History of Sega in Sub-Saharan Africa

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History of Sega in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Video gaming in Sub-Saharan Africa wasn't as developed as in other places of the world, due to the fact that region is consider to be one of the poorest and least develop in the world. The video games market was nearly always a domain of well-urbanized areas, because of access to electricity.

From 1980s arcade games became very popular in the region and it's glory days lasted here until early 2000s. Many of the Sega titles, released through the years, got to Sub-Saharan Africa thanks to this machines. Late 1980s was the time when one of the first home video game systems were imported from Europe and that were Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master System. Unfortunately, the systems weren't popular, beacuse of few reasons - cost was to high for average customer so only rich people had them and the whole idea of consoles was unknown to the inhabitants of Africa.

The real interest in consoles began from early 1990s, when piracy of Nintendo Famicom became more popular in the developing countries. With success of 8-bit games in the region, the concept of the video games became more clear. Other video games began to slowly appear in Sub-Saharan Africa over time. Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive were sold from early 1990s by certain authorized distributors, but the second one became far more popular. Both systems were sold with high prices, but Sega was slighty lower and had more pirate software available on the market, not mention clone consoles. It it's worth to mention, that Mega Drive was released here both in European and Asian PAL format. Even with that, the most popular form of playing the video games, became shop exhibitions and first video clubs were customers could play on consoles connected to TVs and selected for them games, paying a fee for each hour of playing.

Due to the prices, handhelds weren't popular and most of the customers had the cheapest and simple of them called "Brick Game", so Game Gear and Game Boy didn't have large group of players. The 32-bit, 64-bit or 128-bit systems like Mega CD II, Mega Drive 32X, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast or GameCube also weren't popular and reason was high price. From these systems, the PlayStation began to take a leadership position slowly from early 2000s.

All games by Sega are sold from mid-2000s in the European standard under the care of Sega Europe.


  • Video Games Around the World by Mark J. P. Wolf
  • Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming by Mark J. P. Wolf

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