South Africa’s Mobile Gaming Market is Ready For Redmagic

South Africa's mobile gaming market has never been bigger"

Redmagic 6S Pro
South Africa’s Mobile Gaming Market is Ready For Redmagic

Redmagic, if you haven’t heard, is finally coming to South Africa, and is set to shake the mobile market by offering a dedicated gaming cellphone. We are not completely unfamiliar with a dedicated gaming phone; Razer has been promoting their offering for roughly 3 or 4 years, and other companies have teased their interest in bringing their lineups to our shores for quite some time now as well. 

Then, why does Redmagic have a better place in today’s gaming market, and why is it a better alternative to mainstream mobile phone options? Simply put; mobile games are getting bigger and better, and while mainstream options are focusing on lifestyle features such as battery life and cameras, gaming phones offer those, with that extra push in innovation.

The Redmagic Range

Before we dive too much further, let’s look at what Redmagic, specifically their 6S Pro and 6R range, have to offer. The Redmagic 6S Pro offers users a 165Hz refresh rate, 6.8” AMOLED HD+ screen, equipped with 8-bit colour depth, DCI-P3 colour gamut, as well as SGS Eye Care so that we don’t go blind from staring at the screen – like I would. Powering this is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ Flagship Chip, and is cooled using the ICE 7.0 Multi-Dimensional Cooling System. Finally, for those gaming touches, the 6S Pro offers built-in 450Hz Trigger Buttons, with Dual Stereo Speakers that support DTS X Ultra, and a 5050mAh Quick-Charging Battery. 

If the 6S Pro sounds a little intimidating, there is the more accessible 6R, which still offers phenomenal gaming power combined with the necessity of a daily phone driver. The Redmagic 6R offers a smaller 6.7” AMOLED 144Hz AMOLED FHD+ screen, powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ Chip, cooled by Vapor Chamber Liquid-cooling tech. As for the triggers, the same built-in shoulder triggers come with the 6R, at a slightly lowered polling rate at 400Hz, along with a 360Hz touch sample rate. Both phones also offer an incredible gaming aesthetic, but minimal enough to not be obnoxious when you ultimately whip it out to show everyone. 

While this all sounds great on paper, and better in practice, the question of necessity still remains – why do we need gaming phones? Standard mainstream phones are mostly able to handle any gaming-related requirements we set on them, and while mobile games aren’t terribly demanding, they’re more for just passing the time while we watch mindless TV or wait for a meeting, right? Well, no. In fact, mobile gaming has become one of the dominant platforms for gaming, especially in South Africa.

The Study 

A report from Statista states that mobile gaming in South Africa brought in a whopping $107 million in 2021 (roughly R1.6 billion), and is projected to grow to $216 million by 2026 (R3.3 billion, assuming the Rand/Dollar doesn’t fluctuate). This caters for all paid apps across smart device stores, as well as revenue generated by freemium games that allow in-game purchases. 

The revenue generated from each user came to roughly $7.81 in 2021, from which we can determine that there were roughly 13 700 384 active mobile gamers in South Africa that contributed to the sales shown in the report. These wouldn’t represent all gamers either, as this doesn’t take into account those who play mobile games without purchasing any content. 

The projected revenue from each user is set to grow to $12.44 by 2026, and if we calculate the number of users that contribute to the $216 million projected revenue growth by 2026, we find that there will be roughly 17 363 344 active paid mobile gamers in South Africa. 

Redmagic South Africa

These numbers show that not only is the mobile gaming market already quite large but that it is projected to grow rather significantly in the coming years, with no signs of slowing down. Studying the demographics also paints an interesting picture in that 42.7% of the market is aged 25-34 years, while 25.4% is aged 18-24 years, and 22.5% is aged 35-44 years (however, this could simply be parents using their profiles for their kids’ devices). 

Looking at the gender demographics (the traditional notion of gender only, which lacks true representation, which is unfortunate), we see there is a 62.7%/37.3% male/female split, so the market is still largely represented by men, but this might not account for things like sharing user profiles.

However, the really interesting statistic is when you look at the income model, with a significant proportion of mobile users coming from low-income backgrounds (26.4%). Understandably, high-income users account for 38.9%, while medium-income users account for the remaining 34.8%. As we see, about 1/4th of mobile gamers are from low-income backgrounds, which speaks to the accessibility of mobile gaming; anyone with a smart device is able to download and play (especially freemium), and purchasing anything in-game is not as significant in price as it would be if it were on a traditional console or on a PC. It’s important to understand that accessibility, as it will play a large role later in this article. 

Redmagic South Africa

So, what does this tell us? Well, it showcases, not only the large-scale of the mobile gaming market as it currently stands, but that the market is projected to grow exponentially by 2026, and most likely beyond. It also showcases the significant spike in the market since 2017, showing a year-on-year growth that is essentially snowballing; growing larger and larger (with a wider gap) each year and this is down to one key factor: accessibility.

As I said, anyone with a smart device can hop on their respective app store and download a game, and play. Most games offer freemium services, where it is free to download and play, but offers in-app purchases. However, even if an app is paid for, the cost is significantly lower than traditional consoles, which extends that accessibility even more, especially to lower-income users, kids, and so on. 

Still, how does this then lead to gaming phones, and their necessity, or even their advantage over mainstream mobile phone options currently available on the market? With the large-scale growth that the mobile gaming market is experiencing globally, it is the impact that mobile gaming has had in the West that is making waves. China, Japan, and eastern countries, in general, have always offered strong mobile markets, but now that countries such as the USA, and the UK, who typically only experience traditional gaming platforms, have seen significant increases in mobile gaming, the landscape is evolving to cater for the demand.

Redmagic South Africa

Developers are no longer skipping over mobile gamers in favour of console releases, or even PC gamers, and are now actively trying to either bring their titles to the mobile space, or are developing specific experiences for mobile users. With this comes the increase in developmental quality in mobile video games, which are beginning to demand more and more resources. For example, if we looked at some of the most popular mobile games 10 years ago (2012), we would think of titles such as Candy Crush, Angry Birds, and Punch Quest; mostly puzzle-based games or side-scrolling action-adventure titles.

However, since then, we have seen The Elder Scrolls: Blades, PUBG Mobile, and Call of Duty Mobile; all intense first-person action titles that are rendering whole worlds/spaces on the same device we use to scroll TikTok on the toilet. These developments are bringing in a new era of mobile gaming, in that users no longer need to buy a Nintendo Switch to experience fully-fledged action titles on the go, but can simply use their devices in their pockets – and at a typically lower cost. 

Adding to this, mobile games are not only pushing the boundaries of graphical intensity, but they are also adding in features such as higher frame rates (COD Mobile supports 60fps), and customisable controls. At the current growth rate of development, we could see whole worlds being delivered on mobile at a stunning 144Hz, not to mention the possibilities with mobile VR gaming. 

Why Redmagic is worth looking at

Our mobile phones have become extensions of our arms, and not in that elderly, disgruntled point of view in that we are all essentially slaves to our devices – I would argue the opposite even. We use our phones for just about everything, from research, to work (people have built entire careers on their phones alone), education, communication, and of course, entertainment.

Redmagic 6R

Mobile gaming may not be the mainstream as yet, but it certainly is not the meme we once thought it was – or still do. The Statista report suggests that the market in South Africa is going to continue to grow, as is the projection for the global market, which means that mobile gaming is already a viable alternative option to traditional gaming consoles, thanks to its accessibility in both mobility as well as costs. For that reason, mobile games are getting bigger and better, supporting features we only really see on traditional consoles and it’s something that not all mainstream phones are able to handle. 

In essence, the Redmagic 6S Pro and 6R, along with other models that might come to SA, are definitely worth looking at, in favour over other mainstream mobile phones, because they support the features that mobile games are pushing (higher refresh rates, better graphical intensity, etc.), better support for customisable control schemes (COD Mobile), and the best part is that their costing is in line with current mainstream options, which means consumers get much better value for money. On top of this, there are so many better experiences in terms of passive content absorption (YouTube, Netflix, etc.) on a dedicated gaming phone, which you can read more about here. If you would like to learn more or sign up for updates, you can do so here.

Source: Statista

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