Sandsoft Games launches today as a video game publisher and developer dedicated to bringing entertainment experiences to MENA players.
MENA which includes all countries in the Middle East and North Africa has long been considered an emerging market for video games with a high volume of publishers localising games for the region. Sandsoft aims to cement the region's position as a global market leader and will bring games to MENA that truly embrace the culture.
Sandsoft Games was formed by the Ajlan & Bros Group, one of the biggest families in Saudi Arabia and a series of global video games industry leaders including Mo Fadl who held positions as the Head of Global Esports at Wargaming and Head of Publishing for Nordics at Riot Games.
The MENA market has seen 25 percent annual revenue growth, which is the highest rate of growth for video games globally. In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), games revenue is estimated to reach $4.8 billion in 2020 and $6 billion by 2021. In addition, the Middle East boasts a young population, high purchase power and is considered to be an innovative tech hub with a fantastic infrastructure that is constantly evolving.
Despite consistent growth the video games industry in the region is still considered to be an emerging market and the ecosystem remains underdeveloped. Sandsoft is looking to help shape the ecosystem by incorporating their international and local expertise and offering the culturalization of products to ensure games are launched in a way that will resonate with players and truly represent the market to help it grow.
Sandsoft Games is funded by Ajlan & Bros, one of the largest private sector companies in MENA, employing 7000 people globally. Ajlan & Bros recently formed Future Projects, a company dedicated to the modernization of the region and delivering unique entertainment experiences for MENA with video games playing a significant role. Sandsoft Games was created alongside Future Projects and will handle the development and publishing of video games for the region creating stronger foundations for the video games market and amplifying the modernization of MENA.
To help develop the initiative further Ajlan & Bros is also able to offer access to the wider holdings group which consists of businesses across E-Payments, Cloud Infrastructure and Retail which will provide Sandsoft Games with an unrivalled combination of services for the region and the full ecosystem to publish a game all under one roof.
Internally Sandsoft will offer full publishing services across mobile, PC, console, including User Acquisition, Marketing and Localization. The team also has the unique ability to speak the same language as the MENA audience, sharing their interests and passions thanks to a multicultural team with several offices located in several MENA countries, allowing the team to cater relevant and resonant services and experiences to players of the region.
In addition, Sandsoft offers internal developers as part of their product team, ensuring developers speak to developers in their language, speeding up production while also ensuring a high standard of quality for the games they launch. Heading up Sandsoft Games is Mo Fadl, with over 16 years publishing experience and roles at NCSoft, Blizzard, Riot Games and Wargaming where he was Head of Global Competitive Gaming and a member of the publishing board. With Arab heritage and international publishing experience Mo will grow the team with new hires being announced soon and will oversee the onboarding of new products to ensure Sandsoft is always putting MENA players first.
“MENA has for a long time been an emerging market. There are a number of prominent titles that have been localized for the region but what I’ve often found is the region is an afterthought and products are only translated even though we know just how hungry MENA players are for new gaming experiences. It has always been my ambition to push the gaming scene further in MENA. I believe all gamers should be offered the best possible entertainment experience and my goal is to build a team who will help to achieve this for MENA. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of Sandsoft, this is my lifelong passion,” said Mo Fadl, CEO of Sandsoft Games. “Sandsoft is international and local, speaking the local language and development language, providing publishing services and access to the wider MENA infrastructure that will allow products of all shapes and sizes to be culturalized, not just localized.”
Abdulaziz Alajlan, Board Member for Sandsoft Games and Managing Director of Ajlan & Bros said: “MENA is going through an incredible transition, with the region being modernized and video games will play a key role. Ajlan & Bros has been committed to developing MENA. We recognise that to do this successfully we need to make the region accessible. Accessibility is being offered in two ways- having international industry leaders such as Mo and the wider team who have roots across the West and East and offering easy access to a multitude of services. The Ajlan & Bros portfolio provides a full infrastructure to launch a video game. We want to ensure it’s easy for publishers and developers around the world to launch their games in MENA to ensure we can provide as many fantastic opportunities to our players as possible.”