An African mobile game has risen to the top of the free Casual Games Chart in the United States this week, soaring to number one on both Apple and Google stores and etching African developers’ mark in the global mobile gaming scene.
The game named “The President”, which has been developed by Nairobi-based Mekan Games, was created and launched from the CrazyHubs Cape Town programme, co-hosted by Carry1st and CrazyLabs, a top casual and hyper-casual mobile games developer and publisher.
Carry1st’s accelerator programme which kicked off in November 2021, is a gaming programme designed to teach the next generation of aspiring programmers, developers, designers and artists the fundamentals of designing and developing hyper-casual mobile games.
“The President” has, thus far, had 229k downloads on Android and 285k downloads on iOS since its launch in February this year. The success highlights the vast potential of African gaming talent and the continent’s rightful presence on the global gaming stage.
Cordel Robbin-Coker, the CEO of Carry1st notes that the fact that “The President” became the number one casual game in the U.S on Android is an exciting feat for Mekan Games and the African game dev community.
“The fact that this game was launched out of ‘CrazyHubs Cape Town’, Carry1st’s accelerator program, makes it even more special for me. This program provides aspiring developers with the skills and resources to build great games and reach millions of users globally.”
He adds: “At Carry1st, we’re keen to continue supporting African game studios, and are thankful for partners like CrazyLabs that help us make these dreams a reality.”
Mekan Games – a mobile game studio specialising in hypercasual games – is one of the first members of the 2021 CrazyLabs Cape Town accelerator cohort to celebrate chart-topping success. And as Africa asserts its position as a significant player in the global gaming industry, Mekan’s success is a promising sign of what’s to come and should act as an inspiration to budding mobile games developers on the continent.
On his part, Evans Kiragu, who is the founder and CEO of Mekan Games reveals that before joining the CrazyHubs Cape Town programme, Mekan Games’ journey in hypercasual was down to 82 different games, concepts and prototypes. “We had come close to publishing some of these games with different publishers around the world, but for one reason or another, we did not hit all the target KPIs. When we enrolled in the program, we were in search of that missing link, the spice,” he says.
He adds that it was CrazyHubs Cape Town, and the knowledge, support and platform it gave his team, that made it possible for them to ideate and create what would be their 83rd attempt at a hypercasual HIT game.
‘The President’, he says, showed immense potential from the first marketability tests that they did, and knew they had a successful game in their hands from the very start. “With Carry1st and Crazy Labs, we also knew we had the right partners beside us” he says.
He further acknowledges that the African continent is saturated with latent gaming potential, and it’s companies like Carry1st and CrazyLabs that are helping people realise this.