Maysalward, Tamatem and Nifty Craft CEOs on Savvy Games Group's KSA and MENA investment

A trio of MENA's prime movers believe that investment can drive innovation “by working together, sharing resources, and leveraging each other's strengths."

Maysalward, Tamatem and Nifty Craft CEOs on Savvy Games Group's KSA and MENA investment

The video games industry is experiencing accelerated growth where big investments are changing how games are made in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In advance of the Dubai GameExpo Summit powered by Pocket Gamer Connects on May 1st and 2nd we had the opportunity to chat with some of the leading games company founders in MENA.

We spoke with Maysalward CEO Nour KhraisTamatem Games CEO Hussam Hammo and Nifty Craft co-founder Vince Ghossoub about the transformative impact of significant gaming investments originating from Saudi Arabia and Savvy Games Group.

Our conversations aimed to explore not only the immediate effects within Saudi Arabia but also the broader implications for neighboring countries in the MENA region, prompting them to explore investment opportunities of their own.

The KSA as a global gaming hub

Summing up the investment in its clearest terms Maysalward CEO Khrais says the injection in games from the KSA and Savvy Games Group “has not only elevated Saudi Arabia as a gaming hub but has also spurred other countries to recognize the potential of the gaming industry for economic growth and development.”

“As a result, there is a growing trend of more countries in the region showing interest in investing in the gaming sector to capitalize on its potential benefits,” said Khrais. Adding that “this increased investment from other countries indicates a broader recognition of the gaming industry's significance and opportunities for economic diversification and innovation across the region.”

Tamatem's CEO Hammo agrees that the investments have undoubtedly brought a lot of attention from global developers and publishers to MENA. He says that the investments “actually came from outside of the region (or majority of it at least)” and that he hopes “we will see more direct investments or consolidations happening in the region using the region's own resources.”

They've put the region in the limelight and reinvigorated existing initiatives.
Vince Ghossoub, Falafel Games & Nifty Craft

They've put the region in the limelight and reinvigorated existing initiatives

Falafel Games and Nifty Craft's co-founder Ghossoub believes the investments have "provided comfort to the private sector in Saudi and neighboring countries with regards to investing in this industry. They've put the region in the limelight and reinvigorated existing initiatives such as those taking place in Abu Dhabi. That said, tangible consequences still need some time to take shape along the timeline of a nation."

The importance of collaboration

Khrais goes on to emphasize the importance of fostering collaborative relationships between countries. “With its wealth of talent and innovation in the gaming industry, it is crucial for Jordan to foster collaborative relationships with neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Despite the limitations in the local market, these partnerships offer opportunities for Jordanian talents to expand their reach and access more excellent resources and investment opportunities.”

The Maysalward founder stresses the significance of partnering with neighboring countries to progress the gaming industry as he believes that “by working together, sharing resources, and leveraging each other's strengths, countries in the [MENA] region can collectively drive innovation, foster talent development, and create a thriving gaming ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders.”

Khrais concludes that although the collaborations should bolster the region's “individual gaming sectors within each country,” it'll also contribute to MENA’s “broader economic and cultural development as a whole.”

Be part of our next MENA event!

After a triumphant first year in 2023, The Dubai GameExpo Summit powered by PG Connects returns on May 1st to 2nd, 2024 alongside the Dubai Esports and Games Festival at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The summit will feature more than 100 renowned games industry speakers from all over the globe delivering insightful talks, panels and seminars across a number of themed tracks.

There will be extensive networking opportunities for anyone looking to get established in the region, whether you're a developer looking for a local publisher, or interested in exporting a hot new game from MENA to find a global audience.

Tickets are on sale now!

Staff Writer

Isa Muhammad is a B2B writer and video games journalist with 5+ years experience covering games, interviewing industry professionals, tracking industry trends and understanding the market.