Opening to a Full House, the First Cross-Industry Video Games Event in the Middle East to Provide the Entertainment Sector with a Platform for Growth in an Industry Worth US$11.1 billion Across EMEA
In a major boost to the region's maturing gaming industry, GAMES 08 has been hailed as a major success by both the region's trade as well as gaming fans. The founders of the first Middle East gaming event to enjoy cross-industry support believe that GAMES 08 has the capacity to drive growth, innovation, and development in a business that is estimated to generate some US$15.4 billion in revenues by 2011 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa*.
"We're witnessing growth rates of 40 percent and above for sales locally, and we want to keep the momentum going," said Tim Stokes, Sales & Marketing Director, PlayStation Division, Sony Gulf. "The aim of GAMES is not just to showcase the latest in gaming, but it's also to hear what the region's trade and gamers have to say, to develop for our business partners and end users here."
Joined by distributors and retailers from across the Gulf manufacturers Sony and Microsoft outlined their plans for upgrades to their existing hardware, whilst publishers including Activision, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Midway, and SEGA rolled out their own games pipelines for the coming months.
"We do welcome efforts to engage the region, to educate the gaming industry, and to provide us with the means to engage the public. There's so much excitement today around what is happening with gaming, the direction that manufacturers are taking in terms of their hardware, and the realism of the gaming experience. Whilst this is a start, we believe that GAMES 08 is the beginning of something much bigger," added Stokes.
Held on the 17th and 18th, the agenda for GAMES 08 on its first day included presentations from publishers and key note speakers to discuss issues such as developing retail concepts, online gaming in the Middle East, as well as boosting the sales of legal software. In the evening those people who have made outstanding contributions to the gaming industry in the Middle East will be awarded at gala dinner at Dubai's Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Open to the public from 6pm onwards on the 18th, publishers Electronic Arts, Midway, Sega, Take Two, THQ Ubisoft, and Vivendi Games will be present at GAMES 08 to meet and greet consumers and press well into the night, as well as give gamers a chance to preview the hottest titles scheduled for release in the coming 6 months.