E-sports real sports in Title Olympic events is in the straight line of a paradigm shift where sweat is not the result of traditional sports but spent hundreds of hours to face opponents on the same screen or interposed screens. The video game industry generates a lot more money than the movies industry with major studios and blockbusters. Regarding revenues of eSports the audit firm Deloitte estimates that it will generate 500 million dollars in 2016 (an increase of 25% compared to 2015). There are also stars like Yoann Merlo, Matthew Haag, and since this year its own Olympics whose first edition will take place in Rio in partnership with the IOC. We applauded the sprinters, distance runners and now gamers are defending their colors like fully fledged sports. But what about the rest of the world and Africa in particular? Regarding the latter, Dakar hosted the 2016 edition of the Africa Game camp July 14 to 17. An event over three days dedicated to gaming that has alternated between competitions, workshops, and studios.
This event dedicated to gaming in more than ten countries has been thought, conceived and developed by Bacely yorobi Kofi Sika Latzoo and Farid Arab. This initiative was accompanied by the Goethe Institute in Senegal after Kofi Sika Latzoo came to Ethiopia last year, where he met the director of the Goethe Institute Norbert Spitz Africa who was interested in promoting the video game in Africa. It, therefore, seemed necessary to meet these three players to learn more about the Game Camp and gaming in Africa. That’s Kofi Sika Latzoo who has played the game of the interview on behalf of the three representatives.
1) I would like the instigator of this senegalese edition I have in front of me introduce himself and tell me more about the Game camp.
I am Kofi Creative Director, also a consultant in communication design at the moment for the Chamber of Mines of Senegal (cmdsenegal.com). I am also responsible for the innovation program of the NASA in Dakar on the recommendation of Deborah Diaz, NASA Chief Technology Officer for IT (Spaceappschallenge.org). Also called the Space Apps Challenge, it’s the official and public hackathon of NASA. I use my passion for the game from the perspective of a sustainable ecosystem on the creative industries in Africa through my creative position as strategist and co-founder of Gamecamp. I am also president and founder of the Senegalese chapter IGDA representing the International Association of game developers (IGDA.org) which were founded three years ago.
The Game Gamp is an event bit based on technological event called BarCamp (an informal meeting of people in participatory workshops around the same theme. Here everyone is an actor) but here dedicated to videogames. This event was initiated in Ivory Coast by Bacely Yorobi (the other co-founder of game camp with Farid Arab). Over the years, the event has been enriched with different profiles with the ability to develop and enrich each edition on the theme of the video game in Africa. Living in Senegal since the beginnings, I voluntarily contributed to the development of the Game Camp by organizing 30 events on video games since 2008. The Gamecamp got structured over time, developed a business model, its geographic ecosystem and became open license. This allowed other leaders in the field, other countries quickly design an attractive event, entertaining, educational and community. I will take Farid Arab as an example. Co-founder of Game camp, he’s now a key figure in the world of ICTs and entrepreneurship in the Maghreb. I can also include Moussa Camara, our lead engineer fiber to Guinea Conakry that you can discover in Forbes Magazine Edition Africa in November 2015.
Today we are present in more than ten countries, which is not a source of light but more of an enormous stress! We went in less than three years from 12 to 10,000 participants in 10 countries for twenty events per year on average. The most difficult part is to train talents and to be always at the forefront of innovation while maintaining a sustainable business model. The Game Camp find its originality and flexibility in its event content structure: Conferences on the video game industry, e-sports competitions, “codeathons” and training workshops to development tools.
2) How does this Senegal edition differ from previous?
Senegal’s Edition is the version Game camp organized during the summer in general, and can take place over three days and more. Youth is normally on holiday and expect entertaining content, but also educational to explore a group of friends or individually. Some firsts marked this edition: a demonstration of NVIDIA SHIELD was made, the first TV Box Android TV for viewing and decoding 4K. This box features the powerful graphics chip Nvidia Tegra X1 to 256 cores. This was the first in Africa and Senegal.
Moreover, we proposed the first workshop on creation and exploration of open source content with Google Cardboard virtual reality. A workshop on the design canvas Game, Duplo’s business model canvas animated by Professor Yves Afoutou engineer, a lead of the Game Senegal camp, a first in Senegal also. Finally, training on Unity (development and rendering engine of global gaming leader behind the success of Pokemon GO) was provided by the Togolese Game Designer Dadja Bassou. Also note the presence of Orange who deployed 4G in Senegal. To sum it up, our collaboration with the German cultural center Dakar, the Goethe Institute was very successful, because it must be noted that Germany is e-sports leading country in Europe and is considered as the 5th World Economy video game.
Live Demonstration of NVIDIA Shield
3) The video game market is greater than all the entertainment industries, do you think that Africa can be an affirmed actress this market?
Yes, of course in recent years there are plenty of examples from the Cameroonian studio Kiroo games (www.kiroogames.com) to Tunisian Digital Mania Studio (http://digitalmaniastudio.com/) includes the South African studio freelives (http://www.freelives.net/) wich develop Broforce (the gaming license belonging movie marks the Expendables Sylvester Stallone). We total ten studios with monetizing products on the continent and abroad thanks to Android and iOS platform, eSports scene evolving with still 10 African economies wich are in the top 100 income countries consumption on the video game.
The WESG (World Electronics Sports Games) initiated by Alisports sports division of Alibaba e-commerce giant have regional qualifications for Africa and the Middle East this year, and this is a novelty in the world of Esport.
4) What disparities between African countries have you observed about gaming and its industry?
A relevant question, culture radically affects the use, creativity, perception of the other in general and consumption of entertainment. Africa is divided into four large behavioral blocks: North Africa’s Arabic, West Africa’s Francophone, East Africa’s Anglophone and the area of the country in South Africa completely influenced by the South Africa and its western footprint. The Game Camp aims to do just one block or to interconnect different regions, different communities of developers and players to generate an autonomous production machine that has the ability to export when you know for example that in France we have 4000 jobs in the video game industry for 70 percent of export and as the United States the average player age is 37 years.
5) In 2017 the proceeds of CAN gaming, what the competition does will impact market developments and the African industry concerning gaming?
To understand a trend in the industry, it must be visible, understandable and financially viable. At a time when electronic sports is a phenomenon with over 1.8 billion players worldwide and 115 million practice e-sport. 40 percent of this audience do not play … But watch matches of eSports as a football game. This decrease in perception of sport and eSports can only be reduced bringing an unexpected innovation. It went from a funny activity to a real media wich already weighs 1 billion dollars. The highest price of an eSports tournament revolves around more than 18 million dollars. The impact on the gaming industry in Africa is inevitable for the one point that the eSports or “competitive gaming” is a segment of the video game industry.
6) What are the strengths of the African continent in this type of competition, including preparation?
Youth is the principal strenght of Africa because a pro eSports player, has averaged between 15 and 25 years. A passion for sport which is illustrated by a passion for football that will facilitate the transition to acceptance of eSports in Africa. Brands wich invest in this sector have been present in Africa for a long time : Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Nissan, Hisense, Orange, Beinsport, Mountain Dew. The last geographic border ecosystem of esports.
7) Bets: according to you and without chauvinism: who will win the Can and wich African teams are favorites for the next World Cup eSports?
If the focus is on the experience of South Africa, favorite teams who have good experience in sports Electronics to compete internationally belong to countries like Algeria, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Uganda
8) What does this photo inspire you?
Mobility is the future of gaming; the segment wich is the fastest growing industry in recent years; is the mobile video game. Through streaming platforms like mobile games as twitch start receiving impressive audiences at launch thanks to features multiplayer and instant streaming, erasing borders and launch marketing efforts. View mobile spotlight https://www.twitch.tv/year/2015