Sandsoft Games has opened a new studio in Riyadh…

They already have offices in Dubai and Shanghai, but Sandsoft Games now has a studio in Riyadh.

Sandsoft’s CEO is Mo Fadl is a man with a big reputation in the gaming world, having previously worked at industry giants Blizzard and Riot Games, as well as helping to set up the Saudi Arabian Nexus esporting event.

Fadl has said that the studio is focusing on creating games for Middle Eastern players, and will start by focusing on mobile games. Though, as quoted in article from VentureBeat these will be “free-to-play games … not be pay-to-win games where the richest players can buy victory” (with in-app purchases).

It makes sense, the MENA market has enjoyed a huge 25 per cent annual revenue growth rate, the highest for video games globally.

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Local gamers spend big money too, the regional market value is expected to reach USD6 billion by next year.

Fadl explained how he envisages being able to serve that market better “most publishers localise their content, and this is something we want to change” he sid “we want to create something that is endemic to the region.”

After starting with mobile games, Sandsoft has its sights set on PC and console games ranges. And the conditions are ripe for potential success.

Not only does the region have a big population, hungry for locally relevant titles, but it also has a huge pool of technically literate creatives. Not to mention a long history of original story-telling talent.

“We have an empty page now, and have a chance to sit down together to form our content,” Fadl said.

Images: Unsplash