VENTURES: SA Video Gaming Industry Worth R1.7b
Recent Western Cape Business News
With a global value of more than $ 65 billion, video games are set to be the fastest growing form of mass media over the next few years. The video games industry is already estimated to be twice the size of recorded music globally.
From a local perspective, the industry has changed significantly over the years. From the games, the devices the games are played on, to the profile of the gamers themselves, South Africa’s video gaming culture has undergone an evolution and has grown exponentially.
“At the end of 2011, the industry surpassed the R1.7 billion mark; it has also enjoyed year on year growth,” says Ramone Pickover, category manager for games at Cape Town-based kalahari.com.
“The local industry has grown compared to the US which declined by 8% in 2011. The US gaming industry accounts for more than 60 % of the total gaming industry worldwide,”says Pickover. Locally the growth of the industry has been synonymous with more gamers entering the scene, with the market split between casual and hardcore gamers.
Estimated at 3, 5 million, casual gamers have been the biggest part of the market for the past two years. Casual gamers play easily accessible games with a short lifespan, mainly online or via social media, as well as on mobile platforms. Wii, DS, 3DS, PC, PSP and PlayStation 2 are also considered popular gaming devices for casual gamers.
“The gaming industry in South Africa has changed quite dramatically. Two years ago, the key drivers in the industry were casual games,” says Pickover.
However, South Africa’s retailing giant points out that hardcore gaming is growing, and in addition more women have begun to purchase both casual and hardcore games.
Pickover also states that a major component of the games is based online due to the increase in broadband penetration, further displaying the move from casual to hardcore. In fact, the increasing access to high speed internet connection has allowed more of these gamers to play multiplayer games online, and has also allowed them to access additional content for the games they purchase.
“There has also been a large increase in competitive gaming leagues in South Africa, operating on the same level as our local sport teams/leagues with organised tournaments and competitions, where we compete against other countries. Further displaying how the gaming culture has grown in South Africa,”remarks Pickover.
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