With the rise of smartphones and Facebook, gaming is a rapidly growing industry globally, and the Arab world is no exception. Entrepreneurship platform Wamda has highlighted ten of the most creative and innovative gaming startups active in the Arab world today.
The list includes Falafel Games, founded in 2008 by Radwan Kasmiya and Vince Ghossoub, whose goal is to produce games with an Arab point of view to offset the dominant Western narratives in the gaming industry. Their browser-based MMORPGs Quraish and Under Siege are inspired by Middle Eastern history.
Nezal Entertainment, founded in Egypt in 2010, also aims to make games that are culturally relevant to the modern Middle Eastern gamer. Their Facebook game Crowds: Voices of Tahrir, is just that, as it allows the player to experience the eighteen days of Egypt’s revolution in 2011.
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Founded in 2003, Jordanian Maysalward was one of the first Middle Eastern game developers to make a splash. They have achieved great success with casual online games such as Cocktail Mania, Trix and Dominoes. They have also attracted attention for their internal culture, focused on collaboration and autonomy.
Startup Game Cooks was founded in Beirut earlier this year and achieved great success in a short time. Their mobile-based memory game Deja Vu has hit #1 in the iOS App Store in several countries, in the MENA region as well as in Europe, and continues to grow in popularity.
Another young startup, Pirahna Byte, was founded in Dubai only a year ago by gaming enthusiasts from across the Middle East. They recently launched their first game for iOS, photo puzzle Peek. Simple but addicting, it hints at bright future prospects.
See Wamda for the full list of ten innovative Arab gaming startups.