In to Africa
South Africa's emergence as a player in the worldwide gaming market began with its forward-thinking adoption of the online casino format. This popular update of a classic leisure activity was only just beginning to gain traction in the west. But South Africa seized the opportunity and promptly became one of the top providers in the world. Today, the country's online establishments have some of the most sort-after casino bonuses and also offer the chance to play on your mobile. There so many varieties that websites like Zebra Online Casino had to be created just to keep track of everything that was on offer.
Currently the premier entry in South Africa's gaming portfolio, I-Imagine Interaction is the only one of the country's developers to become a licensed independent developer for all major console platforms. Founded in 1999 by Dan Wagner, I-Imagine has released titles on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Wii. The Johannesburg-based developer had a minor-hit with Celebrity Genius but truly made a name for itself with the creation of the popular driving/business-simulation game Chase Hollywood Stunt Driver.
The quirkily-named Thoopid has only been around since 2013 but has already made its mark on the industry. Founded by David Moffatt, Mark Tomlinson, Simon Spreckley, Larry Katz and Rw Liebenberg, Thoopid is known for its innovative design and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Located in Cape Town, the studio focuses exclusively on the mobile gaming market. It recently released physics-based puzzle game Snailboy. A slow burning hit, Snailboy was lauded not only for its clever mechanics but its intricate, unique and stylised design.
One of the oldest South African developers, Celestial Games was founded in 1994. It became known for its hit title Toxic Bunny, featuring a caffeine-addicted, gun-toting rabbit. Despite Toxic Bunny selling 150,000 copies internationally, Celestial Games struggled in the then west-dominated video game industry. It shut down in 2001. However, with the gaming industry restarting in South Africa, the company was revived by founders Nick McKenzie and Travis Bulford in 2012. Soon after, Celestial Games released a critically acclaimed HD version of Toxic Bunny, which was released on Windows and Mac OS PC.