Capital FM (Nairobi)

2 August 2012

Africa: Digital Games Made in Nigeria for Africa

For quite some time, there has been a simmering discontent in Africa about lack of local digital content.

Some start-ups and established media entities have dipped their feet in local content but few are willing to venture outside of traditional media. But a Nigerian gaming start-up is taking digital content a notch higher.

Maliyo Games is very clear about its vision - enshrined in its motto "Games out of Africa." Launched in May 2012, Maliyo is build around the philosophy of games for Africans by Africans.

Hugo Obi, the co-founder of Maliyo, believed reaching critical mass should be an easy feat for the gaming startup.

"We want to be as diverse as possible with our titles, we'd like to see different cultures and attitudes and lifestyles emerge from our games. We want our games to be owned by all Africans, not just Nigerians. We plan for our team to demonstrate that cultural diversity."

The start-up creates casual mobile and browser games to share experiences of everyday Africans with a global audience.

Maliyo has already released six introductory titles including; Okada Ride - based on a boda boda driver who has to avoid potholes and maneuver through the hectic Lagos traffic. In 'Kidnapped', gamers attack kidnappers while at the same time protecting the hostage. 'Class Fight' is a kind of a shooting game but only set in African classroom setting where the ammunition is paper balls.

"We want to be as diverse as possible with our title, we'd like to see different cultures, attitudes and lifestyles emerge from our games. We want our games to be owned by all Africans, not just Nigerians. We plan for our team to demonstrate that cultural diversity," says Obi.

As evidence of their global outlook, Maliyo currently operates with 15 staff working remotely across 5 continents.

Maliyo's latest game is Mosquito smasher with more set to be released later in the year.

With global gaming revenue expected to hit $82 billion and Africa's engagement on the mobile platform rising, Maliyo hopes to cash in on the opportunity.

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