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.


Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.