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A local perspective on the state of the Kenyan game industry

July 11, 2014 | By Alex Wawro




Global game industry watchers, take note: Polygon reports that Africa-focused media company Smart Monkey TV has published a brief video this week featuring edited interviews with three Kenyan game enthusiasts speaking their mind about the state of the local game industry.

"We want to make the gaming industry a huge thing here, just like football is," said interviewee James Karanu. "And also bring the big companies like Microsoft...to maybe set up stage here."

While most of the video is devoted to addressing the concerns of local game enthusiasts seeking to grow their community, it's worth watching in full in order to get a better perspective on the game-playing habits of a region we rarely report on. Piracy, for example, seems common and accepted.

"I borrow games from friends; they usually pirate the games," said Gatehi Mwaniki. "Not many people buy games in Kenya, because they're way too expensive."

Mwaniki claimed that games which cost $60 in North America often retail for the equivalent of $90 in Kenya. He went on to place the lion's share of the blame for these inflated prices on the markets of Kenya, rather than on game companies.

We've taken the liberty of embedding the video above, and you can check out the rest of Smart Monkey's videos on their YouTube channel. Smart Monkey TV bills itself as "a specialist TV channel" focused on producing short video interviews addressing prominent tech and cultural issues in and around Africa.


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