Africa Games Week – Shining a spotlight on African game development

The inaugural Africa Games Week takes place between the 28th of November and the 2nd of December 2018 at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. The brainchild of Interactive Entertainment South Africa’s managing director, Nicholas Hall, the week is comprised of a number of events aimed at shining light at game development on the African continent.

Building on the foundation built by A MAZE. the gaming and media festival, who rather than throwing their own festival, will be hosting a popup, the events at Africa Games Week are largely developer rather than consumer-focused, with workshops and talks being held that aim to connect developers on the African continent with each other as well as industry experts from around the world. As such, the name Africa Games Week is apt, since the goal is to involve developers from the entire continent and not just to focus on South Africa.

The programme will include Make Games Africa, Playtopia, Google Play Developer Day and the Nordic Game Discovery Contest. Of these, Playtopia is the most consumer-facing part of the week, a festival that celebrates local indie developers and aims to show consumers what game development in South Africa looks like. Part of Playtopia will be a showcase of games developed on the A Maze Train Jam, which sees 30 developers traveling by train from Johannesburg to Cape Town and creating games on the journey.

Make Games Africa and the Google Play Developer Day, on the other hand, are more developer focused. Sessions will feature topics such as monetisation strategies and UX design all while bearing in mind the limitations of developing in the global South. The Nordic Games Discovery contest will see developers taking part in a game-show style competition for the opportunity to pitch their game at the Nordic Games Festival.

With publishers and possible investors attending, the hope is that studios get the process of investment or publishing started and that lessons around business decisions will resonate with the attending studios and developers. For students and individuals aiming to enter the industry, the goal is to educate them as to the current state of the ecosystem and how to tap into it effectively.

With a continental focus, rather than a South African one, Africa Games Week aims to be the keystone games event for the global South and help transform the local games industry into one that can support participants that do not have the privilege to take the entrepreneurial route into the industry. For the full programme and to book your tickets click here.

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