Art And Culture

‘Dark Years’ Presented by British Distributor at Gamescom

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‘Dark Years’ Presented by British Distributor at Gamescom‘Dark Years’ Presented by British Distributor at Gamescom

Iranian PC video game ‘Dark Years’ is being displayed by a British video game company at Gamescom, a trade fair for video games, underway in Cologne, Germany.

A new industry in Iran, local companies have produced over 200 PC, mobile and online games during the past 10 years, but only a handful have found way to the global market.

The best video game producer in the Middle East region, Iran has participated in the past six editions of Gamescom where video game developers and distributors show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware. Similar to previous rounds, this year also Iran Computer and Video Games Foundation is presenting the latest computer, mobile and online games created by Iranian companies.

However, this year at the seventh edition of Gamescom, Europe’s top gaming event, Iran is experiencing a turning point in its gaming industry as a domestic video game is being introduced to foreign audiences not by the foundation, but by a top British distributor.

‘Dark Years’ is the latest production of Rasana Shokooh-e-Kavir Co. (RSK) and Modern Company which is being exhibited by the British company Kingstill International Software Service besides new games from other countries.

It is the first time a domestic game is showcased by a foreign distributor that has also undertaken its global distribution.

 Historical Documents

In an interview with Financial Tribune, Emad Rahmani, director of RSK explained about the game, from its sketch to global recognition.

‘Dark Years’ is a third-person 3D action/adventure game set in an open world where a player can move freely through a virtual world and is given considerable freedom in choosing how or when to approach objectives.

“Considering the volume of modeling, artistic designs and narrative, it is the biggest project made in Iran,” said Rahmani who together with his team, a group of 25 young talented people, spent four years to produce the game.

“After negotiations, the UK firm accepted to handle the international release of the game. Besides the good quality of the game, the firm’s cooperation is due to the good depiction of London in the 1950s which creates a nostalgic environment while following an enthralling detective story,” Rahmani said.

The storyline narrates the coup d’état of 1953 in Iran. The cities of Tehran and London have been fully recreated and the player takes over the character of an Iranian detective during the historical events of that period until the coup, including criminal acts by foreigners against the people.

The main synopsis is based on the documents of the Organization of Contemporary History with 450 pages of historical documents collected for the plot.

More than 10 hours of gameplay (the plot and the way the game is played) happens at 25 different locations such as boutiques, prison, hospital, etc. Gamers can play with two characters, a detective in Tehran and a journalist in London.

During different levels of the game, gamers should solve engaging and interactive puzzles and find clues to reveal the mystery of murders happening throughout the game.

‘Dark Years’ can be considered the first video game which excels at narrating an accurate documentary of Iran’s contemporary history in a unique game.

RSK is one of the few companies which develops computer games professionally. Founded in 2006, it has marketed eight games in Iran and four globally.

In 2009, ‘A Murder in the Alleys of Tehran, 1933’ was welcomed by critics and audience. It was distributed abroad by the British company Lace Mamba Games Ltd. ‘Ali-Mardan’s Mischiefs’ was also considered a hit not only in Iran, but also internationally as it was released online by the Swedish company GamersGate.

 Effect on Local Industry

While RSK has devised the technical parts of the game, Modern, as the producer, has financed the project and its local advertisement and distribution.

On the importance of the global release by the British company, director of Modern, Morteza Dastkhah, said a few other games were distributed abroad by local companies but as they are not known in the world, they failed in the market. “But we hope this project is welcomed on the international scene”.

It will open a new window to the domestic game industry as foreign companies will seek further cooperation that will help enhance the industry locally, Dastkhah added.

The foreign distributor is a full service digital distribution management company with nearly 100 years experience in the games industry. It works closely with the world’s top digital distribution platforms including Steam, Amazon, Gamestop, EA/Origin, GamersGate, Gamefly and Yuplay.

Gamescom was inaugurated on August 3 with scientific conferences and the commercial section and video games display started on August 5. Video game developers from Italy, China, Argentina, Canada, Mexico and England are taking part in the fair which runs until August 9.