Sony Makes Bold Bet on Africa’s Video Game Industry
In a move that has left many scratching their heads, Sony, the Japanese consumer electronics and gaming giant, has decided to invest an undisclosed sum into Carry1st, a video game studio based in Cape Town, South Africa. Because who wouldn’t want to invest in the emerging powerhouse of the African gaming industry?
According to Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO and co-founder of Carry1st, talks with the Sony Innovation Fund began about eight to nine months ago. His pitch? That Africa is the next big market for growth in video games. “As large companies like Sony start thinking about where the next billion customers and gamers are going to come from,” Robbin-Coker told CNBC in an exclusive interview. “Our pitch is that Africa is a prime market for that.”
Yes, you read that right – according to Robbin-Coker (and apparently now Sony), there is an incredibly underrated console opportunity in Africa! Who knew? Countries like Nigeria, Morocco and Algeria are cited as places where console adoption is rising significantly.
And get this – Sub-Saharan Africa’s gaming industry is expected to generate over $1 billion for the first time by 2024! Many gamers in Africa are buying consoles on “gray” markets — because nothing says successful business strategy quite like operating within legal gray areas!
Expanding PlayStation In The Land Of Lions And Elephants
One aspect of Carry1st’s partnership with Sony was about helping expand PlayStation’s footprint in Africa. This seems like a logical step considering Sony forecasted it would sell a record 25 million PlayStation 5 units in its 2023 fiscal year (which would mark their best year ever). The PS5 was initially plagued by shortages due to chip scarcity and supply chain disruptions.
But fear not! Sony’s bet with its stake in Carry1st suggests they believe that selling PlayStations will be just as easy as selling ice cream at Disney World during summer vacation – or something along those lines.
“Our hope,” said Robbin-Coker hopefully (pun intended), “is that we can help [Sony] expand their reach of PlayStation in the region.” He noted how his company could take advantage of changing payment methods such as digital downloads and free-to-play games…because obviously people living on another continent have never heard of these things before!
Original Games In The Pipeline: Move Over Mario & Luigi
Carry1st specializes mainly in developing social and casual puzzle-based mobile games for an African audience – because who doesn’t love puzzles while also being social?
The real kicker here though? They’re planning on developing their own original titles this year! With development underway on three new games set for release sometime around…wait for it…2024! Yes folks – hold onto your seats because you won’t want to miss out when these groundbreaking masterpieces hit shelves across…well maybe just across certain parts of South Africa but still!
Carry1st has been working with some big names too – Activision among them. But let’s not forget their other hits such as “Mancala Adventures,” “SpongeBob Krusty Cook-Off” made through partnership with Nickelodeon – yes THAT SpongeBob!, “Ludo Blitz” which I’m sure requires no explanation whatsoever since everyone surely knows what Ludo Blitz entails…, oh wait there’s more; let’s throw ‘Mine Rescue’ into mix too just so we don’t leave any rock unturned!
Now here comes our favorite part: Andreessen Horowitz bitkraft Ventures Google Riot Games AND rapper Nas have all backed this company so far…with $60 million funding already secured!! Incredible isn’t it??
So there you have it folks- proof once again that anything can happen if you dare dream big enough even if one day someone tells you your dreams are impossible…like building up a huge gaming empire from scratch without having ever done anything similar before..yeah good luck trying huh?!
Sony is making a bold bet on an African gaming startup to boost PlayStation’s reach in the continent