Local stats on South Africa’s gaming industry


The South African branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently published their analysis of the local entertainment industry. The stats (which are split across various entertainment formats like TV, radio, film, music and video games) provide an overview of South Africa’s numerous industries over the last five years up to the end of 2012. It also forecasts the projected growth and decline of various industries by 2017.

There is an 18 page chapter on South Africa’s gaming scene and it makes for some interesting reading. If you want to take a gander at the entire chapter then you can find a link after the jump. We have, however, picked out some of the more interesting bits of information.

Our local gaming scene generated R2.2 billion in 2012, and PwC reckons that by 2017 gaming in South Africa will be worth R3.3 billion. The market is divided into various sectors that all contribute to this final figure: console gaming, PC gaming, online gaming, mobile gaming and games advertising.

Console gaming is the biggest market in South Africa, with mobile gaming coming in at a close second. The console gaming market (made up of current generation and previous generation hardware) generated R919 million in 2012; mobile gaming (i.e. gaming on cell phones and tablets) generated R694 million is 2012.

PC gaming is languishing in third place and PwC projects that by 2017, the PC gaming market will contribute about 11% to South Africa’s total gaming scene. In 2012, the PC market generated R394 million. It is, according to PwC, largely thanks to piracy that the local PC market is diminishing. However, it’s worth noting that South Africa’s PC market is currently larger than the global average; PC gaming accounts for 18% of our local marker, whereas it accounts for 11% of the global average.

Out mobile gaming market is set to increase over the coming years, which is completely opposite to global trends. By 2017, mobile gaming will account for 39% of South Africa’s gaming revenue, whereas the global average is expected to be 8% by that stage. This PwC attributes to the massive smart phone penetration in our local market; while gaming consoles and gaming PCs remain expensive, smart phones are much easier for the average South African to get hold of.

As can be expected, South Africa’s poor broadband offering is holding back online gaming as digital distribution methods. With only 1.3 million broadband subscribers in South Africa, it’s not surprising that physical retail copies are vastly outselling digital versions across PC and console. PwC does project that by 2017, digital distribution methods will account for 50% of sales on PC.

The entire chapter on gaming can be found here.

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers