Piracy hindering gaming growth

Gaming piracy is a huge issue in the Middle East and is hindering the development of the region's gaming market, claimed the CEO of regional game distributor Red Entertainment.

  • E-Mail
By  Cleona Godinho Published  April 18, 2007

Gaming piracy is a huge issue in the Middle East and is hindering the development of the region's gaming market, claimed the CEO of regional game distributor Red Entertainment. In an exclusive interview with Windows Middle East, Michael Wombwell stated, “In order for the gaming market to fully develop in this region, countries here need to have a clean intellectual property environment, which is not the case. This current situation means a number of gaming publishers such as Activision are less likely to invest in localising games and creating Arabic language support and online inter-play because of the loss in revenue.'' According to Wombwell, gaming piracy is rampant here, particularly in the UAE's capital Abu Dhabi, as well as in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He revealed that the gaming formats most affected by piracy are currently Gameboy Advance, Nintendo and Xbox 360. He also disclosed that Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) was affected. Wombwell reckons the region's law enforcement needs to implement tougher penalties in order for piracy to be curbed. '"If law enforcement would put pirates in jail for five years and fine them US $10,000 there would be a lot less piracy going on,'' he suggested. In a bid to fight gaming piracy Wombwell revealed Red Entertainment was working closely with the Arabian Anti-piracy Association (AAA). This organisation puts together seminars to educate consumers about piracy and holds raids around the region. The AAA’s head, Scott Butler, also agrees with Wombwell on the need for tougher counterfeiting sentences in Kuwait. Speaking to Windows’ sister publication IT Weekly, last year, Butler commented, “They [software pirates] are getting a slap on the wrist and there is no deterrence. So the fantastic work of customs, the police, the municipality, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Ministry of Information are not capitalised on by the courts because there are no deterrent penalties being issued”. “What we have advised the government on is the adoption of a new copyright law. Within the copyright law not only are high fines and imprisonment stipulated, but more importantly there is minimum mandatory sentencing,” he concluded.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code