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ADMC adds gaming to its portfolio

Karkadann Games will focus on regional stories and local characters for their games

ADMC adds gaming to its portfolio
Ricky Ghai, executive director, Digital Media said its focus is on innovation and developing quality content.

Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) has expanded with the addition of a new gaming studio to its portfolio of digital entertainment media businesses.

Karkadann Games is a developer and publisher of video games, that focuses on creating original titles for both the Middle East and international audiences.

"Our aim is to lead the development of the media industry in the region, from a business, innovation and audience engagement perspective," said ADMC CEO Ed Borgerding. "The future development of our company depends on broadening our offering, and leveraging our leadership position to pursue digital opportunities. Gaming is currently the fastest growing entertainment sector worldwide. Karkadann Games represents a strategic addition to our existing media entertainment offering and a new milestone of audience engagement," said Borgerding.

According to ADMC, the gaming sector is growing and transforming rapidly. Digital downloads, mobile games apps and social network gaming are currently driving gaming trends and the expansion of the industry as well as creating new revenue channels.

The growth of online gaming, which now represents 15% of the global video game industry, is predicted to make over $13 billion in 2011, according to ADMC.

Online gaming is growing exponentially in the Middle East, due to growing internet and broadband penetration, which is now estimated at 46.6% by Internet World Stats, according to ADMC.

A recent survey by the Arab Advisors Group revealed that up to 65.3% of internet users in Saudi Arabia play online games.

"We are extremely excited to be plugging in Karkadann Games. We think the studio is going to shake up the industry and position itself at the heart of the future gaming market in the region," said Ricky Ghai, executive director, Digital Media. "Our focus is on innovation and on developing quality content. As content drives technology adoption, we see it as a central pillar of our digital economy strategy. We're also fine-tuning our business strategy to encompass market trends: the rapid proliferation of mobile technology devices, the rise of casual gaming on social and interactive platforms, and the emergence of online retail solutions. With Karkadann Games we are applying our gained knowledge of how to grow audiences, engage them and monetise effectively."

David Ortiz, the newly appointed general manager of Karkadann Games, will oversee the strategic development of the studio and manage a team that is comprised of international and local game designers and local gaming talent.

"We're excited about the games in development. We want to bring original titles to the market with new and entertaining gameplay that fans of all ages and all levels can enjoy. We're also excited about building an incredible team in Abu Dhabi, discovering and developing home-grown talent", said Ortiz.

The gaming studio is set to release two titles this year, Cricket Power: ICC World Cup 2011, set to release this month and Manny Pacquiao Pound For Pound (working title), with a mid 2011 release date.

The studio is focussing on both regional stories and local talent in their upcoming game offerings.

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