The 3rd annual West African Gaming Expo (WAGE 2016) took place on 8th and 9th November 2016 in Lagosn Nigeria. The technology conference and expo focused on the gaming and animation industry welcomed hundreds of guest from all over the world as it showcased new ideas from all over the world.
WAGE 16 was kicked off by Unity Technologies, organizing their first certification exam in Africa. Over 60% of registered pupil passed the exam with the highest scoring student scoring over 90% and winning a brand new Macbook Air.
2016 theme of Live, Learn, Play Africa was echo through out the day as attendees had the opportunity to live and experience African cultures through the games they played. With over 25 exhibiting games developers, publishers, Game development engines, Telecommunication Service provider and much more, the was something to satisfy everybody.
At the WAGE 16 conference attendees had the opportunity to listen to professionals from all over the world and from various industries. Zubair Abubakar Co founder of chop up games opened the conference with a short speech of what WAGE is about and what WAGE represents. Zubair believes WAGE’s effort of Bringing together experts from Africa and beyond is bringing more stakeholders into the region, growing the African technology industry and creating new opportunities for the community.
Some of the highlights of the WAGE 16 conference include Joost Jetten, Head of sales and marketing logitech announcing Logitech’s plans of introducing their line of gaming products to the Nigerian market. “Logitech wants to celebrate the gamer in all of us” – Joost Jetten, Head of Sales and Marketing, Sub-Saharan Africa, Logitech.
Unity Technologies’ Johana Riquier urged developers to take advantage of the Unity Education programming skills. She spoke about the Unity Family and how everyone in welcomed to join the 1.5 million developers using Unity. Matthieu Muller showed attendees how to use Unity’s software to its full capacity and achieve the best results possible.
Akouvi Ahoomey talked about how Unity began and the definition of Democratising development, that is the essence of our company. She spoke about Unity’s very important ecosystem and how it helps our community of 1.5 Million users create great games and generate their own revenue. She introduced MadewithUnity, which aids with discovery and publicity issues that many studios face and lastly about Unity Connect, our marketplace to connect Unity developers with specific skills.
Mathieu from Unity Technologies introduced attendees to tools available to them and new animation tools unity are bringing out. He showcased games that have been created using Unity tools, games such as “The Escapist” a console game, “Never Alone” and many more. Mathieu showed attendees how to use Unity tools to develop animation, He explained that one of the major benefits of using Unity includes the fact that any developer using Unity will be able to release such creation on different types of platforms ranging from iOS to Playstation 4, to Android attracting and reaching more end users. Mathieu urged attendees to practice on Unity everyday as this is the only way to learn and become a better developer, individuals looking to learn more about Unity and how to get the best results from the tools they are using have numerous resources available to them such as Google, Forums, Madewith.unity.com dev blogs, Live training and tutorials.
MTNGame+ also took to the stage to introduce developers to the advantages attached to working with MTN. He spoke about how game developers using MTN will be able to monetize their games with the help of MTNGame+. “MTN is committed to supporting the growth of the Nigerian gaming ecosystem. – Abiodun Ajayi, Senior marketing manager, MTN.”
Other highlight of the WAGE 16 conference included Ultima Media, the makers of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, introducing attendees to their gaming app. They spoke about the challenges they face whist creating the applications. They also spoke about the technology used to build the application. Vortex Comics, Nigeria’s largest comics creator showcased Strike Guard Animation to a very excited WAGE conference.
“Pitch a Game” allowed students of all ages to come on stage and pitch a cool game idea they might have or showcase a game they have created. Students taking part in the WAGE 16 Pitch a Game competition are students registered with coding and animation schools such as Center 4 Tech and Nory Media. First to pitch was Greater games team with Cycle Plug, a game that promotes a healthy work-life balance. Next up was a team of Tech Girls with a fun game called Cake Mash. 14-year-old Salem Onibola is now pitching Chemistry Diver, an endless runner game. Whilst 13-year-old Osinachi Onyegbula is showcased his game idea “I Hate Exams”, a game that rewards players for thinking outside the box. Osinachi Onyegbula has been developing games since age 9, and his game, I Hate Exams will soon be available on Android and iOS.
And the winner of the WAGE 16 Pitch A Game contest is 13-year-old Osinachi Onyegbula has been selected as the winner of the Pitch-a-game contest.
Other activities at WAGE included the WAGE 2016 FIFA, Tekken, And Street Fighter tournament, hosted by Naijagameevo. This is where attendees had the opportunity to win over N300,000. Secret cinema Lagos provided their screens as attendees watched animations from all over Africa. 2 winners of the FIFA 17 tournaments are Adedeji O an Ifeanyi N, both going home with N40,000 each. Other winners included Theodore L, winning the Street Fighter tournaments and going home with N50,000, whilst Chukwudi O won the Mortal Kombat tournament and also went home with N50,000.
MTNGame+ mobile Esport tournament saw the highest scoring contestant go home with N100,000 and second highest going home with N50,000. MTNGAME+ also gave out goody bags, prizes and other branded merchandise to very excited WAGE 16 attendees.
WAGE 16 also had attractions such as a Virtual reality expo sponsors by Unity Technologies United Kingdom, where users got to play various VR games and See VR Contents, Imisi 3D and Kravex both pioneering companies in Nigeria working in VR thrilled guest with the latest VR Technology.
Ntel assisted organizer by providing free wifi for all attending guest, whilst Fanta provided a chilled beverage for everyone. Cafe Neo was also present at WAGE with a range of product from everyone.
WAGE 16 sponsors includes, Unity, Bournemouth University, MTNGames+, Ringier Digital Marketing.