The Cameroonian company Noohkema intends to launch its first video games in the coming weeks. It targets the global market and wishes to develop so-called transmedia products, with adaptations into animated films and interactive books.
The lion (Noohkema in the Bamileke language) is about to roar against the poaching of elephants in Africa. Before the end of August, Jimbo: The Big Elephant, a game featuring a pachyderm taking on hunters, will hit laptop and console screens. “We are in the final development phase”, enthuses Michel Nkuindja, 35, the Cameroonian boss of Noohkema Game Studio, seated in front of two computer screens, in the veranda of the head office under construction of the young shoot, located in the upscale Bastos district, in Yaoundé.
A survey carried out as part of a market study confirmed him in his choice of an edutainment project. “We have had over 80% positive feedback,” says the comic book and animated movie buff since childhood.
Two games developed
The video game development company is even planning to do it twice. Meenlah (the village child, still in Bamileke), the flagship project of the Cameroonian start-up, will be available before the end of the year. An obstacle course based on African masks, with fears on the program, intended for players over 14 years old.
Through game development engines like Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, Noohkema aspires to tap into the local cultural background to develop products.
Starting from video games, the founders ultimately want to transform their business into a “transmedia” company. “Concretely, a game is called upon, thanks to successive adaptations, to become an animated film, an interactive book, etc.”, explains the developer.
“It is very promising, cowardly Beaugas-Orain Djoyum who heads ICT Medias Strategies, publisher of the magazine TIC Mag. It is likely to outperform its competition if it stays the course. “Competitors, like Kiro’o Games by Guillaume Madiba or SDK Game Africa, which do not seem to worry the entrepreneur for the moment:” On the contrary, it stimulates me. »Affirms Michel Nkuindja.
Noohkema can, moreover, count on the advice of a few mentors, such as Churchill Mambe Nanje, founder of the search engine specializing in recruitment and career services Njorku, Bertrand Tiotsop, boss of Publicity and Design, an agency specializing in entertainment. , and the Victorian accountant Ekath Ekat.
The leaders of Noohkema have also benefited from the support of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In addition to the $ 5,000 received, project management training enabled them to carry out market research.
Michel Nkuindja hopes to raise the $ 250,000 needed to complete his projects. He will ask his four associates extra effort for this and hopes for an additional contribution from the investor – whose identity he does not wish to reveal – who has already put $ 30,000 in the pot.
Over the past two years, the five co-founders, who also make up the company’s staff, have contributed most of the $ 100,000 already invested. While Michel is in charge of administration and strategy, his compatriot Steven Nguetsa is in charge of special effects, Gabonese Emmanuel Nguema is in charge of artistic direction, while technical direction falls to Mauritanian Adnan Chaumette. The first three met at Net-Info, the first 3D training school in North Africa, located in Nabeul, north-eastern Tunisia.
Cautious, the manager does not wish to project himself in terms of income; he intends to rely on a combination of models to ensure profitability. First, pay to play, which will allow any player to access the game against payment on a store. Then the free provision with an advertising banner, made possible through partnerships with dedicated agencies. Finally, free to play, widely used in the sector, and which allows you to progress in the game by purchasing items.