Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) has announced a joint venture with US-based Gazillion Entertainment, a major developer of multiplayer online games (MMOG) studios, to create the region’s first purpose-built facility that will be based in Abu Dhabi. The objective of the venture is to grow the indigenous gaming industry while also ensuring that local talent is employed in the country.
The joint venture will see several young Emiratis engage in creating content specifically for Arabic games. Students from the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Abu Dhabi will be the first to benefit from the deal. They will be given the opportunity to generate games content that is meaningful to the Arab world. Internship and employment schemes will begin in Abu Dhabi in 2010 with opportunities for training placements overseas at Gazillion offices.
The first Arabic game that is slated to be released from the new studio is an MMOG, based on the popular character ‘Majid’, stated Ricky Ghai, executive director of Digital Media Group at ADMC.
“We are aware of the potential the game sector holds around the world and in the Middle East, and are uniquely positioned to drive exciting new platforms which engage consumers through digital entertainment”, Ghai commented.
“Online gaming is the fastest growing media sector worldwide and is estimated to be worth US $13bn by 2013. ADMC is taking significant steps forward to scale up its market growth and capabilities by entering this joint venture,” he added.
Robert Hutter, CEO of Gazillion added that “MMO games are an increasingly significant part of the media landscape worldwide”.
“Premium MMO experiences have the potential to command wide audiences in the Arabic gaming market in the years to come. We are highly pleased to have the chance to collaborate with ADMC on this joint venture, which will help ensure that the vision of exceptional online games for the region is fully realised," Hutter commented.
H.E. Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, chairman of ADMC added that with the joint venture, ADMC “is charting new growth in the creation of digital media content and technologies”.
“With an expressed aim towards Emirati management of the new company within the next five years, the joint venture is intended to develop the path towards creating content in Arabic for the Arabic gaming market,” he added.