While gaming sector has ample room for growth, it remains difficult to convince investors to put money in local game startups. Indeed, the MENA market has an estimated 45 million gamers and is estimated at $1 billion.
To get a better understanding of MENA’s gaming sector Aramex has published a report, in collaboration with Wamda and the American University in Cairo (AUC), on Wizards Production Company, an Arabic focused Massive Multiplayer Online game provider. The company was founded by Sohaib Thiab, Hossam Hammo, and the late Afif Toukan. The report details the life of the company, from its creation to its eventual closure and how it was a successful model in the industry.
Researchers found a number of crucial aspects that allowed Wizards Production to thrive in the region. The near non-existence of competition allowed the company to easily grow and grab a large portion of its target market unchallenged.
It also had the benefit of creating content as well as translating and localizing foreign games. By creating Arabic content for an Arabic audience, they cemented the loyalty of their audience which preferred to support an Arabic company over a foreign one.
The company also had a very successful employee retention policy. It lost just one employee to a foreign company. Wizard approached the six month training program as an investment, and inculcated employees with the idea that they were all important to the company.
The biggest obstacle Wizards Production’s founders had to face was at the very start when looking for investment. The financial crisis was in full swing and no one was willing to invest in what investors believed to be a juvenile industry that they did not take seriously. They eventually managed to convince three angel investors and their company took off.
But why did Wizards Productions eventually close? The company received funding to produce new 3D projects, but underestimated how expensive developing them would be. Losses were high and Wizards Production shifted to mobile gaming and raised more funds in an effort to stay afloat. Unfortunately, losses from the 3D game projects were too high and the company had to close.
To know more, please scroll up and click the gray box to the right to download the full report.