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Job description: ‘Games developer’

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There are now hundreds of South African game developers according to a recent survey by Make Games South Africa. Furthermore, the local games market was worth a R2.1 billion in 2012 – with expected figures for 2014 to be around R2.5 billion, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers.

The average software developer is so much more than a computer geek in a graphic T-shirt and Converse sneakers. He (or she) is the creator of games that sell to the tune of hundreds of thousands of rands world-wide. Consider that back in 2011, South African consumers spent R1.3 billion on gaming, which means that the gaming sector is fast becoming the investor’s paradise.

Recently, Make Games South Africa (MGSA), a local gaming industry organisation, released their SA Games Industry Survey 2013 results. The survey shows that there are 32 gaming studios developing games or doing contract work on games three of which are located in Durban, 14 in Gauteng, and 15 in the Cape. Seven of the studios have been in existence for more than five years, while 10 of these studios focus their time fully on developing their own games. Also interesting to note is the demographics of these studios – 86% white male: 7% women: 2.5% black: 1.5% coloured: and 2% Indian/Asian.

The survey also revealed that total revenue generation for 2013 was R30 million, with nine of the studios generating over a million rand in revenue each, while 12 of the studios made a profit in 2013. Games that released this year (Desktop Dungeons, Broforce, Pixel Boy) have not been fully realised in these figures, so it is expected that 2014’s survey results should look even more positive.

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