Alheri Games: The journey to publishing hyper-casual games from West Africa
Alheri Games is a hyper-casual game development company from West Africa. The company was founded by Kwadwo Danso (Ghana) and Moses Adamu (Nigeria). Their journey into building a game studio started out when they met at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Accra Ghana where they were both Entrepreneurs-in-Training and part of the 2019 cohort.
They become friends and their passion to build games made them start Alheri Games after they graduated from MEST. Research had pointed them in the direction of hyper-casual games as the sector had been on very high growth in terms of downloads and revenue. Also, they believe that the easiest way for an African studio to get into the gaming industry is through hyper-casual games because it has the lowest barrier to entry in the industry.
Raising funds for their business was very difficult, and that made their first one and a half years very tough. They had to bootstrap and raise money, but they never lost focus of the goal, which was getting their games globally published and breaking all downloads and revenue records in the African gaming industry.
Self-publishing is always the best way to go, but with very limited resources, it is very hard to find success. So, the best way to go would be to work with globally successful publishers who will accept game prototypes, test them and if they reach certain very high benchmarks, the games get published globally with a revenue-sharing agreement in place. The problem with this method was that out of every 200 prototypes that are tested, only one or two makes it to publishing. Therefore the game studio keeps developing and testing, and with every failed prototype, they get nothing from it.
Things changed for Alheri Games when publishers started paying for prototypes irrespective of the test results. In February 2021, they got such deals from a French and German publisher and this was a source of cash flow for the studio and helped to keep them afloat.
Their biggest opportunity came for them later in 2021, when they got accepted into the very first gaming accelerator in Africa, sponsored by Crazy Labs (a hyper-casual publisher with over 5 billion downloads) and Carry1st (biggest mobile game publisher in Africa). This was awesome for them because, for the first time since they started Alheri Games, Kwadwo and Moses will get to work together from the same physical space, learn from experts from Crazy Labs which is the third biggest publisher in hyper-casual, and also experience the beauty of Cape Town, South Africa.
They don’t have a published game yet, but they are closer than they have ever been. We are expecting to see more about Alheri Games in the news in the coming months. If you will be attending the Africa Games Week in Cape Town from February 23 to 25, 2022, you can connect with them, because they will be there live on the ground.