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Gaming rages on in SA

The rAge gaming expo this past weekend pointed the way to a booming computer games industry in South Africa, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK in the first of a two-part series. (All pics by Arthur Goldstuck)

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The ultimate target, as with most games developed in South Africa, is the international market.

“Local produced games don’t really sell well in SA,” says Hall. “Consumers only spent about R100 000 on SA games last year. There are many factors to this, but one of the greatest strengths the sector leverages is that we produce in Rands, but sell in dollars. This significantly de-risks projects and lowers the bar for financial success.

“Titles like Broforce have seen huge international success, selling over a million units, Viscera Clean Up Detail, Stasis, Desktop Dungeons, Pixelboy and others have also found success in the international market. This year was a historic moment as the first African owned IP game was released on an Nintendo platform: Semblance, for the Switch. Consequently, such as Polygod and Broforce, get into the Nintendo platforms, which means we now have representation on all the major consoles.”

A poster for Boet Fighter, a surprise hit at rAge.

While console-gaming had the strongest presence at rAge, with a range of Micsoroft Xbox games and FIFA 2019 for PlayStation hogging the attention, the most serious gamers are focused on computers. This is  platforms. This is where the relatively new eSports sector has exploded. Prize money for international tournaments is as high as $25-million, and the big brands have all put their names behind teams around the world.

The top teams tend to be part of multi-gaming organisations, or MGOs, who supply management, administration and organisation. MGO have separate teams competing across multiple games. In South Africa, for example, the Bravado Gaming MGO competes in CounterStrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Defense of the Ancients (Dota) 2 and Call of Duty.

Read on to find out about Finesse, an all-female gaming team. 

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