South African game developers are showing the gaming industry how it’s done

There’s no doubt about it: “Game developer” is one of the coolest job titles ever.

There are now hundreds of South Africans wearing that job title (196 full-time, and 284 part-time, according to a recent survey by Make Games South Africa) and making their mark in an industry that’s growing faster than you can say “Nintendo”. After all, the South African video games market alone was worth a whopping R2.1 billion back in 2012 – with expected figures for 2014 to be around R2.5 billion**. Clearly, the geek community is taking over the world.

Your average software developer is so much more than a computer geek in a graphic T-shirt and Converse sneakers. He (or she) is the creator of games that sell to the tune of hundreds of thousands of rands world-wide. Consider that back in 2011, South African consumers spent R1.3 billion on gaming, which means that the gaming sector is fast becoming the investor’s paradise.

Recently, Make Games South Africa (MGSA), a local gaming industry organisation, released their SA Games Industry Survey 2013 results. The survey shows that there are 32 gaming studios developing games or doing contract work on games three of which are located in Durban, 14 in Gauteng, and 15 in the Cape. Seven of the studios have been in existence for more than five years, while 10 of these studios focus their time fully on developing their own games. Also interesting to note is the demographics of these studios – 86% white male; 7% women; 2.5% black; 1.5% coloured; and 2% Indian/Asian.

The survey also revealed that total revenue generation for 2013 was R30 million, with nine of the studios generating over a million rand in revenue each, while 12 of the studios made a profit in 2013. Games that released this year (Desktop Dungeons, Broforce, Pixel Boy) have not been fully realised in these figures, so it is expected that 2014’s survey results should look even more positive.

The exciting news is that some of these developers – the best of SA’s best – will be at this year’s rAge Expo.

In fact, they’ll be at the home_coded stand, which is being sponsored this year by Learn 3D and Celestial. Home_coded is an initiative that was started by NAG Magazine in November 2012 in an aim to showcase the very best in South African game development talent, and promote local growth in this exciting industry. So not only can you meet the local devs and interview them, but you’ll be able to play all their latest games that are still in development.

If you’ve been dreaming of a career in gaming, then the NAG home_coded stand is where you’ll also find all the info on courses offered by Learn 3D, a local 3D animation and game development college.

Whatever you do, don’t miss rAge this year, from 10 – 12 October 2014 at The Dome in Northgate Johannesburg.

** Price Waterhouse Coopers, Entertainment and Media Outlook 2013-2017 (

Dates: 10 October [Friday] – 12 October [Sunday] 2014
Show times: Friday: 10:00 – 18:00 | Saturday: 09:00 – 18:00 | Sunday: 10:00 – 16:00
Day ticket: R80 per person
Weekend ticket: R150 per person
Kids under 6: Free
Venue: The Dome, Northgate

#Home_CODED competition is up and running, please see the links below:

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South African game developers are showing the gaming industry how it’s done