Aspiring Saudi video game developers hope to make it big in Japan

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The initiative aims to boost the exchange of gaming technologies and artistic knowledge, while enhancing the training and development of human resources. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 13 April 2019
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Aspiring Saudi video game developers hope to make it big in Japan

  • Joint technology initiatives to broaden relationship between the two countries
  • The Saudi trainees will visit gaming companies to learn about Japanese games and the creative processes behind them

RIYADH: Saudi video game developers are taking part in a newly launched two-week training program in Japan to learn the latest tricks of the trade.
The special workshop was set up in the wake of the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Kingdom’s General Commission of Audiovisual Media (GCAM) and the Japanese Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) to broaden the relationship between the two countries.
The agreement aims to boost the exchange of gaming technologies and artistic knowledge, while enhancing the training and development of human resources.
The training program has been organized by the GCAM in collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as Manga Productions, a Saudi digital animation and video game company and subsidiary of the Misk Foundation.
Manga Productions produces creative and positive content through video games, animations, and comics and plans to launch several animation and video game projects in the near future promoting innovative Saudi messages internationally.
The company has also been working on producing globally competitive creative animation movies and short series. It is currently preparing the launch of 2-D and 3-D animation movies, in partnership with established studios, which are expected to be screened on international TV channels and at cinemas in the next few years.
In collaboration with leading gaming developer, SNK, Manga Productions is making its mark in the growing gaming development sector.
The Japanese training workshop includes lectures on game planning and design skills delivered by a group of expert game makers, and presentations on the practical application of skills. The Saudi trainees will also visit gaming companies to learn about Japanese games and the creative processes behind them.
A statement by Manga Productions said: “Since 2017 we have been supporting the development of creative talents, animation programs, video games, and other programs.
“The programs that have been most popular among the aspiring game developers included a training workshop with Toei Animation, one of the most famous and oldest animation companies in the world, in which 11 Saudi students were sent to its studios in Japan, as well as our own Manga Art Lab that was launched earlier in 2019 for two months in Riyadh, where Manga Productions gathered experts in animation and comics (Manga) in collaboration with Misk Academy.”
A GCAM spokesperson said the training program would “teach Saudi innovators how to develop the skills needed to plan and create video games, while learning how to design and ultimately develop games.
“The aspiring Saudi game developers will work with fellow Japanese gaming students to collaborate in creating games using software engines.”
Along with being guided by some of Japan’s most established game developers, the training program will feature lecturers from Tokyo’s Nippon University.
Trainees will visit a number of gaming companies to get an insight into the practical application skills they learn, as well as acquiring techniques into how Japanese games are being developed.
Trainees will also visit television station, TV Tokyo, and the Bandai Namco Amusement VR Zone to learn about the latest virtual reality technology that is being developed in Japan.


Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

Updated 19 April 2019
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Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

  • Finance representatives of 150 government bodies meet for the Budget Forum 2020

RIYADH: Saudi finance chiefs have kicked off a major conference in the capital aimed at mapping out the Kingdom’s budget requirements.
Around 300 specialists representing 150 government bodies met at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh for the Budget Forum 2020.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan welcomed delegates to the second edition of the gathering organized by the Saudi Finance Ministry under the slogan “Partnership and Empowerment.”
Al-Jadaan said the ministry was focused on “partnership and commitment,” and sought to share the challenge of developing an effective budget to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious goals.
“We are also committed to empowering financial leaderships to learn about the ministry’s programs and projects and provide training and qualification opportunities to the best international standards,” he added.
The finance chief said the budget planning process required the collaboration of multiple authorities and a clear strategy based on transparency. 
Items up for discussion at the forum included financial planning in governmental bodies, automation, and the promotion of revenues and efficient spending.
Finance Ministry steering committee chairman, Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Freih, stressed the importance of the forum in getting the ball rolling at an early stage on formulating a general state budget.
Workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference focused on empowering government organizations, and a training program on financial planning and income estimations was also staged.