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Xbox Game Studios Game Camp comes to Africa

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 04 May 2023

Microsoft, through its Africa Transformation Office (ATO), today announced its planned Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Africa, a two-day conference to recognise and celebrate all game creators across more than 50 diverse countries and regions

The conference will run from 15 to 16 July, 2023, and is open for applications today.

Xbox Game Studios Game Camp started in 2014 in Sweden and was later shaped into a global programme in the spring of 2020.

To date, over 900 campers have successfully completed the training, six star-tups and multiple industry hires both at Xbox and across the gaming world, according to Microsoft. 

In a statement, Microsoft says with soaring interest from African youth, the gaming industry is set to grow exponentially across the continent, as more people get connected to the internet.

It notes that the State of the African Games Industry 2022 finds that South Africa has the highest saturation of gamers, with 24 million people playing within a population of 59 million (40%).

In Ghana, 27% of people play games, with 23% in Nigeria, 22% in Kenya, and 13% in Ethiopia.

Microsoft explains that Game Camp is an initiative that unifies various Xbox initiatives under one umbrella where talent is celebrated, and game developers are empowered to pursue their dreams.

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. Furthermore, teams or individuals with games to pitch are encouraged to do so, says Microsoft.

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, it adds.

“At Xbox, we’re on a mission to bring the joy and community of gaming to the world’s three billion gamers and we recognise that Africa is home to the largest population of youth in the world, many who love to play,” says Phil Spencer, CEO of gaming at Microsoft.

“In 2019, I attended the opening of our Africa Development Centre and met with tech leaders, educators, and developers from across the region to understand their vision for the future of game creation. Through the inaugural Xbox Game Studios Camp Africa, in collaboration with Microsoft’s Africa Transformation Office, we have an opportunity to continue to deepen our relationships with talented developers in region and help African games studios realise their vision and role in the global gaming industry.”

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.

“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,” says Wael Elkabbany, strategic initiatives lead for Microsoft CEMA.

“We want to grow strong roots in this significant market for gaming and game development. The ATO and Xbox personnel will also combine efforts to identify game studios to invest in through our Startups acceleration programme and venture capital investment partners. I’m looking forward to seeing what innovative concepts this Game Camp produces.”

Throughout Game Camp Africa from July 15th to 16th this year, participants will join remotely via Microsoft Teams or take part in person at four open-house locations in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi.

Xbox personnel and external programme partners will facilitate workshops on various game development topics throughout the training, Micrposoft notes.

The two full days are themed “The Journey of a Game” and will offer multiple perspectives on the many times complex craft of game development.

In addition, the firm says there will be significant online learning components to the camp, which will allow participants to engage with focused training modules on topics that align closely with their skills and interests, before and after the event.

Click here for all the details.