Updated: Jun 12
In this episode, we sit down with Yousef BuHazza, who is an active advocate of the gaming industry in the Middle East through Unreal Bahrain, to hear his insights on the gaming and e-sports industry. We discuss:
What makes a successful game
What you need to do to develop a game
How to operate e-sports tournaments
How to train to participate in e-sports
Unless you're a gamer, why should you care about the gaming industry?
The gaming industry is huge, to say the least (valued at $150 billion globally). The gaming industry has been the ONLY industry that has grown consistently since 2000 (out-riding the 2001 dot-com bubble and 2008/9 recession). However, only 3% of its value is attributed to the Middle East; the industry in the region is not mature, relative to other global markets.
Well, what contributes to a mature gaming industry in a region?
Investors who undertake the returns of investing in games (extended 3-year time horizon and high level of risk)
Skilled resources (across business, design, and development)
So you're sold on the opportunity. Now, how do you go about developing a game?
Come up with an idea (either inspired or original)
Identify your resources (e.g. storytelling, graphics, music)
Purchase or create your own assets throughout production (the latter will ensure time saved and quality of output)
Leverage a gaming engine (you can find one online, but beware: it can take 3-6 months to master the know-how of the engine)
Develop your working prototype (tip: your first attempt at a game should not exceed 2 hours)
Showcase to people to get feedback and refine
Plug your game under an indie studio brand
Approach investors for funding
Launch and go hard on marketing!
Don't stress over the technical side of development, there are plenty of self-help resources across the web. The knowledge gap to make a game successful is really the marketing know-how.
You can even consider applying your gamification desires to non-gaming industries, such as FinTech & EdTech, with the purpose of making a task easier or more fun.
"Knowledge is being shared in the cyberspace everyday"
Can e-sports gamers' careers be compared to professional athletes'?
Practice, practice, practice
Get recognized through competitions
Consider a coach
Spectating at e-sports tournaments is made possible through:
Streaming services and platforms (e.g. Twitch)
Games being developed to be more engaging over the years
Think you're the only one with FOMO for not being a part of this billion-dollar industry?
Other industries are tuning into the gaming opportunity, such as:
Music (Travis Scott performed to an audience of 12 million people in April 2020, amidst the COVID-19 lockdowns, on Fortnite, a platform that at one point had 200 million concurrent users playing at the same time).
And why should brands care? Because gamers become invested in their gaming avatars and want to impress others with them!
A big thanks to Yousef BuHazza who is the Founder of Unreal Bahrain
Follow them on social media to stay up to date with their activities.
Meetups to showcase games and discuss progress and challenges
Game jams that challenge aspiring developers to build games in a certain time frame
Organize game events, e.g. Comic-Con
Partnerships with universities, school etc. to build the gaming ecosystem regionally