Video games are a luxury that many people can not afford, though it may not seem like it has given their ever-growing presence in countries like the United States. Yet the companies that produce these games are also limited to making them in thriving economic areas, so African video game development has been almost unheard of. That was until Madiba Guillaume Olivier co-founded Kiro’s Games, Cameroon’s first ever game studio based in the country, and one of only a handful across the world to produce an African-themed mythical video game. In an interview with
In an interview with qz.com (Quartz), he shared his journey and the struggles of developing a game in the country. Olivier grew up fixated on playing games, established as a result of his father owning a video game store. He detailed his hope of moving from Cameroon to Europe or the United States to pursue his passion for video games but eventually settled on creating it in his home country, following support from co-workers and fans.
He detailed his hope of moving from Cameroon to Europe or the United States to pursue his passion for video games but eventually settled on creating it in his home country, following support from co-workers and fans.
“We started to think about the fact that we can make our own studio here and sell games abroad,” Olivier said of the company’s beginnings. “We decided that we must bring something unique to the table.”
The company, which he started with a group of friends while studying computer science at the University of Yaoundé, released its first product titled Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan in April 2016 on Steam, following years of work. Kiro’s Games has since hired 18 more artists and programmers, with the goal of creating other innovative products in the future (comic, cartoons and films) all based around the country’s culture.
While they are the most mainstream, Kiro’s Games isn’t the only studio that has been making games out of Africa. Over the last decade, game development studios have emerged in Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.
It’s an exciting time in the video game industry, as products begin to grow to include culturally unique and significant themes based around the companies that are producing them. For more information on Kiro’o Games, head over to their website and check out Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan on Steam.