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African Mobile Gaming Entrepreneurs Giving Japan, Silicon Valley a Run for the Money

Hugo Obi, Maliyo Games

Lagos, Nigeria — Move over Japan. Move over Silicon Valley. Africans are making a bid to turn the continent into the new home of mobile gaming.

With more than 700 million mobile broadband subscribers across the continent, it’s little wonder a growing number of young entrepreneurs are jumping on the digital bandwagon and creating innovate, interactive content for their home market.

One such man is Nigerian Hugo Obi. Earlier this year he launched Maliyo, a gaming firm aimed at creating culturally relevant content that reflects the lives of average Nigerians.

“Nigeria is the largest country in the continent,” he said. “It has the fastest growing internet users, fastest growing mobile users and the shared nature of the Nigerian people is how they love to consume.

“They are very keen on new trends and new content. So there is an immense opportunity and you can already see that with loads of other young tech start ups.”

Obi took inspiration from the San Francisco-based company Zynga Games, which was founded in 2007. Its development of hugely popular games like Bubble Safari and Farmville introduced gaming to a new and even wider audience.

It also gave Obi the determination to tap into the market of around 44 million Nigerian internet users, by offering them a local gaming experience.

His firm now creates apps developed by Africans, for the African market, which can be played through websites like Facebook or on mobile devices.

“Okada Ride” is just one of Maliyo’s browser games that has a local narrative, in which the player weaves in and out of Nigeria’s pot-holed roads, avoiding oncoming traffic…

Read more: CNN


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