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Sony invests in Carry1st to expand reach of PlayStation in Africa

"We believe very firmly that there is an incredibly underrated console opportunity in Africa."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 30, 2024

1 Min Read
Players participating in a Carry1st gaming event in Lagos, Nigeria
Image via Carry1st

At a Glance

  • Carry1st has previously helped bring Call of Duty: Mobile and Valorant to market in Africa, and now has the backing of Sony.

Sony has made an undisclosed strategic investment into African mobile publisher Carry1st. As reported by CNBC, the Japanese company made the investment through its Sony Innovation Fund.

Carry1st is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and last year raised $27 million to develop and license new titles.

The company has worked on projects including Mine Rescue, Spongebob Squarepants: Krusty Cook-Off, and Ludo Blitz. It has also partnered with Riot Games to launch local servers for Valorant and brought Call of Duty: Mobile to the region in tandem with Activision Blizzard.

Carry1st co-founder and CEO, Cordel Robbin-Coker, said its partnership with Sony is still at the "exploratory" stage but hopes the PlayStation maker will buy into the idea that Africa will be the next big video game market to take flight.

"As large companies like Sony that have really strong footholds in tier-one and tier-two markets start thinking about where the next billion customers and gamers are going to come from, our pitch is that Africa is a prime market for that," he said. "We believe very firmly that there is an incredibly underrated console opportunity in Africa."

Robbin-Coker said many consumers across Africa are still buying consoles through gray market sellers, meaning there's an opportunity for Sony to cut out the middle man and start making headway in the region.

"Our hope is that we can help [Sony] to expand the reach of PlayStation in the region and support them in a range of ways, including broader go-to-market strategies, as well as digital payments," continued Robbin-Coker.

Carry1st is aiming to launch its debut first-party title in 2024 and Robbin-Coker is confident the studio will hit that target. 

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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