Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Leti Games Leads Africa into Global Games Market With iWarrior


iWarrior, probably the first iPhone game coming out of Africa, made its grand entry into Apple's App Store yesterday, signifying the potential of African gamers to make their mark on the international stage. The game was created by Leti Games, a team of ambitious, talented and motivated young Africans who are determined to make great games for gamers worldwide to enjoy. Leti first came into the limelight when they released a video for bugzvilla, their demo game, on YouTube.

The Game
iWarrior is unique in many ways. The game simulates the challenges of life in an African safari setting. The goal of the player is to protect his village and farm from destruction against various wild animals. I've had a go at it and was impressed by its simplicity and intuitive game play. The game's sounds are great and a lot of effort has been put into making it as realistic as possible. White African and AppShopper have more extensive reviews.

You can download the game from itunes here and try it for yourself.

Team
The brains behind Leti Games are Eyram Tawia of Ghana and Wesley Kirinya of Kenya. Both Eyram and Wesley have experience in making computer games.

They first worked together building a game for the CAN 2008 football tournament. Eyram and his pal Francis Dittoh, used their undergraduate final project, The Sword of Sygos, to win Ghana Think Foundation's invitational programming contest in 2006. Wesley, on the other hand, was hailed in 2007 when he came out with The Adventures of Nyangi. The two trailblazers probably got the idea to start a game company in 2008 when Wesley moved to Ghana to work for the biometric company, Genkey Africa Corp, while Eyram served as a teaching fellow at MEST, a fully funded hands-on training programme for young Ghanaian software entrepreneurs. What's striking about these two fellows is their unrelenting passion for technology and their quest to put Africa on the global gaming map. They are an inspiration for the numerous aspiring game makers and software entrepreneurs living in major cities across sub-Saharan Africa.

The way forward
The folks at Leti Games are optimistic about the success of their foray into Apple's App Store and are mindful of what this means for other African iPhone developers. They've also just finished with a J2ME version of iWarrior for Java-enabled phones called Kijiji. Leti is exploring the possibility of reaching a deal with a phone manufacturer to get Kijiji out there. "There are more great games in the pipeline", Eyram tells me with a smile.

8 comments:

  1. Hi. Great to know something good can come out of Africa to the international stage. The sad part is that I would never play the game and I think so would lots of people outside Africa cuz the theme is too focused on Africa. They could have made real waves if it were a bit globally oriented.

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  2. super! thanks for the post Gameli. Will be blogging about iWarrior later on as well.
    Here's a previous post about Eyram for those who haven't seen it

    http://mightyafrican.blogspot.com/2009/05/leti-games-building-computer-games-in.html

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  3. I don't think the setting of the game in anyway will inhibit its acceptance on the global scene. African kids play games like hitman, tomb raider and virtual cop- games that are hardly connected to their environment. Also movies like Mr. Bones and Cry The Beloved Country, which are heavily African-themed, have become hits all over the world. What would make iWarrior successful on the global stage would be its ability to hold its own, in terms of graphics, sound, story, player experience, etc, against games coming from elsewhere. I hope the iWarrior team make it!

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  4. Thanks, @Mighty Africa, looking forward to your post. :).

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  5. Trust me Gameli. How many Africans use the ifon in the first place? If it's made with such people in mind, then well, I am not going to be a doom monger. What you should have added in your comment is the platform on which those games are played by the kids u talked about. Also mind u, the movie market is fundamentally different and easy to waddle through than the video game market- @ least from my experience.

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  6. @sinaisix, oh, ok. It's always a challenge for African products to make it big out there. The game's success will now depend on extremely creative marketing moves. Fingers crossed.

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  7. We shall overcome...why not? We are making it and would continue to make it.

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  8. I would like to ask you to share a link to other resources dedicated to this subject of course just in case you know some.

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Keep comments and insights coming to get the discussion going!