The 3rd annual West African Gaming Expo (WAGE) happened on November 8th and 9th and it was a gathering of stakeholders in the gaming and animation industry from across the region.
Zubair Abubakar of Chop Up Games opened the conference by explaining what WAGE is about and what it represents. That was followed with Unity Technology awarding the highest scoring student in their certification exam the prize of a new Macbook Air.
Akouvi Ahoomey, who is the Business Development Manager at Unity Technology started the discussion by explaining Unity’s ecosystem and how it helps the over 1.5 million gaming community create interesting games and generate their own revenue. She introduced MadewithUnity, a site for keeping in touch with relevant information in the ecosystem ranging from discovery to publicity issues that many studios face. She concluded by informing the audience about another Unity product called Unity Connect that’s essentially a marketplace to connect Unity developers with specific skills.
Unity Technologies’ Field Engineer, Mathieu Muller introduced attendees to animation tools and how they could be used to develop animation. He used two games – The Escapist and Never Alone – to demonstrate what the tools could create. He encouraged developers to practice every day and explained that a major benefit of using Unity is the fact that developers get to release their creations on platforms ranging from iOS to PlayStation 4 and Android thereby reaching more end users.
Over 25 games developers, publishers, game development engines, and telecommunication service providers exhibited at the event. Joost Jetten, head of sales and marketing at Logitech, announced the company’s plans to introduce a new line of gaming products to the Nigerian market.
MTNGame+ was also at the event and they introduced developers to the advantages attached to working with MTN. According to Abiodun Ajayi, MTN’s Senior marketing manager, “MTN is committed to supporting the growth of the Nigerian gaming ecosystem.” MTN will be able to monetize their games with the help of MTNGame+. They also sponsored a mobile Esport tournament where the winner went away with N100,000 and other prizes.
Ultima Media, producers of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, showed off their gaming app and explained the challenges they faced and the technology behind the app.
WAGE 16 also featured a “Pitch a Game” competition where students from coding and animation schools like Center 4 Tech and Nory Media pitched game ideas or actual games they had created. Cycle Plug, a game that promotes a healthy work-life balance, Cake Mash, Chemistry Diver, an endless runner game and “I Hate Exams”, a game that rewards players for thinking outside the box were contenders for the prize. I Hate Exams, developed by 13-year-old Osinachi Onyegbula was the winner of the competition.
Other activities at WAGE included the WAGE 2016 FIFA, Tekken, And Street Fighter tournament, hosted by Naijagameevo. Attendees competed to win various prize monies totaling over N300,000.
Virtual reality was not left behind too. Unity Technologies, Imisi 3D and Kravex entertained guests with various VR games and content. Ntel provided free wifi for everyone while Fanta and Cafe Neo handled liquid nourishment.