Microsoft has called on third-party publishers to set up offices in the Middle East – in order for the industry to combat piracy in the region more effectively.
The firm's Xbox 360 has begun to see growth in the territory, but its success has been stunted in the region by illegal copying – not least in Saudi Arabia.
Of all the biggest names in gaming, only Sony and Microsoft have headquarters in the region.
Armagan Demir, head of Microsoft's Entertainment And Devices Division in the region told MCV:
We want to see more publishers come into the region. The projections for the whole are very impressive. The only problem we all have to tackle is piracy.
We have come together with Sony and local companies to tackle the issue, and EA has invested through its agency. The real challenge for us all, particularly in Saudi Arabia, is monetising the sale of software. We can do that best with all the third-party publishers having more of a presence in the region – and standalone offices would help.”
Demir was speaking at GAMES 08 last week, the trade show for the Middle East, Africa and India. Microsoft attended alongside Sony and every major third-party publisher. He told MCV:
As the Middle East and Africa continues to grow at such an impressive rate, it will need its own E3 or Leipzig. We're not at that size yet, but six years down the line GAMES could be huge.”