RED Entertainment is the other major distributor here and also formed part of the organization team of GAMES 08. RED houses publishers like EA, Eidos, 2K, Rockstar and Sega. The event really stood apart and as Nittin Mathew (Marketting Manager for RED) states – ‘We are pleasantly surprised at the turnout despite all the traffic, the whether and salik!’. More on our interview with him after the jump!
deculture – Lets get the most obvious question out of the way first! What is Games ’08?
Nittin Mathew – Games Alliance Middle East Show ’08 is a platform which we believe shall unite the gaming industry in the Middle East on all fronts inclusive of traders, publishers and the consumers. It took around three months to plan out the event and we figured since the target is common, the aim of each individual company is common, it only made sense to do something together! Then again it also adds to the stature of the Middle East market and brings to it more credibility which could only be good for everyone.
dc – And how would you rate the turn out to have been?
NM – We are pleasantly surprised at the turnout despite all the traffic, the weather and salik! The retailers are here, the press is here and most importantly the consumers are here! The publishers have been really awesome. Activision’s set up an entire separate room for Guitar Hero World Tour and even though they’re not here the kit’s pretty much in house and booming! They’ve left it here and this obviously portrays their interest in the market. As you can see the people are flooding in and we have estimated registrants of 750+ for invitations to the event! It’s tiring but I am too excited to feel fatigued right now! The night is still young and the games are on the floor till late!
dc – So should we assume that an actual alliance is on the cards?
NM – An alliance can only be good for this market! About the possibility of having one here, that I think depends on the response we get from this event. At the end of the day we need to measure the success and for that we shall wait and definitely run with the opportunities from there.
dc – Speaking about opportunity, do you think this would bring more publishers down here? Lets say for example, Nintendo? 😉
NM – Nintendo has been asked to come down here officially many times by many different people, and like I said events as such shall make the market very credible, so why not? For instance there’s a gentleman here from MCV to cover the event; a publication as such covering something in the Middle East is great news! And everyone saw Ian Livingston at last night’s inspirational keynote and Nick Parker from Screen Digest giving us his stats! In fact, Ian Livingston is the brainchild behind Lara Croft and Tomb Raider and his keen interest in the industry speaks volumes about the potential of the same. Stuff as such will obviously propel the industry into a brighter light and likewise the opportunities shall follow suit!
dc – Will there be any individual events since a combined event has already happened?
NM – Separate events for publishers are a different ball game altogether. If they require any stand alone presentation and events as such, RED will obviously make the best of it. There is no stopping that. An event as such is the first time for us and it’s a learning experience, but that shall only be used to improve any individual events and even add to a bigger event next time.
dc – An off-topic inquiry if I may? Why do you think recession has not affected the growth of the Gaming Industry?
NM – The idea behind the growth is that people have finally acknowledged that gaming is a staple part of their entertainment diet. And at the end of the day no matter what goes on and around the world, eventually people want to escape, and video games is one of the most convenient escapologies available and it’s an experience that is of more value than a movie or a television show for example.
dc – Lastly, what’s your favourite game on the show floor?
NM – I cannot list them down. I’m loving everything. Guitar Hero World Tour is definitely number one! MCLA (Midnight Club Los Angeles) and Tomb Raider Underworld by all means!