Sandsoft opens new flagship studio in Saudi Arabia

Sandsoft has opened a new games studio in Riyadh, the largest city in Saudi Arabia.

Sandsoft has described the studio as the “first step” in their “significant investment in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) gaming ecosystem”. The new state-of-the-art MENA games studio will employ talent that previously worked at Activision Blizzard, King, Electronic Arts, Zynga, Rovio and Warner Bros, and will create 80 new jobs in the region.

Sandsoft Riyadh will serve as the worldwide headquarters for the company, which already has hubs in Europe, and a publishing arm in Shanghai, China. It has invested in mobile games like Rambo: Strike Force and Pacific Rim: Breach Wars and has an interest in emerging technologies and nurturing new talent.

As part of its plan to nurture local talent, Sandsoft will offer a first-of-its-kind paid internship programme in the MENA region called Press Start. According to Sandsoft, the programme will “allow a select group of game creators to develop their own games with the support and resources of the wider Sandsoft organisation” and allow creators to “benefit from the guidance of Sandsoft’s seasoned games industry figures while keeping the autonomy to decide what game they want to develop”.

“Sandsoft Riyadh will contribute to making Saudi Arabia a global gaming powerhouse, in alignment with the national strategy for games and esports that His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently launched, as a pivotal and important step to start a new phase for this sector, following Kingdom’s Vision 2030.” said Abdulaziz Alajlan, Managing Director of Sandsoft. “Sandsoft’s studio in Riyadh will be an important part of this vision by identifying and upskilling MENA talent, and combining it with the very best of global games industry expertise to create an international gaming dream team across development, publishing, and investment.”

“We have established a world-class mobile gaming team that’s poised to position Sandsoft as the premier MENA games company, and we’re excited to be expanding our local footprint. A key mission is to discover and attract the best and brightest local game development talent, and to nurture it with the expertise of leaders from gaming’s top international firms.” said David Fernandez, CEO at Sandsoft.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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