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Why your next million players are in MEA and Turkey, and how to access them

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Why your next million players are in MEA and Turkey, and how to access them
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Onur Ergüney – Vice President Global Partnership – Gaming & E-Sport, TPAY MOBILE

COVID 19 has been the catalyst for the biggest transformation to people’s lives in recent history. Little else has brought on such seismic shifts in the way people work, play, communicate and live, since the creation of smartphones themselves.

The fourth industrial revolution has arrived faster than anyone could have predicted, especially in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Turkey. This combined region has a population of over 1.6 billion people, a fast-expanding middle class, and, through the power of mobile technology, is more connected than ever.

A long-standing barrier for scaled-up mobile games distribution in the region – the lack of access to banking infrastructure for subscriptions and the purchasing of games and in-app-purchases (IAPs) – is falling fast. By 2025, 834 million people across MEA will be mobile internet users, and through direct carrier billing (DCB) technology and eMoney wallets, they will have the freedom to spend on gaming like never before.

Untapped opportunity

A relatively untapped marketplace of a billion+ potential players is powering up and set to flip your revenue forecasts upside down if you play your cards right. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for instance, the games industry is currently valued at $4.5 billion according to Frost & Sullivan. That may be just 4% of the global total, but, it is the world’s fastest-growing region, with a year-on-year growth rate of 25%. On a grander scale, MENA makes up 80% of this growth whilst the other 20% is amassed in Sub Saharan Africa. According to one prediction from GSMA, the region will count for 709 million individual SIM connections by 2025.

In other words, Mobile is everything across the MEA and Turkey, and this should be explored as your next frontier of growth. However, you need to know how to access it.

Access is key, and access is different

Accessing these new markets isn’t simply a case of re-branding what has worked in the past. Your games may well be attractive in these new markets but the systems and processes that power them, and importantly, monetise them, won’t be the same. There are different rules and regulations for advertising, for example, and variations on what purchases or transactions do and don’t constitute gambling. Direct debits for app stores or card payments for IAPs are not common practice in these territories. Across the 20+ countries that make up MEA and Turkey, there is a rich tapestry of cultural differences that result in different ways of purchasing digital goods like games.

Establish partnerships to access these players

To turn your players into payers, the best advice I can give is to establish strategic partnerships – find experts on the ground that can work with you. You are no longer just a games publisher, with your partner network you become a FinTech, a games publisher, a games developer and even an evangelist for a new world of mobile gaming. Ecosystems are everything.

The global language is APIs, not Esperanto

Each territory has its quirks and opportunities, and only by having knowledgeable inside help will you be able to truly navigate the differences in approaching sales and distributions of your titles. Understanding the common services in territories is key for traction, an example being that the Middle East has widely adopted DCB (Direct Carrier Billing) for mobile payments and subscriptions in recent years, whereas mobile wallets are the transaction tool of choice in Subsaharan Africa.

Games developers want simple integrations that cover the back-end systems. If you find the team that can provide that, they will keep up with evolving regulations in new territories, keeping your games online. This allows you to do what you do best: making high quality, desirable games.

Games publishers expect great user flows. What makes games more interesting than other e-commerce platforms is that they are live systems. The user makes purchase decisions in real-time, while remaining within the game. This is also what creates complexity when it comes to transactions, but there is an answer. The key is to integrate a seamless payment flow within the game, minimising player disruption.

Find an ecosystem that works across borders. One thing that is global is the API. If you want to successfully break into these emerging markets, you need to build a partnership network that understands the intricacies of these technologies.

Should you wait?

Simply put, no.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing market of all for mobile-penetration, it would be an oversight to not properly explore the MEA and Turkey as a key element of future games monetisation for the future.

MEA and Turkey host a relatively untapped market for games publishing and eSports monetisation, not to mention a fast-growing pool of local influencers – now is the time to make inroads into the gaming sector in such markets. It has been said that the early bird catches the worm – this wisdom is just as true today.

The previously non-existent infrastructure required to sell and monetise mobile games has been replaced. Suddenly, the opportunity is there for the taking. Venture into these new territories, and the partnerships you form now will help grow your company and its market share exponentially, by creating opportunities to engage new gamers. Whilst boosting your business into the next 50 years, you have an opportunity to entertain many millions of people who are fast to become your next loyal, player base.

Africa

Kiron Interactive Secures South African Growth with SuperSportBet Deal

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Kiron Interactive, a leading provider of virtual sports and numbers games, is strengthening its presence in South Africa after partnering with SuperSportBet, a new operator in the market.

SuperSportBet’s customers can now access and enjoy a comprehensive selection of cutting-edge virtual sports titles with the current offerings including football, horse racing, motor racing and jump racing.

A prominent South Africa-based brand, SuperSport provides televised sports content across a number of countries on the continent. Its recently-launched sportsbook brings unparalleled authority and trust to the market with Kiron Interactive’s products set to enrich its content offering and entertain the region’s players.

SuperSportBet’s customers can now enjoy the experience of betting on live sports events 24/7 with Kiron Interactive’s award-winning portfolio of virtual sports and number games. Players can place multiple bets on a variety of virtual fixtures modelled after real sports contests with familiar betting markets and modes such as in-play wagering.

The packed event schedule is a key feature with new events every two minutes. This constant stream of virtual matchups captures the thrill and real-time excitement of sports betting, giving players regular opportunities to try their luck.

This partnership marks another exciting development for Kiron Interactive, strengthening its market position in its home territory with a widely trusted brand and securing further growth on the road ahead.

“We are thrilled to partner with SuperSportBet to bring our cutting-edge virtual sports to its new sportsbook offering in South Africa,” the Co-Chief Executive Officer for Kiron Interactive, Steven Spartinos, said. “As a household name in African sports broadcasting, SuperSport brings unrivalled authenticity that will give players full confidence in the realism of our games.

“This deal is a tremendous vote of trust in our products from such a leader in African sports media. We look forward to SuperSportBet’s customers enjoying the 24/7 excitement of our virtual events and continuing to strengthen Kiron Interactive’s leadership in our home market of South Africa into the future.”

“We are excited to enrich our sportsbook with Kiron Interactive’s hugely popular virtual sports games,” the Interim General Manager for SuperSportBet, Marco Coetzee, said. “Its content’s realism will allow our customers to enjoy betting on virtual fixtures modelled after real sports contests at any time. The array of matches available offers exactly what players are looking for to complement their enjoyment of traditional live betting.

“To align with the values of our leading brand, authenticity is key for our new betting product. Kiron Interactive’s cutting-edge virtual sports will wow our customers with their attention to detail and quality. This partnership fits perfectly with our goal of bringing an authoritative and trusted sports betting experience to markets across Africa.”

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Africa

SoftGamings to Attend SiGMA Africa for the Second Time

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SoftGamings is set to participate in the highly anticipated second edition of SiGMA Africa. Taking place in  Cape Town, South Africa, this event marks a significant moment for an industry on the cusp of exponential growth driven by a rise in jurisdictions with legal casinos and sports betting across Africa.  

SiGMA Africa focuses on frontier technologies in gaming, including mobile gaming, sports betting, blockchain, and other pivotal advancements. By bringing together the brightest minds in gaming for three days of intensive networking, panels, workshops, and awards, the event will undoubtedly usher in a new era of iGaming on the continent, and SoftGamings will be right there to share in the glory.

The company’s representatives will showcase a comprehensive suite of solutions at stand 40ST, which includes an impressive aggregation of over 10,000 games from more than 250 esteemed providers, cutting-edge sportsbook offerings, and a range of services designed to enhance operator agility, safety, and profitability. 

SoftGamings Crypto Casino platform is a bright example of what African operators are after. It comes with integrated games, multi-currency systems, loyalty and bonus programs, and cross-platform compatibility, so the platform is perfectly optimised for mobile users that dominate African markets.  

Anna Kiselova, Head of Partnerships at SoftGamings, expressed her enthusiasm about the upcoming event: “SiGMA Africa 2.0 is a perfect gathering spot for industry leaders and, as such, a great opportunity to put our innovative solutions tailored for the African market on display. With the continent at the forefront of mobile gaming and blockchain technology, we’re excited to demonstrate how our products can help operators thrive and establish a strong foothold early on.”

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Africa

WA.Africa Market Expansion: WA.Technology’s Vision Unfolds at SiGMA Africa

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WA.Technology proudly confirms its attendance at the upcoming SiGMA Africa 2024 iGaming event. WA.Technology is enhancing its footprint across Africa via fresh iGaming experiences tailored for the African audience with its newly upgraded WA.Platform and African-specific WA.Africa omnichannel platform.

WA.Technology will present its full spectrum of B2B iGaming solutions at Booth 04S at the second edition of SiGMA Africa.

It takes place 11 – 13 March at the Sun Exhibits – GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa. Thousands of visitors can explore the latest trends in African iGaming and network over three days and enjoy insightful panels alongside the SiGMA Africa Awards.

Central to WA.Technology’s showcase will be the WA.Africa platform, specifically engineered to address the unique needs and preferences of the African market. WA.Africa emphasises omnichannel flexibility, seamlessly integrating mobile, retail, and online gaming experiences enhanced with AI-driven customisation and gamification powered by a knowledgeable regional team.

WA.Africa is part of a joint venture with respected African iGaming experts NE Group. NE Group has an established presence in Africa and has substantial expertise in creating successful platforms explicitly designed for the African market.

WA.Africa incorporates various versatile and captivating features to drive traffic for increased acquisition, engagement and retention while offering enjoyable tailored experiences for players, including:

  • Retail and online functions applied to land-based operations.
  • Mobile-first responsive design.
  • Data-driven BI reporting and dashboard tools.
  • Real-time performance tracking engine.
  • Certified live feed and odds feed integration.
  • Intelligent and flexible PAM.
  • Reactive CMS and CRM capabilities.
  • Auto and manual bonus management system.
  • Risk and trading management through Sportradar MTS
  • Wide range of adaptable betting features.
  • Automated KYC, fraud, and responsible gaming system.
  • Multi-affiliate system.

WA.Africa’s flexibility makes it ideal for operators looking to enter or expand within the region. Thanks to WA.Africa’s market specialists, the platform ensures operators can offer their customers a rich and engaging experience for African players and positions WA.Technology as a key player in the continent.

Visitors will also discover the updated WA.Platform, now more engaging and rewarding after significant enhancements. Highlighted at ICE London 2024, it introduces player-centric innovations such as a Casino AI tailored to individual behaviours, an AI-powered, localised CMS, and extensive customisation for brands and players. With improved back office support, advanced reporting, a versatile dashboard, a user-friendly site editor, upgraded security, and a contemporary design, WA.Platform ensures a personalised, secure, and immersive gaming experience for all users.

WA.Technology continuously seeks betterment, as demonstrated by new game options from WA.Fantasy and WA.Lottery – two of WA.Technology’s fastest-growing verticals – that proved popular hits at ICE London 2024 in an exciting fantasy and lottery free prize giveaway. Explore these innovative gaming solutions firsthand at SiGMA Africa Booth 04S.

At the recent SBC Summit Rio, poker enthusiasts enjoyed a unique, free-to-enter tournament hosted by WA.Technology that served as an ideal prelude to the Brazilian event.

WA.Technology’s fully optimised sports betting vertical WA.Sports will attract significant attention. WA.Sports provides an extensive range of betting options on global sports events, 500,000 pre-match and 360,000 live events,
complemented by the latest features such as live betting, cashout options, and tailored demographic marketing for African audiences.

Attendees can also learn more about WA.Casino, the ultimate end-to-end solution for launching a bespoke, feature-rich online casino that provides access to 6800+ games and 70+ top providers through a single API integration. Its complete customisation, rapid go-live capabilities, and extensive managed services ensure superior client satisfaction and player experience.

SiGMA Africa celebrates the continent’s immense growth potential and WA.Technology is eager to highlight its diverse range of unique, bespoke and client-centric products and services that meet the specific needs of African operators and players.

For more information about WA.Technology and its full spectrum of iGaming solutions, arrange to meet the team at Booth 04S during SiGMA Africa.

 

 

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