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Microsoft unveils Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Africa

Wael Elkabbany, strategic initiatives lead for Microsoft CEMA.
Wael Elkabbany, strategic initiatives lead for Microsoft CEMA.

Microsoft, through its Africa Transformation Office (ATO), today announced details of its planned Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Africa.

The company says its two-day conference will recognise and celebrate game creators from across the continent, and will run from 15-16 July, 2023.

Microsoft has opened applications, saying that in order to participate, individuals must be of legal age, reside in any country on the African continent and be studying or working part- or full-time in the field of software development, visual arts, 3D, music and audio, web design, narrative design, or professional project management.

According to Microsoft, Game Camp is an initiative that unifies various Xbox initiatives under one umbrella to empower game developers.

“While the camp, including presentations, panels, and workshops, is available online for all registered campers, Game Camp will host four in-person locations for campers during the two days in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi. These sites will offer viewing parties, on-site panel sessions and opportunities to meet with Microsoft and Xbox personnel,” said the company.

Now in its second year, and fifth event, the Xbox Game Studios Game Camp programme aims to empower creators across the world to realise their potential in the gaming industry through unique learning experiences from industry leaders.

“Through the inaugural Xbox Game Studios Camp Africa, in collaboration with Microsoft’s ATO, we have an opportunity to continue to deepen our relationships with talented developers in the region and help African games studios realise their vision and role in the global gaming industry,” said Phil Spencer, CEO, gaming at Microsoft.

The Microsoft Game Camp comes at a time the gaming industry is set to grow exponentially across the continent, as more people get connected to the internet.

A report commissioned by Newzoo shows that the number of Sub-Saharan gamers has more than doubled in the last five years and the region is projected to be the fastest-growing globally. 

The State of the African Games Industry 2022 finds that South Africa has the highest saturation of gamers, with 24 million gamers, from a population of 59 million (40%). In Ghana, 27% of people play games; 23% in Nigeria; 22% in Kenya; and 13% in Ethiopia.

“At Microsoft, we are excited to enable African game developers and creators to build faster through access to tools and resources, and to help their games be discovered by players in Africa and around the world. We want to grow strong roots in this significant market for gaming and game development,” said Wael Elkabbany, strategic initiatives lead for Microsoft CEMA.

Elkabbany added: “The ATO and Xbox personnel will also combine efforts to identify game studios to invest in through our start-ups acceleration programme and venture capital investment partners. I’m looking forward to seeing what innovative concepts this Game Camp produces.”

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