Pluto GT is one of the two big distribution houses in the Middle East for video games and associated paraphernalia. They are the proud distributors of titles such as Fallout 3, Pro Evo, Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid and very lately, even Street Fighter. They also form part of the organization of the Games ’08 alliance and the event. We got a chance to talk to the Managing Director of the company, Rami El Hussain and discuss his views on the turn out and the event itself!
deculture – What was the idea behind Games Alliance Middle East Show 2008?
Rami El Hussein – The exhibition route has failed the industry in the Middle East. There are but a few players in the gaming market here. Everybody used to do their own thing but eventually our interests are same. And therefore this was a natural evolution and a tempting idea to do something on a combined scale where everyone will be present and everyone could come and see what’s in store and play it first hand.
dc – So is the Games Alliance an actual alliance, a legal union so to speak?
REH – It is definitely a possibility; right now it is only for this event, but why not? After all we’re all working to preserve the interest of the Games industry.
dc – You mentioned you wanted everyone to be here? What about Nintendo then?
REH – There is no official dealer for Nintendo here so they’re naturally not represented. Many people have tried to get Nintendo to come down to this region but if they’re not interested we cannot showcase Wii’s and DS’s here where the investors in such event are obviously not them. But if they’re willing to come down here, they’re more than welcome!
dc- It’s not like they’re running out of cash now ;)?
REH – (laughter)
dc – So what do you make of the event so far?
REH – Oh it’s fantastic! The press and media presence is excellent and although I was a little bummed by the traders and retailers not showing for all the presentations, I must say the Publisher’s attendance and preparation has been top notch and all props to them. People have come down from the studios in Europe to talk to the market here and I believe this is a step forward. I also believe that this has brought the industry closer, I mean Sony and Xbox stands are arranged back to back and we’re all sitting on the same table for dinner, stuff like this has never been seen before. It’s just wonderful!
dc – Lets talk a bit about Pluto GT itself. We’ve heard that you’ve recently bagged Capcom’s distribution rights here. Other than a copy of Street Fighter IV, we also ask how has this effected Pluto’s growth?
REH – Yes we do have Capcom in our group now and like I mentioned, the growth is definitely happening! Games ’08 is result of the growth! We’ve also introduced a few more dedicated director positions in the company and appointed people from different parts of the world to run these departments. We have good financial backing from our holding company and as long as that’s that we only hope to get bigger. There are also more acquisitions planned and this just speaks about the value of our business, both to the consumer and the distributor.
dc – Lets end on a casual note, what are your three most favourite games on the floor?
REH – Well I haven’t been around the floor, been busy with our own stuff so I can only tell you about what I’ve already seen – No.1 being Pro Evolution Soccer, Fallout 3 and Resident Evil 5