Studio behind Arabic FIFA 2018 wants more localized video games

E11 Entertainment, headed by Hassan Ramli, produces audio content for the Arab World. (Courtesy E11E)
Updated 03 July 2018

Studio behind Arabic FIFA 2018 wants more localized video games

  • Hassan Ramli the CEO of E11 Entertainment (E11E) helped to localize the FIFA 2018 game for an Arab audience
  • E11E is looking for further opportunities to produce Arabic-speaking video games for the region

LONDON: With Arab football fans glued to their television sets this month, despite the exit of the region’s four flag bearers from the World Cup, one Abu Dhabi-based sound studio is profiting from the football fever sweeping across the Middle East.
Hassan Ramli, the CEO of E11 Entertainment (E11E) helped to localize the FIFA 2018 game for an Arab audience so that local fans will be able to play an Arabic version of the game featuring the voice of well-known Emirati sports commentator Faris Awad.
The game was released last September by EA Sports and sold 10 million copies in the first eight weeks.
Now E11E is looking for further opportunities to produce Arabic-speaking video games for the region.
“We have been approached by another huge name in the gaming industry. It is definitely a way to open up this market in the Arab region,” said Ramli in an interview with Arab News.
“That’s why video companies localize their games to different languages because you are opening up a new market to its full potential.
“It is in the best interests of game developers, and at same time it is a great opportunity to create more engagement with players,” he said.
The gaming industry has ballooned in the region in recent years, with as many as 578 million gamers across the Middle East and Africa according to data from Newzoo. The expansion of the market is also outpacing other regions, thanks in part to the region’s youthful demographics.
Ramli moved to Abu Dhabi four years ago from the US where he worked on various films and TV shows including “Pop Idol” and “Shrek 2”.
He spearheaded the launch of E11E’s “Game Localization Lab” last week, which aims to build on the success of the company’s work on the FIFA game.
It is positioning itself as a one-stop shop for producing and adapting audio content suitable for the Arab world. This includes translating audio, producing graphics as well as sound editing and music scoring.
“(It is) a division we just launched with a sister company that specializes in translation. Now we can offer the whole process,” Ramli said.
“A video game developer can just send us the scripts they have in English and we will be able to localize it to any accent in Arabic. We can record it, encode the files and deliver it.
“This includes even hiring talent and voice actors,” he added.
Ramli said the company’s work with FIFA has set the ‘standard’ for the type of work the company can produce.
“I am a huge FIFA fan and it was a proud moment to do FIFA because I have been playing (the game) for over 20 years. It was a very exciting project to have,” said Ramli.
He added that as well as working on sound projects with big governmental companies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the company has also recently worked with a well-known Bollywood singer on a new movie soundtrack.
E11E is based in Abu Dhabi’s media free zone known as Twofour54, which is promoting itself as a major Middle East hub for producing media content.
“I believe what Twofour54 is doing is so valuable for the region. Definitely Abu Dhabi is becoming a very important hub for media creation. It is making it so easy for talent to come and just worry about being creative and contributing to the region,” Ramli said.
The free zone has licensed more than 550 Arabic and international media companies such as Sky News Arabia, Flash Entertainment and M&C Saatchi.


Saudi Arabia, UAE discuss media cooperation

Updated 16 September 2019

Saudi Arabia, UAE discuss media cooperation

  • The Saudi minister said the plans discussed looked to help increase investment in the media sector and activating the media market

DUBAI: The Joint Committee for Media Cooperation of the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council held its first meeting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to discuss joint initiatives of the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The committee discussed joint media initiatives and programs that aim to unify efforts to highlight and to develop media content in a way that contributes to consolidating and enhancing joint action.

“We seek to strengthen the bonds of cooperation between us and support the media sector through a number of programs and projects that will contribute to the development of the sector,” Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Information, Turki Al-Shabanah, said.

“Raising the quality of production between the two countries in a way that contributes to improving the level of audio-visual media work and raising the efficiency and competitiveness of social media,” Al-Shabanah added.

The Saudi minister said the plans discussed looked to help increase investment in the media sector and activating the media market.

Meanwhile, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council, Sultan Al-Jaber said that the two countries look to establish the foundations, rules and principles that consolidate and strengthen the two nation’s common media vision and development media programs that serve their objectives.

“We look forward to this committee to be a unique media platform that … works to transfer experiences in order to enrich the media content and prepare and qualify a constellation of young media leaders in the two brotherly countries,” Al-Jaber said.