Kiro'o Games CEO outlines challenges of game development in Africa

A new interview highlights water shortages, power outages, and other obstacles.


You don't hear much about mass power outages and bandwidth restrictions from game developers based in game development Meccas like Silicon Valley, although water shortages probably come up fairly often these days.

But Madiba Olivier, CEO of Kiro'o Games, and his team of 20 devs face all of those challenges and more from their base of operations in Africa. Olivier spoke with GameSpot editor Tony Wilson during last week's PAX East convention to discuss Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, the developer's first game and one of the few titles to be developed in Africa.

"Our main electricity source in Africa, in our country at least, is hydroelectric," Olivier explained. "During the dry season we don't have enough water, so we don't have enough electricity and you have a lot of power outages. They want to schedule it, but often they don't try."

While the team at Kiro'o doesn't have to work around bandwidth caps, they do have absurdly tight bandwidth limits. On top of all that, all 20 of the developers at the company are fresh-faced newbies: Aurion will be their first game.

Check out the interview at GameSpot for more information.

Source: GameSpot

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 27, 2016 2:00 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Kiro'o Games CEO outlines challenges of game development in Africa

    • reply
      April 27, 2016 2:26 PM

      I'm impressed with the quality of the game despite the tiny budget and lack of a game dev scene. It's a lot more technical than I expected with the combat. Some more animation frames would go a long way though as right now there is a bit of a disconnect between the quality of the art sprites and frames of animation which is more like from a 16 bit game.

      Still, a good start.

    • reply
      April 28, 2016 7:07 AM

      It would be nice if this article mentioned what country they are in. There are over 50 countries in Africa, and it is not a monolith.

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