Like the big brother it is, Sony has shifted its weight to boldly support Africa’s video game industry. The Japanese electronics giant has invested into Carry1st, a Cape Town-based video game studio in South Africa, through the Sony Innovation Fund venture arm.
Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO and co-founder of Carry1st, said talks with Sony Innovation Fund began about nine months ago. He revealed that his pitch to the Japanese company was that Africa is the next big market to find growth in video games.
“As large companies like Sony that have really strong footholds in tier-one and tier-two markets start thinking about where the next billion customers and gamers are going to come from, our pitch is that Africa is a prime market for that. We believe very firmly that there is an incredibly underrated console opportunity in Africa.”
Robbin-Coker pointed out that console adoption is rising a lot in countries like Nigeria, Algeria and Morocco. “Many gamers in Africa are buying consoles on ‘gray’ markets in other words, from vendors who’ve imported consoles from overseas to resell them locally.” He believes Carry1st’s partnership with Sony will help the games and entertainment giant expand PlayStation’s footprint in Africa. Robbin-Coker hopes Carry1st, renowned for mobile games like SpongeBob Krusty Cook-Off; and Mancala Adventures, can help Sony to expand their reach of PlayStation in the region and support them in a range of ways, like broader go-to-market strategies and digital payments.
He said Carry1st, an early-stage startup, could also take advantage of the changing console business model, where sales have evolved from in-store payments for physical consoles and games to a more online experience. This is led by digital downloads, free-to-play games, and in-app purchases.