Gaming in Nigeria is on the rise

Lea Hogg 1 year ago
Gaming in Nigeria is on the rise

In sub-Saharan Africa populations are younger than the rest of the world and Nigeria tops the list. 70 percent of Nigeria’s 220 million people under the age of 30.

Mobile gaming is on the rise

The growing base of young middle-class Nigerians is fuelling the dramatic growth in mobile gaming, spurred by increasing internet access and the number of connected devices. The country is estimated to have 150 million active mobile subscribers. 40 percent of mobile owners have internet access and by the end of 2025 Smartphone ownership is estimated to reach 143 million.

Video games vs movies

Video game companies generate more income than the music and movie industries combined revenues. The number of players is increasing exponentially but it is not only about the money.  Video games are bringing people together.

Smartphone ownership, internet penetration, lower console prices and faster Mbps are contributing to accessibility and growth of gamers. Estimates vary, but 1.7 billion of the 3.24 billion gamers worldwide are PC gamers. The average gamer age is 35, almost 50 percent are women, and 36 percent more women pay for in-app mobile gaming content than their male counterparts.

Esports and mobile sports betting

Nigeria under 30s have changed the esports demographic from the overall gaming profile, with players typically aged between 18 and 34 and predominantly male. Mobile sports betting is big business in Nigeria, with 87 percent of players are using mobiles to access the internet and bet on sports. The gaming market has seen steady growth year on year but remains fragmented and competitive with several small players.

Gaming companies invest in the region

However, with international gaming companies investing in the region, technological improvements in payment platforms, user behavioural changes, and spending increasing, the industry is anticipated to consolidate towards dominant games. Currently the top sites are Betway, 22bet, Sportpesa, 888 and Europa Casino. Data indicates a shift towards Nigerian gamers favouring social gaming with the free-to-play revenue model, with downstream in-game purchases becoming increasingly popular in the country.

Mobo Game Jam

Last year WaterAid, one of Nigeria’s largest banks and gaming company, Kucheza, organised an edition of the annual game development competition ‘Mobo Game Jam’. The competition promotes gaming as a tool to harness the power of creativity and imagination of young people.  Gaming in Nigeria is also promoted as a bridge between the digital skills gap within the educational system.

Follow SiGMA News series on gaming in Africa

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