Mobile Phone Games: Developed in Africa for Africa
Companies developing games for mobile phones are springing up in East Africa. Although the mobile gaming market there is growing, financial returns are still small. But the developers aren’t easily discouraged.
On the display of 11-year-old Kanini’s mobile phone, a matatu – one of those notorious Kenyan share taxis – is roaring along a straight road. The yellow-striped minibus passes a stop sign and more cash is clocked up on the taxi meter. “Cool” says Kanini. “You have to dodge all the other road users – trucks, motorbikes, old cars.” Then, all of sudden, another minibus appears, a black one. The game ends – in a crash!
The mobile game is Ma3 Racer. “Matatus here in Nairobi drive like maniacs anyway,” said Mwaura Kikore who had the idea for it. Kikore is one of the co-founders of Planet Rackus, the company that developed Kenya’s first gaming apps.