From his apartment in Toulouse on Avenue de Muret, Teddy Kosoko keeps in touch with Cameroon and Senegal, where some of his graphic designers and developers are based, and of course with the Central African Republic, his country of birth. In Madagascar, we would like to know if he can change the name and appearance of “Golden George”, the hero of his new video game, to look like a local star. A request that says a lot about the potential players that the young computer scientist may soon reach.
In his mobile skill game, released last January, the character is inspired by George Weah, a former professional football player who became President of the Republic of Liberia in 2018. In two months it was downloaded 1500 times. In terms of monetization, deployment in Africa is provided by Orange, which has bought an exclusive license for two years. But Teddy Kosoko sees far beyond…
Originally from Bangui, he arrived in Toulouse at the age of 18 to study at IUT Informatique in Blagnac, after which he received a master’s degree in computer methods applied to business management from Paul Sabatier University. Very quickly, a project to highlight African cultures, so little represented in the world of video games, sprouts in his head. While still a student, Teddy Kossoko is working on his first creation, Kissoro Tribal Game, a mobile strategy game inspired by the traditional Central African game Kissoro, also known as avale.
“Bridge between Africa and Europe”
Spotted at Geek Touch in Lyon in 2017, the game was released the following year. It currently has about 15,000 downloads. Also in 2018, Teddy Kossoka created his company Masseka Game Studio, the new pillar of his “bridge between Africa and Europe”. “Very few games focus on everyday life, lifestyle or just African cultures. I grew up like many people whose references and role models were not like me. Many then want to lean towards these models. There is a clearly militant component to my approach. I want African people to be able to dream through other lenses and find other sources of inspiration with characters, heroes and stories that everyone can understand. Don’t forget about the economic component. The video game market in Africa is new, but I want to demonstrate that it can be profitable with 800 million potential players,” explains Teddy Kossoko.
The 27-year-old computer scientist is so convinced of this that he is working on building his own distribution platform. This store, similar to Apple or Google, will distribute Masseka Game Studio games in Africa, as well as games from other developers. Funded by BPI, the government’s Pass Africa and Meet Africa 2 schemes, it is currently being tested by multiple users in five West African countries.
“Our strategy is to be the gateway to Africa. We will have a platform, a community, and we will be able to offer payment solutions based on partnerships with Orange and other operators,” Teddy Kosoko clarifies. This store should be available to the general public in these five countries from June and cover 50% of the continent within two years. In 2022, the year of the World Cup, the young leader hopes for a turnover between 500,000 and 1 million euros and hopes to reach 100,000 users of his platform.
Pictured: From Toulouse, Teddy Kossoko, creator of Masseka Game Studio, leads a team of eight people, four of whom are based in Africa. Photo: Helen Resseires-Tuleco.