have seen in other nations across the globe.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s mobile gaming industry could not grow as quickly as it has without big brand tech giants that continue to release affordable mobile solutions. Thanks to the evolution of technology today’s tablets and smartphone retail prices are cheaper than ever.
Together, an improved comms infrastructure and the increased availability of mobile touch screen technology has paved the way for a new and ever-growing mobile gaming community.
One niche mobile gaming market making a huge leap forward by swallowing up available market share as revenues rise is the online iGaming industry where slots, card games and sports betting are very popular.
There is an army of online casinos targeting South African players with enticing welcome bonus deals that often double the first the deposit giving players double the amount of money to place bets. With such great incentives to play even PC gamers in the country are beginning to take note.
Those that enjoy visiting land-based casinos such as The Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth and Montecasino situated in the centre of Johannesburg are logging on to play online live table games.
This is a concept that gives anyone with internet access a real-time HD webcam stream blackjack, roulette, baccarat, or poker tables hosted by a real-life croupier or dealer. Players can place bets using virtual chips purchased by credit or debit card, via an eWallet, or by using cryptocurrency which is outlined in a popular SA iGaming guide presented by playcasino.com.
Rather than taking the time to travel to land-based brick and mortar casino, an increasing number of casino goers are now switching to these new online live dealer tables. What’s more, is that those that enjoy a flutter on casino games but do not live nearby one of South Africa’s land-based casinos can simply log on via their mobile or desktop device and start placing real money bets as if they were physically sat at a casino table.
It is not just the rise of iGaming that we are seeing at the moment within South Africa’s mobile gaming industry as other niche gaming sectors are also on the rise.
eSports has always been immensely popular for PC gamers and always reports steady growth but now we are seeing a boom in mobile eSports – most notably MOBA games, which stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.
Before games like League of Legends captivated PC players but now it seems there has been a sideways move into mobile eSports with games such as Arena of Valor, Brave Legends, and Planet of Heroes becoming popular and matching better players’ lifestyle. Friends can join up on the same team via their mobile connection and battle it out versus other teams for bragging rights.
Many of these MOBA games are free to play which is a clever marketing trick to increase the number of players joining the game.
Revenue streams on these games come from digital items that players can buy such as skins, new look weapons, and character mods that just enhance the way the character in the game looks. There are also treasure items, cards, and other extras players can buy that are common or rare which increases the value.
Right now, South Africa’s economy has shown nine successive years of growth with only this year expected to report a retraction in GDP growth in line with global figures. Even with the negative growth reports, the online gaming market will continue to grow as it has done in many other parts of the world regardless of a country’s economy.
Now with increased internet speeds and better mobile connectivity in place, South Africa can expect the same resilience the gaming industry has shown around the world. That is to say that with so many niche sectors attracting new kinds of players, the South African gaming market will continue to grow regardless of the economy!