Microsoft has announced that it will host the Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Africa, a two-day conference scheduled to take place on July 15th and 16th, 2023. The event is open to all game creators across more than 50 countries and regions in Africa, and it will be both online and in-person. Microsoft’s Africa Transformation Office (ATO) is behind the initiative.
The gaming industry is expected to grow exponentially in Africa due to rising interest from African youth, and more people getting connected to the internet. According to the 2021 GSMA mobile economy report, 303 million people, approximately 28% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa, are connected to mobile internet. This number is set to grow to 474 million by 2025, providing many more opportunities for gaming and local creators to grow and develop in the market.
A report commissioned by Newzoo shows that the number of Sub-Saharan gamers has more than doubled in the last five years. The region is projected to be the fastest-growing globally for both mobile gamers and people who pay for games. South Africa has the highest saturation of gamers, with 24 million people playing within a population of 59 million (40%). In Ghana, 27% of people play games, with 23% in Nigeria, 22% in Kenya, and 13% in Ethiopia.
Game Camp is an initiative that brings together various Xbox initiatives under one umbrella where talent is celebrated, and game developers are empowered to pursue their dreams. While the camp, including presentations, panels, and workshops, is available online for all registered campers, Game Camp will host four in-person locations for campers during the two days in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi. These sites will offer viewing parties, on-site panel sessions, and opportunities to meet with Microsoft and Xbox personnel. Furthermore, teams or individuals with games to pitch are encouraged to do so.
The Xbox Game Studios Game Camp program aims to empower creators across the world to realize their potential in the gaming industry through unique learning experiences from industry leaders. Now in its second year and 5th event, the program has already made significant strides in empowering game developers globally.
Individuals who are of legal age, reside in any country on the African continent, and are studying or working part or full-time in the field of software development, visual arts, 3D, music and audio, web design, narrative design, or professional project management can participate. The complete list of participation requirements is available on Xbox.com.
Microsoft plans to enable African game developers and creators to build faster through access to tools and resources, and to help their games be discovered by players in Africa and around the world. The ATO and Xbox personnel will also combine efforts to identify game studios to invest in through their Startups acceleration program and venture capital investment partners.
Throughout Game Camp Africa, participants will join remotely via Microsoft Teams or take part in person at four open-house locations in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi. Xbox personnel and external program partners will facilitate workshops on various game development topics throughout the training. The two full days are themed “The Journey of a Game” and will offer multiple perspectives on the many times complex craft of game development. In addition, there will be significant online learning components to the camp, which will allow participants to engage with focused training modules on topics that align closely with their skills and interests before and after the event.
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