H.E. Minister of Telecommunications, Boutros Harb, represented by Mr. Nagi Abboud, inaugurated The Middle East and North Africa’s Online, Mobile & Console Games Conference, MENA Games 2016, organized by International Fairs & Promotions (IFP Group) at Mar Mikhael Historical Train Station, with the official support of Alfa, managed by Orascom Telecom, and the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI).
Addressing more than 400 delegates representing some of the biggest local, regional and international game development companies, and more than 40 leading experts and speakers, Mr. Abboud emphasized the value and importance of organizing such a conference. In his opening keynote Mr. Abboud highlighted the role of the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunications as a key enabler to the creation and development of a powerful gaming industry in Lebanon and the region. Mr. Abboud also shared the Ministry’s Vision 2020 to build state-of-the-art networks and infrastructure, thus providing the Lebanese gamers with the essential tool to materialize their potential and change the country’s economy.
In his welcome note, IFP Group Chairman, Mr. Albert Aoun confirmed that the MENA Games Conference represents the group’s commitment to the bright future of the gaming industry, as it grows its networks and partnerships with leading organizations and other leading conferences in the world. “We are confident that MENA Games Conference will contribute to the continuous development of one of the most powerful medium of the 21st century”, said Mr. Aoun before announcing the latest addition to the MENA Games this year: the Celebrity Games Challenge. Led by H.E. former Minister Nicolas Sahnaoui, and powered by PlayStation, the challenge welcomed several Lebanese celebrities.
Alongside the 60+ workshops, 45 speakers, and B2B matchmaking platform – Pitch & Match, the MENA Games Conference will host the Arabic Game Jam and Falafel Games Residency Award Ceremonies, announced Mr. Aoun.
Alfa Chairman and CEO, Mr. Marwan Hayek, underlined the influential role of Alfa in the Lebanese gaming industry through supporting developers and providing the infrastructure, and latest technologies and services that cater for their needs such as operator billing, real-time charging, and APIs. He added: “through our 3G+ and 4G LTE networks we are offering high speed internet thus facilitating the way for developers and soon with the 4.5G LTE network currently being deployed, a Nationwide LTE-A coverage will be provided offering users unprecedented speeds of up to 300mbit/sec”.
The opening ceremony also included a keynote from Mr. Burak Balik who has a successful record of two large industry exits in the MENA Region. Mr. Balik, investor and entrepreneur, is the founder of “Joygame”, the largest game publisher in Turkey and MENA that was acquired 3 years ago by Netmarble. In his keynote, Mr. Balik shared his experience in the gaming industry from the early stages of a startup to his successful exist.
The MENA Games Conference is exceptional compared to similar events in the region. It is a unique platform for local companies to establish and grow the gaming ecosystem of the region, and benefit from the international participants’ knowledge and expertise to globally expand and develop. The conference is also a valuable place for international companies to meet the local industry’s key players (from game developers and publishers to media and communication partners) and gather insights about the MENA market.
For its second edition this year, the MENA Games Conference will explore the development of games for local Arabic audiences, the expansion and investment opportunities for international companies, and the value of strong and collaborative partnerships between the MENA gaming companies and global firms.
For more information, kindly visit the following website: www.menagames.com