Featured Image Credit: SmartMonkeyTV (1st), Kickstarter TV (2nd)
In early 2013, Madiba Olivier launched the Kiro’o Game Studio (Cameroon) which is recognized as the first of its kind in Central Africa. His love for gaming inspired him to start his own company and create a network of young, passionate developers.
They started drafting for their first product, Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, in 2003 and released it on April 14th, 2016. It is now available for purchase and has received rave reviews from gamers all over the world.
Using Kickstarter as a platform raise funds for the commercial game and create buzz, they gained over 50k in support from backers.
The high definition, 2D game based on Kiro’o Tales, is an Action-packed African Fantasy that intertwines traditional African values and storytelling.
In an interview with Smart Monkey TV, he said “we create games for gamers” and the extensive amount of time spent detailing this project is evident in the trailers and screenshots (see below).
The Kiro’o Team consists of eighteen young and passionate developers. They faced multiple challenges alone the way, including funding when they were starting out and power outages.
During this year, they also had the funds to pursue it professionally. A lot of them didn’t even know how to create video games and with the help of other team members, were trained how to do it:
“At the very beginning, 10 years ago (2003), we were only a group of students, fans of Final Fantasy VII and Breath of Fire…and we had the ambition of creating an RPG that would allow gamers to express what they have in their guts. That is why, when we became a studio, we took for motto “Game Spirit Design.” – Madiba Olivier, KickStarter Promotional Video
The Kiro’o Team is dedicated to bringing African representation to video games and excited about introducing a new style of African Fantasy. The genre features its own narrative, rules, vibrant visuals and unique experiences that characters will face.
Olivier expects that African gamers will be pleased to play with characters that they can relate to.
“The gaming culture on the continent is mostly focused on war games and sports like FIFA, Call of Duty, or Pro Evolution Soccer. We noticed that adventure games are not the most popular because the players here are not able to identify themselves with the characters. However, many have seen through the small demo of Aurion – the earlier version as the one we are currently working on is an [upgrade] – with a character who seems like them, they immediately felt challenged.” – Madiba Olivier, How We Made It In Africa Interview
The game is available and Olivier wants to release it for PC’s first so that they can master producing games in that particular format before taking on game consoles. He plans to expand his team by training more members to participate in future projects and have his games available across continents.
He also wants his gaming studio to be the first to achieve success in the U.S. and European markets. Olivier turned his passion into a business and proves that opportunities are endless when you continue to work towards your goals – no matter how long it takes to get there.