Nigeria-based games developer Maliyo Games is behind a new Disney game coming to mobile this month.
The smartphone developer, which also employs staff in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, is creating the official tie-in to Disney's Iwájú, which is a new animated series launching on Disney+ on February 28th. The animation is co-produced with Kugali Media and set in a futuristic Nigeria, while the game is called Disney Iwájú: Rising Chef, and is due to launch on the same day.
"It's a really great opportunity for us to build an Africa-focused gaming IP for one of the biggest brands in the world," Maliyo Games CEO and founder Hugo Obi tells GamesIndustry.biz.
"This is what we are all about: making African-inspired content, so designing games based on African characters, African stories and sharing it with a global audience. The opportunity to build a game with Disney, it's something you pinch yourself about. We've never had the chance to work with a client like this before. And to work on an IP that is Disney's first African-focused animation series… it was a real honour."
"We want to define the African, or the Nigerian, gaming genre"
Disney was looking for a regional developer to create an Iwájú tie-in, and invited a number of developers to pitch a game. After that, they were asked to build a prototype, and it was Maliyo that most impressed the entertainment giant.
"We are on the ground. We understand the market and the end users. We can relate and empathise with the story," Obi explains. "It is our story and a story we know first-hand. And we had the opportunity to build a really beautiful and immersive experience based on that."
He continues. "It's huge [for us]. Disney is a household name. It's a form of validation, and it gives us a much broader reach than we can manage on our own. It's a huge honour. It's an honour to build an African story, working with African teams to do this and empowering the teams. Having an opportunity to work on a project like this pushesRead more on gamesindustry.biz