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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Friday 14 June, 2024 3:15 am |
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NEOM and Fahy Studios Announce First-Ever Publishing Deal Between a Saudi Gaming Studio and an International Publisher

 Today, NEOM Media Industries announced a groundbreaking publishing deal between Saudi's Fahy Studios and the renowned international video game developer and publisher, Kwalee, facilitated by the Level Up Accelerator, a key initiative of NEOM. This historic agreement marks a significant milestone for the Saudi Games sector, showcasing its immense potential on the global stage, while NEOM Media Industries drives the acceleration and development of the Games sector as part of NEOM's strategic plan to establish itself as the regional epicenter for content creation across gaming, film, television, and digital publishing.

 

NEOM Media Industries has facilitated the publishing deal between Fahy Studios and global publisher Kwalee. This agreement will see Kwalee publish Fahy Studio's future mobile games to a worldwide audience.

 

Building on this success, NEOM’s second cohort of the Level Up Accelerator has now launched, enabling similar opportunities for the next generation of regional game developers. The 12-month program operated in collaboration with DigiPen, a leading educational institute specializing in video game technology and development, is designed to empower and nurture innovative Saudi gaming startups through comprehensive resources, personalized mentorship, and funding.

 

For its inaugural 2023 cohort, Level Up selected 4 gaming startups from an array of applicants, with female CEOs leading 75% of those selected. This year the program has more than doubled in size – accepting an intake of up to 16 studios which are reduced to 6-8 via an internal pitch day. 

 

     

 

Reflecting on the significance of this achievement, Hani Hashem, CEO of Fahy Studios, stated: “We're thrilled to be working alongside Kwalee on developing global games right here in Saudi! The NEOM Level Up Accelerator was imperative in our journey towards the publishing deal. With NEOM’s mentorship and support, we were able to aim high and chart an ambitious course ahead of us.” 

 

Jason Falcus, COO at Kwalee, expressed excitement about joining a pivotal moment in Saudi Arabia's gaming industry. "Partnering with Fahy Studios, talented developers building fresh and fun new games, is an exciting prospect for the future. Kwalee will support Fahy with over a decade of mobile games experience and the vast skill set of our large team of expert game-makers. The backing of NEOM's Level Up Accelerator will allow this partnership to thrive with their outstanding support for games startups and internationally recognized prestige."

 

Wayne Borg, Managing Director, Media Industries, NEOM, said: "NEOM Media Industries is deeply invested in the growth of the gaming industry in KSA and the wider region, positioning NEOM at the heart of this transformative journey. Our commitment extends to empowering startups with vital resources and mentorship, essential for their success. The recent publishing deal with Fahy Studios signifies a significant milestone for our accelerator program, highlighting the caliber of startups it nurtures. We firmly believe that this initiative serves as a cornerstone in cultivating a vibrant gaming ecosystem within NEOM. By attracting startups, it not only generates employment opportunities and attracts top talent to NEOM but also ignites a catalytic effect, driving forward gaming innovation across the region."

 

Raymond Yan, Senior Executive Vice President of DigiPen, said: "At DigiPen we are both proud and honored to align with NEOM Media Industries' vision for the Level Up Accelerator. Our three decades of experience in developing global game development ecosystems resonate deeply with the unique potential we see in Saudi Arabia. This successful partnership with NEOM provides studios with the time truly needed to mature and innovate. With tailored mentorship addressing the specific goals and needs of each studio, we avoid a one-size-fits-all approach, ensuring a more personalized and effective development journey. This commitment to differentiation and extended support underlines our shared vision for fostering a vibrant gaming ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and beyond."

 

As part of its partnership with Fahy Studios and wider strategy, Kwalee is expanding rapidly in the MENA region, and plans to offer an Arabic language version of its mobile publishing platform Hitseeker

 

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