It’s now official. After just five years, South Africans now have the same opportunity as their overseas brethren to enjoy gaming on their iPhone or iPad. Games are live in the South African App Store, following the news broken by htxt.africa yesterday that they had been stealth launched via a browser workaround.
You can now into the iTunes application on your Mac, PC or iOS device and see a games section populated with all of the games that South African users have been hankering for since we received a localised app store in 2012. Or you can download to your phone or tablet via the App Store. Games are also available on the desktop App Store as well in Mac OSX, which is a separate backend to the mobile one.
Local gamers are rejoicing, but not as much as local developers who can now benefit from ‘home team bounce’ – South Africans like buying South African stuff, obviously.
Payne told us that “it’s a great shame that this didn’t happen before the release of Fleet of One. It will be harder to get additional local publicity again at this stage, which will impact our visibility. It will still be interesting to see how sales may be affected, for Fleet of One, or for other locally produced games.”
He added that he hoped Apple would begin to promote local games on the App Store.
“It would be great to see Apple highlight locally produced games, alongside the big hitters like Clash of Clans and Angry Birds,” Payne said, “That’s the next battle. Both Sony and Nintendo have started highlighting local content on their stores. Having effectively revolutionised digital distribution, Apples falling a bit behind. I hope that at some point they can catch up.”
The availability of games in the South African iTunes Store means every region that iTunes operates in now has a games portfolio. We wait in eager anticipation of TV series becoming available, but we suspect that current digital TV rights holders in the country may be standing in the way of progress there.