South African gaming continues to be on an upward trajectory over the last year, with many now established brands bucking the trend of yesteryear of simply collapsing under their own expectations. That’s not to say every gaming related start up turns into a success, but community support has meant that more are managing to keep relevant than ever before.
Cape Town itself is turning into a fruitful patch of gaming land. Most are aware of the already established brands doing the rounds, but Games On has entered the fray in what could be seen as a pretty full pond. On the other hand, the more the merrier should be the mantra for now. However, it’s also crucially important that the community doesn’t simply take everything being offered for granted. Support those trying to support you. Get involved.
Games On – which is situated in Rondebosch, Cape Town – is affiliated with the MSSA and features eight consoles with 32” screens, 10 PCs with 23” screens and a “raised tournament area” with an additional two Xbox 360s and two 55” screens. Yes, they are the size of a small car…
A wide range of titles are available to play starting from R35 for their first hour with staggered and discounted per hour rates when you go large (50 hours will cost you R600 – just R12 an hour). There’s also an after school special available, which will set the parents of the school goer back R50 for two hours. On top of all that, the venue can be hired for special events (first person to host a bachelor party there will probably get to say his final farewell to gaming the right way) and there are plans to run “special gaming events”, which translates to tournaments to the rest of us…
To find out a little more of what Games On is all about, we tied down Richard van Wyk and tickled him until he gave up these answers to our questions.
Games On is promising to provide “the best gaming experience on consoles and PC’s in a fun gaming atmosphere.” What exactly is the concept and vision behind Games On?
Being a Gamer myself I wanted to create a relaxed, safe and comfortable Gaming Lounge where the emphasis would be on healthy social gaming, where like-minded people can meet and compete. The vision is to be the ultimate gathering place and hot spot for all-things-gaming.
Am I correct in stating it’s based on an existing international brand? What ideas are there to give it a uniquely South African vibe?
Not entirely, Games On is a new brand that is proudly South African but affiliated to an international Gaming Lounge who has been in existence for over 10 years. We plan on holding tournaments together in the future whereby local South African gamers can pit their skills vs. gamers from the United States on both Xbox and PC.
Rest assured the lounge will be uniquely South African but held to an international level of quality that every gamer deserves.
When can we expect to be seated in your fine establishment?
Games On is now open! [They opened just this week in fact – Undead Ed]
What makes it feel like ‘the right time’ to be doing a venture like this?
There is never a right time, but being in the gaming industry yourself I am sure you know that gaming is booming, even surpassing that of the movie industry, this is also true here in South Africa. Exciting times are ahead for local gamers. Having recently returned home from overseas I can see how things have changed on the gaming front for the better and I have always believed that there is no time like the present to start something new and the technology is now becoming available in South Africa to support such a new venture.
The South African gaming scene certainly appears to be on an upswing at the moment. What do you think is needed to sustain that growth?
Business wise, sustainability is the most difficult obstacle in starting any business, one needs to constantly evolve with the market and indeed this will be a challenge, but we look forward to the challenge as we would a new level in any game. Also having recently obtained affiliation with MSSA we think that eSports will help evolve gaming credibility in our society.
Do you believe the community has a big role to play in growing gaming in general? If so, what would you like to see the community do?
I would like to see the gaming community support ventures like Games On and continue to support community events like 2upGamers in their respective provinces to ensure gaming continues to grow in South Africa. I think if this can be achieved we will see a lot more exciting events taking place on our own doorstep.
Who are the main braaaaaaiiiiiiiinnnnnssss behind Games On SA?
Haha….the braaaaiiiiiinnnnsss would have to myself, however I can’t take all the credit as I have received mountains of support from both my family and friends.
Have you been involved in the gaming scene in SA before? If so, what makes up that history?
I have participated in local LANs and have been to a few 2upGamers since coming back to SA, I look forward to now being more actively involved in the gaming scene here.
Do you consider yourself a gamer? What’s your game(s) and platform of choice?
Yes most definitely, I have been gaming since I can remember, I still remember playing an Atari 2600 at my friend’s house and progressing from there to playing games with the old tape drives on the Commodore 64 that my uncle had. I finally got my own 3rd generation console for a birthday when I was a kid and when I wasn’t sneaking off to the local arcade in Tokai to play the likes of Double Dragon and Ninja Turtles with my best friend we were playing Mario brothers and Contra at home! My preferred platform would have to be Xbox and games like Halo and Gears of War, oh and of course racing games!
Thanks for your time – is there anything else you would like to add?
No thank you for this opportunity, we look forward to seeing you and any fresh new gaming zombies that may be out there at Games On in the near future!
Shop 13, Riverside Mall
Cnr Belmont & Main Road
Cape Town, 7700
Mon – Thurs: 1:00pm – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm – 12:00 am
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
If you are keen to feature in this column in the future, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll think about – after you’ve sent us a sample of your braaaaaaiiiiinnnnsss.