Abu Dhabi Media Company Enters MMOG with a Joint Venture in the Gaming Sector with Gazillion

5 Aug, 2009

abu dhabi meda companyMMOG – Massively Multiplayer Online Games are hot in the world, the Worldwide MMOG market is estimated to yield USD13bn by 2013 and games such as World-of-Warcraft has 11m subscribers and USD 1bn of annual revenue and valuation of USD 9bn. And because MMOG market is hot, many regional players are jumping in. The recent one is Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) with its announcement yesterday of a joint venture agreement with San Mateo, California, Gazillion Entertainment.

Abu Dhabi, UAE based Abu Dhabi Media Company is huge Arab media company that owns and operates a range of Television channels (ex: Abu Dhabi Al Emarat,), Radio stations, a number of publications (ex: The National Newspaper) and a number of other media related businesses.

Under the partnership Abu Dhabi Media Company along with Gazillion Entertainment will create a Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) Studio in Abu Dhabi.

According to a press release delivered to ArabCrunch the 50:50 JV agreement with Gazillion Entertainment, is intended to develop the path towards creating content in Arabic for the Arabic gaming market.
To me I do not know what the wisdom is for a regional Media company full of cash like Abu Dhabi Media to partner with an International company to localize its games?

Some might argue that Gazillion has the experience and that will speed up the localization process, but some others will argue that developing MMOG is not a rocket sciences, if you hire the right people, you can do it in-house. While others would say that Abu Dhabi Media should have acquired or partnered with the regional startup that is developing games in that sector whether for the International or the regional market! (I will profile some them very soon on AC inshallah. )
However, some of the good points of the deal that Emirati students and graduates will be able to generate games content which is meaningful to the Arab world. Students from Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Abu Dhabi will benefit from employment and on-the-job internship programmes at the JV in Abu Dhabi, a direct result of the collaboration begun earlier this year between ADMC and HCT. Internship and employment schemes will begin in Abu Dhabi in 2010 which include the opportunity for training placements overseas at Gazillion offices.

The Joint Venture is part of ADMC’s digital media expansion strategy. “Abu Dhabi Media Company continues to evolve and maximize the potential of its incredible portfolio of brands, on a global scale, well beyond traditional media outlets. We believe this is the right time for us to take the next step into this and other new digital platforms”, explained Edward Borgerding, CEO of ADMC.
The digital media arm of ADMC established in 2008 , has embarked on numerous online projects. Such as football and music arenas ‘Goalarabia.com’ and ‘Getmoarabia.com /’ respectively.

majed front
The first game from the new studio in Abu Dhabi is the development of an Arabic language MMOG, based on the popular character ‘Majid’.  Majid is also a very popular magazine for kids that I used to be a fan of when I was a young.

PS: Massive multiplayer online game (MMOG or MMO)  is a type video games which is capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously and played over the Internet.

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  1. Abu Dhabi Media Company Enters MMOG with a Joint Venture in the … | arablives  |  August 6th, 2009 at 12:18 AM #

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  3. Gambling is Harram but….Abu Dhabi Media Company Enters MMOG with a Joint Venture in the Gaming Sector with Gazillion « euraktiva  |  August 6th, 2009 at 7:53 AM #

    [...] via Abu Dhabi Media Company Enters MMOG with a Joint Venture in the Gaming Sector with Gazillion. [...]

  4. Ricky Ghai  |  August 6th, 2009 at 2:24 PM #

    “To begin with, thank you very much for mentioning us. We are keen followers of ArabCrunch and it was gratifying to see the Abu Dhabi Media Company and Gazillion Joint Venture story covered here.

    By way of introduction, I’m the Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Media Company's Digital Group and I would like to answer your question about why we chose to partner with Gazillion.

    At the outset I must clarify that we are not localizing international games but are creating our own homegrown games meant specifically for the region and the Arabic gamer and the first game, as you have stated with emotion, is based on the popular cartoon character Majid.

    Our focus will be on MMO games that will fit with the Arabic culture and habits and perfectly accommodate the cultural sensitiveness of the region. One of the reasons why we tied-up with one of the top tier MMOG development companies and created the JV in Abu Dhabi is to provide a meaningful and professional way of capitalizing on our precious brands / IP, rather than simply copying games from outside and distributing them into the region.

    Most importantly perhaps the new company will foster UAE’s young talent and create employment in the technology sector and MMO games will be an ideal opportunity for young Emirati graduates to develop and hone their creative skills within the Arabic online gaming arena. Our aim is to establish ourselves as the creators, developers and pioneers of Arabic online games at the global level. We will have the technology, knowledge, skills, and business acumen to ensure that the Abu Dhabi MMOG Studio is a success story right from the start.

    We are exceptionally proud of this project and this along with other initiatives from ADMC's Digital Group will reinforce Abu Dhabi's position across the media landscape and provide further depth to ADMC integrated portfolio.

    Ricky Ghai, Executive Director, ADMC Digital Group.

  5. Gaith  |  October 2nd, 2009 at 5:50 AM #

    Thanks Ricky for the comment and the nice words, and sorry for being late to reply. but i was just hopping that you would partner with local startups from the region in the MMO arena.
    there is a company that is started by Arabs called Go3 i covered it here http://arabcrunch.com/2009/01/go3-online-gaming-c… they will be launching an MMO game soon, i ll be covering them again soon.

    Thanks,

  6. oli  |  November 9th, 2009 at 10:07 PM #

    Very interested in the new arab company venture! would there be opportunity for new cartoon characted development? i have a series of new -never seen-dynamic characters that deserve to be brought to "life" via the media industry. please advise if opportunity is availble. cordially, Oli

  7. Ricky Ghai  |  June 21st, 2010 at 10:30 PM #

    Sorry for late reply. The intention of this MMOG studio is to truly develop local IP and talent. Partnering with an international company is to ensure that we attract to attention from international business and bring focus to this region.

    Additionally we aim to train and develop local skills and to enhance and give opportunity to those already with some experience in this space.

    Once we announce the plans fully we would be delighted to receive proposals from local developers and talent. Please watch this space and other announcements over the coming two months. We are really hopeful that you and others can support this with your talent.

    Thank you for your comments.

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