While Iran has been making a concerted effort of late to beef up its presence in the international game market, developers located there still must oversome a series of obstacles to create videogames.
The Washington Post takes a look at the PC game Garshasp, the Monster Slayer, which was created by a team of 20 Iranians operating as Fanafzar Game Studios. The game, an action-adventure title for the PC set in a world of mythological monsters, and steeped in Persian history, is scheduled for a global release soon, but the developers are choosing to delay a domestic release in Iran, saying that “this is not the right time to promote our game” in their own country.
Iran posses absolutely no copyright laws, meaning that games, music and movies can be freely distributed, leading Arash Jafari to state that, “People thought we had lost our minds” for choosing to make games as a profession.
Additionally, the developers had to work around trade sanctions against Iran, forcing their hand into using freely available open-source software to power their game. The group also leveraged the Internet to learn more about development. Jafari said that, “Google was our university.”
The developers also recently received a grant from Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, which will help it promote the game abroad, leading Chief Executive Amir Hossein Fassihi to proclaim, “We are now in control of our own future.” Indeed the game has already secured distribution in Germany.
The Garshasp website also indicates that the developer’s studio is a division of Fanafzar Sharif Software Company and that the developers are in partnership with the Computer Games Foundation of Iran.
The developers keep up a blog, in English, which has more art from and insight into the making of the game.