Video gaming in South Africa

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Video gaming in South Africa is one of the largest markets in Africa.[1] The market has overtaken the market in movies and music in the country.[2]

Whilst the United States market for video games has declined, it's rapidly increasing in South Africa thanks to companies such as Game 4U.[3][4][5]

South Africa boasts Expos, relatively big LAN's, nationwide gaming retailers such as Game 4U and a growing community of gamers. South Africa's biggest LAN event called the NAG LAN[6] of the former magazine company moved to Cape Town in 2016, which had an impressively large turnout. Another LAN event was held in Cape Town which was only slightly smaller than the NAG LAN with 400 people. Although the gaming community in Cape Town is the second biggest, the uncontested giant in South African gaming is Johannesburg, with Gauteng in its entirety housing more gamers than the rest of the country.

Plans are also laid out by SuperSport to start an eSport channel with GINX eSports TV as the demand for streaming eSports keeps on growing.[7]

Big tech companies like MWEB and Telkom host local server game servers which improve gaming by a lot in South Africa. This helps the improvement of local competitive gaming and brings the local gaming community together easier.

One problem that South Africa is undertaking is the struggle to get protection from the government for Game Developers. There is a "ball-passing" going on at the different departments. The Dep. of Trade, Arts and Culture and Sports are still discussing which one will take the authority of handling the rights of game developers.[8]

Compared to the rest of Africa[edit]

South Africa's video gaming compared to the rest of Africa is unchallenged due to the large number of wealthy South Africans living in cities like Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg. With internet infrastructure being more than sufficient to support the sport and with Fibre being almost fully integrated in cities and wealthy suburban areas, the growth in online gaming can only be motivated. Video game developing in the country is not doing well, but events and eSports organizations like Mind Sports South Africa, the Digital Gaming League,[9] Orena[10] and LANX[11] have jumped up in 2015 with the big demand for eSports tournaments and other gaming events in large cities. However, it is only Mind Sports South Africa that continually holds events in all the provinces and runs school events. With gaming in schools also in the rise,[12] Mind Sports South Africa reports that there are now over 30 schools that participate in the official league, with school teams competing on an equal footing with many of the best private clubs in the country.

Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda are the other top game developers in Africa.[13] The gaming industry is bringing millions of dollars in for their countries per year. This is in all categories of gaming: mobile, PC, Xbox, and PS. Because it was not the culture of the African people, the people are slowly growing into the gaming entertainment.

South Africa also being dominant in sport in the continent and all over the world, and the country too has made its mark on the eSport scene as the national South African team has participated in every International e-Sports Federation world Championship since 2009 over a varied number of games and platforms. But Mind Sports South Africa has admitted that the gaming scene needs to mature.

Further proof that South Africa is highly respected is that Thomas Brown was selected to referee at the 2016 World Cyber Arena (WCA) in Beijing, and that on 31 July 2016 Jason Batzofin was elected onto International e-Sports Federation Athletes' Commission.

Gaming retailers and distributors in South Africa[edit]

In South Africa the video game retailers such as Game 4U work hand in hand with video game distributors like Megarom Interactive to ensure the latest video games are in stores by their respective release dates and at competitive prices, the distributors provide a recommended retail price (RRP) to the retailers and they either set the same selling price or cheaper if they are willing to cut certain percentages of their profit in order to have the cheapest prices as Game 4U does.

Game 4U[edit]

Game 4U is a leading gaming retailer in South Africa specializing in Xbox and Playstation games as well as consoles, gaming accessories, merchandise and apparel. Their stores are strategically placed in all of the major cities like Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Richards Bay to name a few with plans to open up more in various new locations in the future, this combined with their online store allows gaming enthusiasts and newbies alike to be able to purchase Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Switch games, consoles and accessories online and have it delivered to them anywhere in the country.

Apex Interactive[edit]

Apex Interactive (Pty) Ltd. is one of the leading distributors of interactive entertainment products in the Southern African marketplace. APEX INTERACTIVE's product portfolio includes gaming products for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Sony PlayStation Vita. Apex Interactive are also the exclusive distributors of Gioteck, Turtle Beach, Big Ben, Razer, Plantronics and Canyon range of products.[14]

Megarom Interactive[edit]

Megarom Interactive (Pty) Ltd. has the rights to fully distribute the works of leading publishers such as Ubisoft, Activision, Blizzard, Square Enix, Sega, CD Projekt and Bandai Namco as well as top gaming brands such as DXracer, KontrolFreek, SteelSeries and Thrustmaster.[15]


  1. ^ "Video gaming tops R1.7 billion and according to a report by Serious About Games (SAG)‚ South Africa's game development industry increased its revenue from R29.7-million in 2014 to R100-million in 2016‚ on the back of 103 commercial releases that year". Biz. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  2. ^ "Local Gaming Bigger than Movies and Music?". Gaming. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  3. ^ "The South African Game Development Scene: Past, Present, and Future". Animation SA. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  4. ^ "31 May 2012: SA Video Gaming Industry Worth R1.7b". Cape Business News. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  5. ^ "South Africa Game Sales Continue to Rise". Gaming. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  6. ^ "Nag Lan". Nag Lan. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  7. ^ "SuperSport eSports channel gets launch date". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  8. ^ "SA gaming industry 'suffering' under regulation". Fin24. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  9. ^ "Home". Digital Gaming League. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  10. ^ "Orena". Orena. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  11. ^ "LAN X". LANX. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  12. ^ Brendyn Lotz (2015-09-17). "Mind Sports South Africa to grow eSports at schools -". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  13. ^ "Africa's gaming industry: Expert shares her thoughts". How We Made It In Africa. 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  14. ^ "Apex Interactive". Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  15. ^ "About Megarom | Megarom Interactive". Retrieved 2019-04-09.