Friday, August 18, 2017

Pakistani Mobile Game Company Opens Shop in San Francisco

Caramel Tech Studios, a Lahore-based mobile games company founded by three Pakistani brothers, is starting a new San Francisco startup, Fizz, that promises to do real-time translation for text chat in mobile games, according to a report by Dean Takahashi in VentureBeat.  Mobile games market represents a huge and rapidly growing lucrative opportunity for Pakistani game developers and publishers.

Caramel Tech Studio's Blades of Battle
The Zaeem brothers, Saad, Ammar and Shayan, got their lucky break when Halfbrick Studios, the Australian game company that makes Fruit Ninja, hired them to build a version of Fruit Ninja for the Nokia Symbian phone platform, according to VentureBeat.

The Halfbrick contract helped the brothers get more work with Kabam, a mobile game company that made hits such as Kingdoms of Camelot. Andrew Sheppard, then head of studios for Kabam, put Caramel Tech Studios to work on a mobile card strategy game, Order of Elements. The studio then worked for Animoca, a Hong Kong company, to build an Astro Boy mobile game.

Caramel Tech Studio attracted Apple's attention when the company decided to build its own title "Blades of Battle" that has been featured by the iPhone giant in 137 countries.

The idea of building real-time translation software company emerged when the brothers saw how important chat could be when they added it to one of their existing games. It cost them about $40,000 in development costs, but it enabled the players to be far more social. That snowballed into bigger download numbers and revenues, Ammar said. And once they built chat, they realized they could do it as a platform, according to VentureBeat.

The rapid growth of smartphones has helped Pakistani game companies to focus and find success in the mobile segment of the game market. One such Pakistani company is Mindstorm Studios, which was initially focused on the PC gaming sector, soon saw a bigger opportunity in mobile space. This new market holds tremendous potential as quality games can be built on smaller budgets.

In 2010, Mindstorm Studios released Whacksy Taxi, jumped to the top position in Apple’s App Store in over 25 countries, and was also featured in a review by CNET. Other popular titles include Mafia Farm and Kingdom of Heroes. These successes have helped Mindstorm Studios to increase cash flow, hire more developers, and focus on strengthening their position, according to Tech in Asia.

Following the success of Mindstorm, several other Pakistani companies, including Tintash, Caramel Tech, Gamestorm, and Gen ITeam have been quick to jump in and focus on building mobile games with global appeal.

Newzoo's Global Games Market Report estimates that 2.2 billion gamers across the globe will generate $108.9 billion in game revenues in 2017. This represents an increase of $7.8 billion, or 7.8%, from the year before. Digital game revenues will account for $94.4 billion or 87% of the global market.

Mobile is the most lucrative segment, with smartphone and tablet gaming growing 19% year on year to $46.1 billion, claiming 42% of the market. In 2020, mobile gaming will grow to more than half of the total games market, according to Newzoo.

Mobile games market represents a huge and rapidly growing lucrative opportunity for Pakistani game developers and publishers like Caramel, Mindstorm, Tintash, Gamestorm and Gen ITeam.

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