Pakistan – An Emerging Gaming Market
Guest Post by Mohammad Faizan
Who’d have thought the country better known for all the wrong reasons like terrorism, bomb blasts and what not, will make an IT industry one of the fastest growing industries in Pakistan. The country with immense raw talent continues to rise on the globe as Pakistan started to show its existence with a better image.
The new young generation of game developers in the country has helped industry to grow to an estimated $3 billion. This is due to the hard work of many young and creative Pakistani entrepreneurs and gamers like Shahid Ahmed who won Develop Industry Excellence Award in 2014 for his immense contribution for Sony Entertainment. Sumail, 16, a Pakistani gamer made history when he helped his team to win Dota 2 Asian Championship in 2015.
According to a report, Pakistan employs more than 25,000 people in software exports. There are many start-up companies established by young developers like Mindstorm by Ahmed, Kwick Games and Caramel Studio to name a few.
Pakistani developers came up with innovative apps like Groopic, Whacksy Taxi, Ranger Sniper Shooter 3D and Stick Cricket which got recognition from international media. In fact Whacksy Taxi became the most downloaded apps in 25 countries. These success stories emerging from Pakistan caught the attention of internationally recognized game developers like UBISOFT, EA, Microsoft Studios, SONY Entertainment and MTV Games etc. These game developers came up with the most addictive games like Call of Duty, Assassin Creed and Crysis 1 and Crysis 2.
Islamabad based talented group of developers came up with the game called Dream Chaser which was published by the makers of Angry Bird which has over 500 million downloads, Whoa! Isn’t it something to be proud of?
According to PAS report, Pakistan will have 40 million smart phone users by the end of 2016. As the trend is shifting to smart phones, Pakistani developers are quick and receptive to change.
Pakistani game makers develop several apps targeting the local market and for that purpose they keep an eagle eye on national affairs. One of the games is Extreme Metro Run, which depicts the Rowdiness of our society by smashing Metro bus in Islamabad.
Similarly, the growing trend of celebrating western festivals such as Halloween is inspiring our developers to come up with interesting themes. One of the examples is Pump Jump. The swiftness of our developers is commendable as they come up with an interesting game as soon as they notice new trend emerging in Pakistan.
According to the reports, the trend is shifted from console games to the social media and mobile games. The further research says that the game industry is likely to become $41 billion industry by 2017. These estimates are well-taken by our entrepreneurs as they are planning to capitalize the information by collaborating with international investors.
One of the Pakistani companies is Kwick Games. They have alliance with internationally renowned company Mühlbauer AG and several others to bring revolution in IT industry by bringing new and digital softwares.
IT industry in Pakistan generates more than $2 Billion annual revenue. Despite of the fact, there are several challenges and loops which are faced by our IT industry and people of Pakistan. One of them is the gap between IT industry and Academic Institutions. Students are not encouraged and brought to a platform where they can exhibit their talent. Similarly, the cyber crime keep our local smart phones users reluctant to disclose their credit card information which ultimately drives our game developers look out to international market for In-app purchases.
With all these problems there’s a silver lining as PASHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association) is working tirelessly to cope up with the current challenges. According to recent reports, Pakistan is now listed in anti- money laundering body Financial Action Task Force (FATF) white list to support E-payment system by inviting PayPal, Amazon and other giant online-stores in Pakistan. Similarly, with rapidly increasing 3G and 4G LTE users in Pakistan, investors from China and Europe are gradually coming so we can expect our IT industry to grow. If current on-going talks with foreign investors are put to actions then the IT industry will prevail at the rapid pace in future.
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