Gamers’ importance in South Africa
South Africa’s ISPs discuss the impact of the gaming market segment on the business
Gamers are a growing market segment in South Africa, not only in terms of games and hardware sales, but also for supporting services, such as internet connectivity. We caught up with SA’s large ADSL ISPs to learn their views on the burgeoning gamer market segment.
OpenWeb CEO Keoma Wright said that “Gaming is very important to us. A large portion of our client base are avid gamers, and we cater specifically for their needs.” Wright said that OpenWeb can identify gaming traffic on their network, and said that they have accounts that prioritise gaming traffic.
Brand Manager at Afrihost, Tyler Theron, said that “[Gamers are] a very important market segment as gamers tend to be influencers among their peers. We’ve found over the past few months with the AfriGamer product that it’s very hard to win over gamers, and as such it is important to maintain their faith/trust in the product and brand.”
Theron told us that they tweak and prioritise traffic between their ADSL clients and their AfriGamer servers.
MWEB’s Nathier Kasu, general manager: MWEB Digital, said that “The online gaming market is no longer a niche segment. Gaming has evolved into an interactive family entertainment platform and a quality internet connection is what enables the interaction.”
“Anyone who wants to game online needs a good quality internet connection and thus is a very important source of growth to any ISP in SA, and the world,” said Kasu. Mweb prioritises gaming traffic on its network, confirmed Kasu.
Web Africa Games Master, Robert Tait, said that “The gaming market is a valuable marketing tool to South African ISP’s. Not only is it a method of attracting customers to an ISP because of the services offered, but gaming is a multi-facetted element which involves competitive gaming, game related services, news and media, as well as ADSL requirements.”
“ISPs are beginning to realise the gap in the market where providing gamer-orientated services will attract clients from the gaming market. However, gaming services often do not provide a direct form of income; gaming in general, being rather costly at times, often leads to the questioning of viability by ISPs,” said Tait.