Art And Culture

Video Games Flourishing

Iranian video game 'Rooster Wars'Iranian video game 'Rooster Wars'

The Iranian video games industry is young but blooming and may soon be booming.

Iran is taking part in the ongoing Gamescom 2016, which is Europe's biggest trade fair for interactive games and entertainment held annually in Cologne, Germany.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's international broadcaster, Iranian video game developer Mehrdad Ashtiani and distributor Sara Yektapour who are participating in the event, gave details about the gaming industry in Iran.

"Iran has an emerging market with 23 million gamers. Almost 80% of the people play mobile games on their smartphones, just like everywhere else in the world," Ashtiani said. Iranian users prefer strategy and action games as well as RPGs (role playing games). "Strategy games such as 'Clash of Clans' or 'Clash of Kings' are really popular - they are among the highest grossing games on the mobile games market," Ashtiani added.

While the mentioned games are imported, four games among the top 10 highest grossing games of the market are Iranian productions, namely 'Rooster Wars', an action battle game, 'Fruit Craft', a card game, 'Second Gear', a drag racing game and 'Hey Taxi', a runner game.

"The market is growing every day. The first companies started production in Iran in 2010. The one thing is that because we do not have access to international credit cards, foreign companies have to set up 'payment integration' and sell within our local app stores," Yektapour said.

Explaining the profits game developers can expect to make in Iran, she noted, "It depends on the game. Some games can make more than $200,000 daily".

  Focus on Content

Ashtiani pointed to the fact that it is hard to compete with world famous games companies as "they have more resources and bigger budgets". So he believes there is only one way for Iran as a newcomer in the global market to attract users and keep its head above water. "We should focus on providing unique content - based on our own culture, our language, a unique message and artistic styles. This would be interesting for people who haven't seen this kind of content before," he said.

All the information on the game industry in Iran is available in a handbook titled 'Iran's Game Industry: Essential Facts & Key Players 2016-2017' which is presented in the Gamescom, August 17-21.