Accessing the African Mobile Gaming Market, One Okada at a Time

Maliyo Games is one of several startups ready to tap into the fast-growing African mobile user base by creating games involving specific cultural references and beliefs.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What's the Latest Development?

Maliyo Games, a startup based in Lagos and London, is designing online games meant to appeal to users in Nigeria and across the African continent. Founder Hugo Obi and his team draw on specific cultural references to create titles like Mosquito Smasher (which is exactly what it sounds like) and Okada Ride (a driving game involving an okada, a type of motorbike popular in Lagos). Currently, the games are free and Web-based, but Okada Ride has made it into the Nokia app store, and the goal is to make them available for iOS, Android, and other platforms.

What's the Big Idea?

Maliyo is one of the newest companies attempting to take advantage of the burgeoning African mobile device market, where smartphones are proliferating and connectivity costs are dropping. Jonathan Hoehler at Deloitte Digital South Africa says, "There are more than 700 million mobile connections across Africa...The market for mobile games is strong, particularly when associated with key [cultural] themes." Obi says there are technical as well as cultural hurdles to overcome going forward: "Traditionally, Africans don't use credit or debit cards to purchase [games online]." However, he believes that his games can draw users all over the world looking for "an African narrative...through games."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

Videos
  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

Neuroscience confirms your subconscious shapes your reality

Groundbreaking neuroscience confirms what Sigmund Freud first theorized.

Technology & Innovation

Groundbreaking neuroscience confirms what Sigmund Freud first theorized: that what we believe to be the objective reality surrounding us is actually formed by our subconscious. David Eagleman explains:

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less