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Gazillion, ADMC Joint Venture Creates Abu Dhabi MMO Studio

MMO publisher Gazillion Entertainment is partnering with loca firm Abu Dhabi Media Company to establish what it says is the first MMO development facility in the Arab Emirates region.
MMO publisher Gazillion Entertainment is partnering with Abu Dhabi Media Company to establish what it says is the first MMO development facility in the Arab Emirates region. The joint venture aims to grow the Arabic online games business, create jobs in the region, share Western best practices with the region's developers, and use the tech infrastructure that has incubated in the rapidly-modernizing Abu Dhabi. "Today, with the joint venture with Gazillion, our company is charting new growth in the creation of digital media content and technologies, which champions Abu Dhabi's sustainable development vision and transformation into a global digital media hub," says ADMC chairman H.E. Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei. According to the companies, the goal is to have the new studio fully under Emirati management within the next five years, as it pursues content creation in Arabic language for that specific gaming market. Priority for jobs at the new studio goes to Emirati tech college students and grads. Students of Abu Dhabi's Higher Colleges of Technology will be offered on-the-job internships through a collaboration between HCT and ADMC. Beginning in 2010, those students will also have the opportunity to apply for training placements at San Mateo-headquartered Gazillion's offices. Says Gazillion CEO Robert Hunter, "MMO games are becoming an increasingly significant part of the media landscape worldwide, and premium MMO experiences have the potential to command wide audiences in the Arabic gaming market in the years to come." The new studio's first title will be an Arabic language MMO based on the Majid comic book serial, which the companies say "takes one of ADMC’s most famous and enduring brands in to the digital age and adds to the excitement at our overall efforts to develop the online gaming sector." Adds Hunter: "We are highly pleased to have the chance to collaborate with ADMC on this joint venture, which will help ensure that the vision of exceptional online games for the region is fully realized."

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