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Xbox Welcomes First African Role Playing Game

Kiro'o games, a cameroon-based game design studio, makes history on Xbox with its flagship RPG “Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan’’

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By Ìbùkúnolúwa Dàda

Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan has become the first African role-playing game on Xbox. The game is the flagship of  Cameroon-based studio Kiro’o Games founded in 2003 by Madiba Olivier. 

The development of the game began in 2013 and it draws inspiration from various African cultures, including Cameroonian traditions like the Sawa people’s Ngondo festival and symbolism adapted from Ghana’s Akan people. Prior to the historic feat, the action RPG debuted in April 2016 via Steam on Microsft Windows followed by a comic book in 2019. 

Aurion distinguishes itself with its hand-drawn characters and approximately 20 hours of gameplay that immerses players in a rich, spiritually-infused world inspired by African mythology and culture. The game follows the journey of a royal couple from the kingdom of Zama as they navigate an existential war, wielding mystical “auriotronic” powers in their quest for understanding and unity.

Growing up as the son of a video store owner, Madiba Olivier embarked on this ambitious project with his colleagues, driven by a desire to create games that resonated with African audiences. “We decided that we must bring something unique to the table,” Olivier stated, highlighting the studio’s commitment to showcasing African folklore and traditions through interactive storytelling.

The road to success was not without challenges. Initial skepticism from local investors was overcome with support from Cameroon’s Ministry of Arts and Culture, followed by a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly €50,000. This grassroots backing enabled the small team of Cameroonian graduates to bring their vision to life.

The Xbox release of “Aurion” comes at a time of growing optimism for the African gaming industry. With a projected gaming audience of over 400 million across the continent by 2030, Kiro’o Games is positioning itself at the forefront of a fast-paced market. The studio’s success follows in the footsteps of other African creative endeavors gaining international recognition, such as Kugali’s “Iwájú” series on Disney+.

As African game developers continue to emerge across the continent, from Tunisia to South Africa, the industry is diversifying beyond traditional tech sectors. With the rise of mobile gaming and increasing smartphone penetration, African studios are poised to capitalize on both local and global markets.

Kiro’o Games’ achievement with “Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan” not only showcases the talent and creativity present in Africa’s tech scene but also opens doors for future generations of game developers on the continent. As the gaming world turns its eyes to Africa, the success of “Aurion” on Xbox may well be remembered as a pivotal moment in the industry’s history.

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