African video game makers are breaking into the global industry with their own stories

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As a teenager, Madiba Guillaume Olivier dreamt of moving from Cameroon to Europe or the United States to pursue his passion for video games. The son of a video store owner, Olivier grew up fixated on playing games—and hoped to study the profession and join the industry.

As he waited to realize his dream of moving away, Olivier started going online to learn the basics of game design. While studying computer science at the University of Yaoundé in the country’s capital in 2003, Olivier partnered with a group of friends to work on their dream project, titled Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan. The action-packed, 2D fantasy game involves prince Enzo, and his fiancée Erine, trying to reclaim power in the Auriona planet after being betrayed by a family member. For years, while working as website developers, Olivier and his team slowly improved their game design skills, tweaked the game, and learned about design concepts and iterations.

Olivier never did move. In 2011, after years writing different scenarios of the Aurion game, he and his team released their first official version. Two years later, emboldened by the support from fans, he co-founded Kiro’o Games: Cameroon’s first ever game studio in Cameroon and one of only a handful across the world to produce an African-themed mythical video game. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the studio released Aurion in April 2016 via the global distribution platform Steam. The studio, which has also hired 18 more artists and programmers, hopes to go further and place itself as a hub for creating innovative cultural products like comics, cartoons, and also films.

“We started to think about the fact that we can make our own studio here and sell games abroad,” Olivier said of the company’s beginnings. “We decided that we must bring something unique to the table.” For his work as a pioneer in the game development industry, Olivier has been named a 2017 Quartz Africa Innovator.

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Kiro’o’s success is not unmatched in Africa. Over the last decade, game development studios have popped up in Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. With the growth of tech hubs and funding opportunities, African developers are diversifying from traditional fintech products to creating innovations in healthcare, education, insurance—and games.

African game developers are also betting on the growth and use of smartphones and tablets. This is especially critical as global mobile game revenues surpassed those generated from personal computers or consoles in 2016. Telecom companies like Morocco’s Inwi, noting the growth of this sector, invested in developing a mobile game last year.

More women are also exploring opportunities in the gaming industry, participating in hackathons, and the development community is experimenting with video games to create social cohesion in countries like Ethiopia and South Sudan. The International Game Developers Association, a non-profit organization for game software developers, now has seven chapters across Africa.

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African-themed games

Kiro’o Games and its counterparts are also part of a movement that aims to amplify African myths, stories, and traditions—tapping into a global appetite for games that use unique, locally-produced narratives. Gaming companies are producing action and strategy games with African superheroes, and depicting experiences rooted in the chaos and constancy of African villages and city life.

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Aurion: Legacy of the Kori Odan
Aurion: Legacy of the Kori Odan (Courtesy/ Kiro’o Games)

The Okada Rider, designed by Nigeria’s ChopUp studio, simulates the legendary traffic gridlock of the streets of Lagos. Ebola Strike Force follows the story of researchers and scientists who want to save humanity from the deadly virus. The Sambisa Assault gives gamers the opportunity to join the fight against terrorism.

In Kenya, Leti Arts produced Ananse: The Origin, based on an epic folklore from Ghana, while Weza Interactive Entertainment produced Mzito, which takes users on a journey to save Africa. Studios like Thoopid and Celestial Games in South Africa, one of the largest African gaming markets, are developing award-winning games.

But in a nascent industry, the threat of failure is a given. In 2012, after accessing a loan from a bank, Walid Sultan launched Tunisia’s first video development company. Since then, Digitalmania has released 87 games on Facebook and mobile app platforms like Google Play and Apple store. But since Facebook and Google do not support merchant payments in Tunisia, Digitalmania cannot release games with paid content—hindering their ability to grow. “The biggest challenge we are facing is trying to find the right budget to do our games,” Walid says.

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Bagra, one of the successful games produced by the Digitalmania studio in Tunisia
Bagra, one of the successful games produced by the Digitalmania studio in Tunisia (Courtesy/ Digitalmania)

Sultan says it’s been hard for his studio to find the right pool of talent to develop games and to access the most up-to-date virtual reality technology. For Cameroonian developers like Olivier, electricity shutdowns hinder productivity. In South Africa, the lack of adequate regulatory or copyright laws can prevent those in the gaming industry from developing or distributing games.

But African game developers hope to take all this in stride and create more harmonious ecosystems. Sultan now wants to take Digitalmania global, and help other video game developers in Tunisia access global markets. Kiro’o Games is also starting a mentoring program that would guide start-ups on fundraising and gaming opportunities.

To improve the gaming industry, Sultan says that what Africa needs now is more success stories that will help attract investors and venture capitalists. “We want to be in the big arena,” he says. “I hope it will come very soon.”

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African video game makers are breaking into the global industry with their own stories - Brand Spur

Mead Johnson Nutrition HK Launches “We CAN Protect the Future” –...

Enabling parents and children to build a greener world by taking their first steps in recycling formula cans

 

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 10 May 2021 - To encourage Hong Kong citizens to lead greener lives, Mead Johnson Nutrition Hong Kong ("Mead Johnson"), one of the brands under Reckitt Benckiser ("Reckitt"), officially launched its city-wide "We CAN Protect the Future" Formula Cans Recycling Program in early April. Created in partnership with 24-hour online shopping platform, HKTVmall under Hong Kong Television Network Limited ("HKTVmall") and the World Green Organisation ("WGO"), the program aims to raise awareness among the public on the importance of recycling and urge parents to safeguard the future of their children by taking immediate actions to protect the environment and be the role models of green living.


African video game makers are breaking into the global industry with their own stories - Brand Spur

According to a recent survey, only around 30% of interviewed parents would recycle the used formula cans in Hong Kong[1]. With collection points at 6 HKTVmall O2O Shops across the city, the Program offers consumers easy access to a reliable channel to recycle and transform their used formula cans into useful raw materials to reduce waste and protect our environment.

The Program accepts cleaned formula cans from all brands and rewards participating parents with HKTVmall e-vouchers that can be used for online purchase[2]. To ensure proper storage and transportation of all collected cans, all brand logos and brand names will be erased before a specialized delivery team transports the cans from HKTVmall O2O Shops to a local recycling plant. The cans will then be destructed and shipped to another facility for further processing. Molten metal will be recycled into raw metal materials for different purposes, such as for construction use.

"Reckitt is driven by its purpose, do the right things, always. Mead Johnson as one for the core brands of Reckitt also upholds this mission, it not only provides high-quality nutrition products, but has been working hand in hand with our consumers to safeguard the environment and nourish the best start in life for more than a century," said Mr. Pankaj Agarwal, Reckitt's General Manager Hong Kong, Taiwan & Cross-Border. "Through the partnership with HKTVmall and WGO to offer a convenient and reliable recycling channel, we hope to empower parents and their children to build recycling habits at an early stage, and hence create a cleaner, healthier world."

Ms. Jelly Zhou, Chief Executive Officer (Hong Kong) at Hong Kong Television Network Limited, added, "HKTVmall is committed to enhancing Hong Kong people's quality of life via innovative technologies. We also highly value social responsibility in promoting a culture of environmental protection and resource conservation. Through this partnership with Mead Johnson and WGO, it not only endows a value to the used items through reducing wastage and promote recycling awareness, but also spread the message of environmental protection to everyone. Let us make changes in our daily lives with everybody's joint efforts, encourage sustainable development for Hong Kong and all over the world." HKTVmall, as co-organiser of the Program, shares their store networks to facilitate the mechanism of the recycling process. It helps mobilizing Hong Kong citizens to join the program in different areas simultaneously and promoting recycling in the city.

WGO acts as the supporting organisation to provide professional advice on improving the overall can recycling experience in this Program. "WGO is pleased to drive the formula cans recycling programme with Mead Johnson and HKTVmall" said Dr. William Yu, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of World Green Organisation. "We look forward to seeing different stakeholders in society, including manufacturers, retailers and the public to join hands and promote recycling, and facilitating a green future for our next generation."

The "We CAN Protect the Future" Formula Can Recycling Programme runs every Monday and Wednesday, from now until 30th June 2021.

For more details, please visit: https://cloud.marketing.hktvmall.com/canrecycle2021


[1] Baby Kingdom Online Survey on formula can recycling habits (2019)

[2] From 7th April to 30th June, participants can redeem an e-voucher (HKTVmall HK$50 Dettol Product or HK$200 Mead Johnson Nutrition Selected Product) for every successful return of a cleaned formula can, up to four e-vouchers per day. Distribution of e-vouchers may vary depending on availability at different shops. E-vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis while stocks last and check with the on-duty staff for details on collection day. Offers are subject to Terms and Conditions and can be found here: https://bit.ly/3mtsEJU

About Mead Johnson Nutrition

Mead Johnson Nutrition has been established in 1905. For more than a century, Mead Johnson Nutrition has led the way in developing safe, high-quality, innovative pediatric nutrition products, guided by the mission to nourish the world's children for the best start in life. The brand operates Mead Johnson Pediatric Nutrition Institutes worldwide. These centers connect Mead Johnson Nutrition's researchers to scientists and healthcare professionals around the world, putting the brand at the forefront of pediatric nutrition science.

Mead Johnson Nutrition (Hong Kong) Limited has been landed for a half century, providing Hong Kong parents with high quality, science-based products, various parenting information and professional advice, gaining trust and support from parents.

Mead Johnson Nutrition's scientists and healthcare professionals are paying affords on the formula for children with special nutrition needs and Mead Johnson Nutrition is a very few brands that insists to produce the formula for metabolic disorders' children, giving hopes to them.

For more information visit http://www.meadjohnson.com.hk/

About Reckitt

Reckitt* exists to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. We believe that access to the highest-quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment is a right, not a privilege.

Reckitt is the company behind some of the world's most recognisable and trusted consumer brands in hygiene, health and nutrition, including Air Wick, Calgon, Cillit Bang, Clearasil, Dettol, Durex, Enfamil, Finish, Gaviscon, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Mucinex, Nurofen, Nutramigen, Strepsils, Vanish, Veet, Woolite and more.

Every day, more than 20 million Reckitt products are bought globally. We always put consumers and people first, seek out new opportunities, strive for excellence in all that we do and build shared success with all our partners. We aim to do the right thing, always.

We are a diverse global team of more than 43,000 colleagues. We draw on our collective energy to meet our ambitions of purpose-led brands, a healthier planet and a fairer society.

Find out more, or get in touch with us at www.reckitt.com

*Reckitt is the trading name of the Reckitt Benckiser group of companies

About Hong Kong Television Network Limited

Hong Kong Television Network Limited is a Hong Kong-listed company (SEHK: 1137).

Established in 1992, the Group has extensive and successful experience in telecom market liberalization and popularizing advanced technology and applications.

The Company is now developing Hong Kong's largest 24-hour online shopping mall, HKTVmall, which provides one-stop shop services including online shopping, marketing & digital advertising, big data analysis, smart logistics & fulfilment as well as physical O2O stores, and to transform all business operation, trading, retail, finance and daily life onto a single digital online platform. For more information, visit www.hktv.com.hk.

About World Green Organisation

The World Green Organisation (WGO) is an independent non-governmental organisation concerned with environmental conservation and environmentally related livelihood and economic affairs. It provides a holistic approach to a fully integrated three-pronged solution that combines social, environmental and economic dimensions for a paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathways.

Through science-based policy research and community projects, the WGO aims to enhance the quality of the environment, promote a greener economy, and improve people's livelihoods. In particular, it will focus on the social concerns of underprivileged groups and on the creation of a green economy, to help realise its vision of sustainable development. For more information, visit www.thewgo.org/website/eng/.

African video game makers are breaking into the global industry with their own stories - Brand Spur
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spot_imgspot_img

Latest News

Mead Johnson Nutrition HK Launches “We CAN Protect the Future” – Formula Cans Recycling Program with HKTVmall and World Green Organisation

Enabling parents and children to build a greener world by taking their first steps in recycling formula cans

 

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 10 May 2021 - To encourage Hong Kong citizens to lead greener lives, Mead Johnson Nutrition Hong Kong ("Mead Johnson"), one of the brands under Reckitt Benckiser ("Reckitt"), officially launched its city-wide "We CAN Protect the Future" Formula Cans Recycling Program in early April. Created in partnership with 24-hour online shopping platform, HKTVmall under Hong Kong Television Network Limited ("HKTVmall") and the World Green Organisation ("WGO"), the program aims to raise awareness among the public on the importance of recycling and urge parents to safeguard the future of their children by taking immediate actions to protect the environment and be the role models of green living.


African video game makers are breaking into the global industry with their own stories - Brand Spur

According to a recent survey, only around 30% of interviewed parents would recycle the used formula cans in Hong Kong[1]. With collection points at 6 HKTVmall O2O Shops across the city, the Program offers consumers easy access to a reliable channel to recycle and transform their used formula cans into useful raw materials to reduce waste and protect our environment.

The Program accepts cleaned formula cans from all brands and rewards participating parents with HKTVmall e-vouchers that can be used for online purchase[2]. To ensure proper storage and transportation of all collected cans, all brand logos and brand names will be erased before a specialized delivery team transports the cans from HKTVmall O2O Shops to a local recycling plant. The cans will then be destructed and shipped to another facility for further processing. Molten metal will be recycled into raw metal materials for different purposes, such as for construction use.

"Reckitt is driven by its purpose, do the right things, always. Mead Johnson as one for the core brands of Reckitt also upholds this mission, it not only provides high-quality nutrition products, but has been working hand in hand with our consumers to safeguard the environment and nourish the best start in life for more than a century," said Mr. Pankaj Agarwal, Reckitt's General Manager Hong Kong, Taiwan & Cross-Border. "Through the partnership with HKTVmall and WGO to offer a convenient and reliable recycling channel, we hope to empower parents and their children to build recycling habits at an early stage, and hence create a cleaner, healthier world."

Ms. Jelly Zhou, Chief Executive Officer (Hong Kong) at Hong Kong Television Network Limited, added, "HKTVmall is committed to enhancing Hong Kong people's quality of life via innovative technologies. We also highly value social responsibility in promoting a culture of environmental protection and resource conservation. Through this partnership with Mead Johnson and WGO, it not only endows a value to the used items through reducing wastage and promote recycling awareness, but also spread the message of environmental protection to everyone. Let us make changes in our daily lives with everybody's joint efforts, encourage sustainable development for Hong Kong and all over the world." HKTVmall, as co-organiser of the Program, shares their store networks to facilitate the mechanism of the recycling process. It helps mobilizing Hong Kong citizens to join the program in different areas simultaneously and promoting recycling in the city.

WGO acts as the supporting organisation to provide professional advice on improving the overall can recycling experience in this Program. "WGO is pleased to drive the formula cans recycling programme with Mead Johnson and HKTVmall" said Dr. William Yu, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of World Green Organisation. "We look forward to seeing different stakeholders in society, including manufacturers, retailers and the public to join hands and promote recycling, and facilitating a green future for our next generation."

The "We CAN Protect the Future" Formula Can Recycling Programme runs every Monday and Wednesday, from now until 30th June 2021.

For more details, please visit: https://cloud.marketing.hktvmall.com/canrecycle2021


[1] Baby Kingdom Online Survey on formula can recycling habits (2019)

[2] From 7th April to 30th June, participants can redeem an e-voucher (HKTVmall HK$50 Dettol Product or HK$200 Mead Johnson Nutrition Selected Product) for every successful return of a cleaned formula can, up to four e-vouchers per day. Distribution of e-vouchers may vary depending on availability at different shops. E-vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis while stocks last and check with the on-duty staff for details on collection day. Offers are subject to Terms and Conditions and can be found here: https://bit.ly/3mtsEJU

About Mead Johnson Nutrition

Mead Johnson Nutrition has been established in 1905. For more than a century, Mead Johnson Nutrition has led the way in developing safe, high-quality, innovative pediatric nutrition products, guided by the mission to nourish the world's children for the best start in life. The brand operates Mead Johnson Pediatric Nutrition Institutes worldwide. These centers connect Mead Johnson Nutrition's researchers to scientists and healthcare professionals around the world, putting the brand at the forefront of pediatric nutrition science.

Mead Johnson Nutrition (Hong Kong) Limited has been landed for a half century, providing Hong Kong parents with high quality, science-based products, various parenting information and professional advice, gaining trust and support from parents.

Mead Johnson Nutrition's scientists and healthcare professionals are paying affords on the formula for children with special nutrition needs and Mead Johnson Nutrition is a very few brands that insists to produce the formula for metabolic disorders' children, giving hopes to them.

For more information visit http://www.meadjohnson.com.hk/

About Reckitt

Reckitt* exists to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. We believe that access to the highest-quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment is a right, not a privilege.

Reckitt is the company behind some of the world's most recognisable and trusted consumer brands in hygiene, health and nutrition, including Air Wick, Calgon, Cillit Bang, Clearasil, Dettol, Durex, Enfamil, Finish, Gaviscon, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Mucinex, Nurofen, Nutramigen, Strepsils, Vanish, Veet, Woolite and more.

Every day, more than 20 million Reckitt products are bought globally. We always put consumers and people first, seek out new opportunities, strive for excellence in all that we do and build shared success with all our partners. We aim to do the right thing, always.

We are a diverse global team of more than 43,000 colleagues. We draw on our collective energy to meet our ambitions of purpose-led brands, a healthier planet and a fairer society.

Find out more, or get in touch with us at www.reckitt.com

*Reckitt is the trading name of the Reckitt Benckiser group of companies

About Hong Kong Television Network Limited

Hong Kong Television Network Limited is a Hong Kong-listed company (SEHK: 1137).

Established in 1992, the Group has extensive and successful experience in telecom market liberalization and popularizing advanced technology and applications.

The Company is now developing Hong Kong's largest 24-hour online shopping mall, HKTVmall, which provides one-stop shop services including online shopping, marketing & digital advertising, big data analysis, smart logistics & fulfilment as well as physical O2O stores, and to transform all business operation, trading, retail, finance and daily life onto a single digital online platform. For more information, visit www.hktv.com.hk.

About World Green Organisation

The World Green Organisation (WGO) is an independent non-governmental organisation concerned with environmental conservation and environmentally related livelihood and economic affairs. It provides a holistic approach to a fully integrated three-pronged solution that combines social, environmental and economic dimensions for a paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathways.

Through science-based policy research and community projects, the WGO aims to enhance the quality of the environment, promote a greener economy, and improve people's livelihoods. In particular, it will focus on the social concerns of underprivileged groups and on the creation of a green economy, to help realise its vision of sustainable development. For more information, visit www.thewgo.org/website/eng/.

African video game makers are breaking into the global industry with their own stories - Brand Spur
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