In recent years, Nigeria has witnessed a surge in its game development landscape, showcasing a remarkable fusion of cultural richness and technological innovation.
From studios putting out narratives deep in African heritage to developers crafting engaging experiences for diverse audiences, the country’s game development industry is emerging as a vibrant hub of creativity.
In this article, we will explore the top four game development studios in Nigeria/Africa.
Maliyo Games was founded in 2012 by Hugo Obi after spending the early years of his career in the financial services sector in both Europe and Asia.
The game development studio is widely known for developing locally inspired games that are rich in African culture and are very relatable.
Maliyo Games focuses on crafting games that authentically reflect the African culture, tradition, and everyday life mixed with good storytelling.
From “Okada Ride”, a game that dwells on the exploration of navigating the chaotic but exciting motorcycle rides in Nigerian cities, to “Aboki Run” a game centered on bustling markets, Maliyo Games has consistently infused local experiences into their games, innovating the gaming scene in Nigeria.
Their games are available on mobile and tablets and are poised to reach a wide audience both locally and internationally. Their commitment to representing African stories through gaming has not only garnered attention within the continent but has also sparked interest globally, contributing to the studio’s recognition as a significant player in the African gaming industry.
In 2015, Maliyo Games was honored with the “Best Entertainment & Media” Award at the AppsAfrica Innovation Awards. This recognition celebrated their innovative approach to developing games that showcased African culture and entertainment, highlighting their significant impact within the industry.
Recently, an initiative by Maliyo Games “The African Games Industry Award” was also awarded by Games Industry Awards Africa as the “Industry Initiative of The Year”.
Deluxe Creation Studios
Deluxe Creation Studios is a Lagos-based media and entertainment company focused on creating and developing premium animation with engaging narratives, media solutions, and thrilling game titles.
The game studio started out in 2014 as a one-man company by Edushola, the founder and team lead. Deluxe creation creates games that tell African stories through engaging narratives and captivating visuals.
The most popular game created by the studio is Chike, released in 2017 although it had issues with downloads, the next game that was released was called Stickman, based on the popular stickman trend and it was released in series with the first being Stickman- Save Your World.
They have about 15 games including Chike-SkyRaider, Stickman Defend, Stickman Fight Badlandz, and Ragdoll Sandbox Playground in their portfolio, games which have been installed over 50 thousand times.
Most of their games develop from popular trends in Nigeria. In an interview with Talku Talku Magazine, Edu Shola, the founder talked about focusing on building interactive and fun games in the future and had begun working with David Kimekwe on the Urban Fury Project.
Another project currently in progress is Chike Lost in Metaverse, a 3D platform set in the metaverse and an offshoot of Adventures of Chike.”
Dimension 11 studios
Dimension 11 Studios, headquartered in Lagos Nigeria began officially in 2021 with a goal to accelerate 3D media and game development in Africa by adapting the latest in game-development technologies.
Like most other African studios they are known for titles that incorporate African mythology, history, or cultural elements into gameplay and storytelling often aimed to provide players with a fresh perspective and an immersive experience rooted in African themes.
The CEO Ewere Ekpenisi-Igumbor and CTO David Olamide are both passionate game developers with 4 years experience in the gaming industry.
In 2022, Dimension 11 Studios unveiled ‘Legends of Orisha: Blood and Water,’ a captivating Yoruba-inspired Action-Adventure RPG crafted on the Unreal Game Engine. Their groundbreaking game recently clinched a partnership with Microsoft ID@Xbox.
With offices in Lagos and Ile-Ife in Nigeria, as well as in Dubai, UAE, Dimension 11 Studios is fervently pursuing global partnerships while committed to delivering exceptional entertainment and top-tier gaming experiences to enthusiasts worldwide.
Established in March 2022, Dash Studios swiftly made their mark by launching ‘NOUNS’ in March 2023, available for download on iOS and the Google Play store.
If you’ve ever enjoyed the classic ‘Name, Animal, Place, and Thing’ column game, NOUNS will feel like a familiar delight. The game soared to success, garnering praise from players in Nigeria and across borders.
Focused on crafting engaging experiences for PC, Mobile, and Consoles, Dash Studios is committed to addressing the persistent challenges encountered by African game developers. They aim to achieve this through mentorship programs, funding initiatives, and offering publishing opportunities to aspiring developers, fostering the creation of world-class games capable of competing on a global scale.
Among Dash Studios’ eagerly anticipated upcoming projects are ‘Nouns Attack’ and ‘Nouns: The Hunt.’
In a continent brimming with creativity and innovation, these four game development studios stand tall, showcasing Africa’s prowess in the gaming industry.
From captivating narratives to cutting-edge technology, each studio brings a unique flair to the gaming landscape. As Africa continues to carve its place in the global gaming scene, these studios are at the forefront, promising more groundbreaking titles and contributions that captivate audiences worldwide.
Stay tuned as they continue to redefine the gaming narrative, bridging cultures and pushing boundaries in the ever-evolving world of gaming.