Syrian Game Development Prospering

April 13, 2010 -

Syria is a country of approximately 22.0 million people, but it’s not often thought of as a center of game development.

While the country’s origins in game development are only about a dozen years old, the country has produced its fair share of videogames, the history of which are detailed in an article on GamesLatest, penned by Syrian game developer Radwan Kasmiya.

Kasmiya pins the delay in Syrian game development taking off on “serious” Arab developers generally gravitating towards creating corporate applications in order to make ends meet. This situation, in turn, helped to foster Syria’s independent gaming community, of which Kasmiya was a member—he released a game called War 73 in 1999, which centered on the Arab-Israeli conflicts.

The first commercially-developed Syrian game, according to the author, was Under Ash, which work started on in 2000. Given the limited funds behind the game, its developers were forced to construct a 3D engine from scratch, but the game, based on the Palestinian conflict, went on to sell 100,000 units over six months, a “huge number.”

Following the success of Under Ash, the developers formed the company AfkarMedia and released Under Ash II (also called Under Siege) in 2004, a game that revolved around the modern history of Palestine and featured a storyline based on actual United Nations records from 1978-2004. The company is still pumping out games today.

The article also mentions the company Techniat3D, whose adventure game sold only about 100 copies, which the author attributes to the “improper attire” worn by the game’s heroine on the front of its box. Another company mentioned is Joy Box, which formed in 2008 and focuses on casual and mobile games.

Kasmiya explained why Syrian developers are more focused on the PC as a gaming platform:

This was simply due to the fact that PCs are a more affordable platform for publishers. The other reason relates to the console manufacturer’s attitude toward the ME market. Everybody knows that Microsoft doesn’t even support Xbox Live services, although Sony consoles are very popular in this region, many countries (including Syria) are not even included in their PlayStation Networks list of supported countries.

Kasmiya calls the future of Syrian game developers “promising,” and dubs the country, “one of the core countries of the video games industry in the Middle East.”


 
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Matthew WilsonI hope its released to netflix or amazon12/18/2014 - 12:11am
prh99Basically they've given every tin pot dictator and repressive regime a blue print how to conduct censorship abroad. The hecklers veto wins again. At least when it comes to Sony and the four major theater chains.12/17/2014 - 11:55pm
MaskedPixelante"It's not OUR fault that our game doesn't work, it's YOUR fault for having so many friends."12/17/2014 - 9:48pm
Matthew Wilsonapparently tetris did not work because he has a full friends list12/17/2014 - 9:21pm
WonderkarpSo Sony cancelled the release of the Interview. was it ever confirmed that the Sony hacking was done because of that specific movie?12/17/2014 - 8:54pm
MaskedPixelanteWow, Ubisoft went four for four, I didn't think it was actually possible.12/17/2014 - 8:37pm
MechaTama31Oh, ok, I was mixing up "on Greenlight" and "Greenlit".12/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Matthew Wilson@phx you beat me to it. how do you screw up tetris?! my ubisoft this is just stupid. no one should ever preorder a ubisoft game again! ps people should never preorder any game regardles of dev.12/17/2014 - 6:28pm
PHX Corphttp://www.ign.com/videos/2014/12/17/what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-tetris-ps4 I give up on ubisoft12/17/2014 - 6:01pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://comicbook.com/blog/2014/08/16/exclusive-original-unaltered-cut-of-star-wars-trilogy-to-be-rele/ Yeah, this'll never happen.12/17/2014 - 5:03pm
NeenekoThey have and exercise control over which games are allowed on their privately controlled 'open forum'. Their endorsement is fairly minimal since it is only 'we do not reject this', but it is still an endorsement of sorts.12/17/2014 - 3:58pm
NeenekoHistorically there have been issues with libraries allowing some groups but not others. Perhaps 'endorsement' is too strong a word, but their editorial control IS a preapproval process, even if the standards are pretty minimal.12/17/2014 - 3:56pm
E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
E. Zachary KnightValve's editorial control comes from removing problem games and accepting games to Steam. They make no claim over any games otherwise.12/17/2014 - 12:52pm
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, It is not at all a form of endorsement. Grenlight is an open forum for game developers to pitch their game to Valve/Steam and Steam users. Does Valve have some editorial control? Yes, but not to the point that they preapprove games.12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Neeneko@EZK - I disagree. Greenlight is built off Valve's brand. While not an explicit endorsement, it is a form of it, otherwise Greenlight would have no value over other platforms.12/17/2014 - 12:05pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.latino-review.com/news/exclusive-viola-davis-bags-amanda-waller-role-in-suicide-squad Latino Review says Viola Davis will be Amanda Waller. History of Latino Review says "wait for a REAL news site to confirm".12/17/2014 - 10:48am
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/17/7407869/assassins-creed-unity-glitch-broken-problems-xbox-one-patch -Facepalm- Screwup means Assassin's Creed Unity's patch is the 40GB full game on Xbox One12/17/2014 - 10:17am
PHX Corphttp://www.theverge.com/2014/12/16/7401769/the-mpaa-wants-to-strike-at-dns-records-piracy-sopa-leaked-documents Sony leaks reveal Hollywood is trying to break DNS, the backbone of the internet12/17/2014 - 10:05am
E. Zachary KnightA Game being on Greenlight is not an endorsement of said game by Valve, Steam or anyone related to Valve or Steam. Greenlight is a combined sales pitch to Steam and its users.12/17/2014 - 9:51am
 

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