The TechVillage –a Bulawayo based hub- is partnering with Econet’s Elevate Youth to host Game On. This will be a game accelerator meant to bolster Zim’s gaming community and culture.
Why host Game On?
The goal of the Game On game accelerator is to increase the number of locally developed games. This seems like a simple enough target but anyone living in Zim knows that things rarely pan out how they appear on the surface.
Some of the problems that game developers are facing include:
- Devs do not have the machines they need to build games. Machines used in game development are not your run-off-the mill computers. Usually they have to be more powerful than the standard and this comes at a cost.
- They do not have internet access
- They cannot afford developer licences
- Developers lack advertising and marketing budgets
- Developers don’t have the know how to successfully launch games
- Developers can’t monetize games because they can’t use payment methods such as Paypal/Google Pay because Zimbabweans don’t have access to this platforms
This is where Elevate Youth steps in. They are looking to acquire 5 locally developed games. Developers will have one month (July) to develop a game and submit the game for judging by the TechVillage.
According to Game On’s site, Elevate will acquire the top 5 games and I’m assuming that these 5 games will rollout under Elevate’s brand but just to make sure we have reached out to TechVillage to understand what exactly the term acquires means in this context. We will update once they have informed us.
What’s in it for the devs?
Well the developers who have the top 5 games will get $1500, On top of that the winners will also get mentorship from senior execs and mentors on how to launch the onto the market. Developers will also learn how to integrate payment methods like EcoCash to enable in-game purchases.
Is one month too short?
As aforementioned, developers are being tasked to build a game in a single month and one may think this is a very short time. TechVillage have done this intentionally and because of this they encourage that developers make “relatively simple games.”
The competition is open to anyone interested and developers can apply here (regardless of location). There are 20 spots and the Game On site indicates that over 5 developers have already signed up so you might want to check this one out.