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Always game, Part II

Always game, Part II

From World of Warcraft to Whack the Penguin, online gaming is a global phenomenon. And slowly but surely, the Middle East is playing its part, reports Communicate magazine. Part II.

December 16, 2009 9:19 by

Click here to read Part I.

Original thinking

Original MMORPG content is scarce in the Middle East, but Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) has taken on the challenge and aims to produce content from the UAE. Earlier this year, it announced a joint venture with Gazillion Entertainment, an American developer and publisher of MMOGs.

“One of the first properties is the well-known and popular ADMC-owned character, Majid [of Majid magazine fame],” says Ricky Ghai, executive director of the Digital Media Group, part of ADMC. “In terms of the online world, there isn’t any original Arabic IP properties that have been developed so far. For the time being, games range from simple Web browser games such as Travian, to more sophisticated client-based games such as Ragnarok and Rappelz. But these games are simple localization of online games originating from MMORPG hot spots such as Asia. ADMC is about to change that through its partnership with Gazillion.”

As for the more casual, browser-based, type of games, they are being produced more and more regionally. Spacetoon is a sister company to Gamepower 7, and its Web site is rated as one of the most popular Arabic sites for children. “It has 150,000 active registered users,” says Mujahid.

“Its content is updated daily. We have about 45 games, such as interactive games that teach kids how to cook, or flash games like tic-tac-toe. We add one or two games per month to the Web site, and all of it is original IP [intellectual property] and content.”

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