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.


Reuters TV crew hit by rubber bullets as police disperse Minneapolis protesters

Updated 31 May 2020

Reuters TV crew hit by rubber bullets as police disperse Minneapolis protesters

  • ‘A police officer that I’m filming turns around points his rubber-bullet rifle straight at me’

MINNEAPOLIS: Two members of a Reuters TV crew were hit by rubber bullets and injured in Minneapolis on Saturday night when police moved into an area occupied by about 500 protesters in the southwest of the city shortly after the 8 p.m. curfew.
Footage taken by cameraman Julio-Cesar Chavez showed a police officer aiming directly at him as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
“A police officer that I’m filming turns around points his rubber-bullet rifle straight at me,” said Chavez.
Minutes later, Chavez and Reuters security adviser Rodney Seward were struck by rubber bullets as they took cover at a nearby gas station.
On footage captured as they ran for safety, several shots are heard ringing out and Seward yells, “I’ve been hit in the face by a rubber bullet.”
Asked about the incident, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder requested a copy of the video and made no immediate comment.
Seward is seen in later footage being treated by a medic near the scene for a deep gash under his left eye. Both men sustained injuries to their arms, and Chavez was hit in the back of the neck.
The Reuters journalists were clearly identified as members of the news media. Chavez was holding a camera and wearing his press pass around his neck. Seward was wearing a bullet proof vest with a press label attached.
The incident was the latest attack on a journalist covering the protests that have erupted around the United States after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A black CNN journalist was arrested on camera while covering the protests in Minneapolis on Friday.
A Louisville, Kentucky, television reporter yelled, “I’m getting shot” as she was seen live on camera on Friday being hit by what appeared to be a pepper ball. The Louisville Metro Police Department apologized for that incident.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, according to the New York Times, had received about 10 reports involving journalists during the recent protesting, ranging from assaults to menacing.