Admit it, we’ve all played and enjoyed one form of RPG simulation game in our days. Be it The SimsStardom, that weird Kardashian game or the currently popular Hollywood Star. This genre of games has gained massive clout recently. You live out some lavish lifestyle through a character, get to make choices and a fun way to pass the time. And right now, that kind of content is, to say the least, in high demand. 

So rejoice! Tamatem, one of the MENA region’s leading mobile game publishers, has just struck a deal with world renowned game developer, Croatia-based Nanobit, for a strategic partnership that will see both these gaming platforms up the ante for Arabic mobile games. 

Through the partnership, Tamatem has localised the current story-based game Hollywood Story to the Arabic-speaking world. The game originally has been downloaded by over 300 million users in the past four years, and the Arabic adaptation, titled Fashion Queen, is now available to be consumed for hours on end as you’re curled up on your couch.

According to Tamatem CEO Hussam Hammo, this is the “first time that a game targeting female users will be published in Arabic.” Hammo also commented that this partnership will allow them to expand their reach even further to enrich the gaming industry in the region. “In the MENA market, mobile games are expected to more than triple in size in the coming few years, from $680 million 2015 to $2.3 billion in 2022,” adds Hammo. “With the highest Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) in the world, and an incredibly under-served Arabic market, we are confident that we can significantly scale our business to the next level and succeed with a partner like Nanobit in the coming years.”

Tamatem not only adapts games to befit the Arabic language, but also creates a story that’s culturally relevant for an even more immersive experience for regional users in a thin market. Despite Arabic being the fourth most popular spoken language, with 420 million native Arabic speakers around the world, and 174 million smartphone users, Arabic content is yet to have its boom. And with this partnership, you can expect more and more of your fave mobile games to be adapted, and soon, originally-created for the region.

You can check out the game Fashion Queen right here, available now on iOS and Android.

Article By Startup Scene ME

Tamatem to bring Nanobit’s Hollywood Story to MENA

Tamatem, the leading mobile game publisher and MENA region has announced a new partnership with the Croatia-based game developer Nanobit. After raising 3.5 million dollars in funding back in January, the Jordon-based publishers are looking to expand. In this partnership, Tamatem localized Hollywood Story, one of the most popular mobile titles in Arabic. Also, many changes are coming to the game to make it closer to Arab players. Its new name will be “Fashion Queen – ملكة الموضة”.

Tamatem is excited to target Arab female players

in a press release sent to Mobidictum, Hussam Hammo, CEO of Tamatem said the following about the partnership:

Our partnership with Nanobit, a leading game developer, is in keeping with our strategic plan to expand our reach and offer the best international game “Hollywood Story” in Arabic. We are very delighted to collaborate with this highly professional world-class team. Who has been leading the story based mobile game genre for the last 4 years with more than 300 million downloads. At Tamatem, we are also particularly excited as this is the first time that a game targeting female users will be published in Arabic.

Mobile games are expected to more than triple in size in the upcoming years in the MENA market. According to Tamatem, it increased from $680 million in 2015 to $2.3 billion in 2022. Furthermore, the team called the Arabic market “incredibly under-served”. The game is available to download for free on Google Play or on the App Store.

About the company

Hussam Hammo founded Tamatem back in 2013. It started originally as a mobile game developer but continued as a publisher back in 2015-2016. The team mostly helps in localizing global titles for Arab gamers. It has published more than 45 games on Android and iOS, according to Tamatem’s official website, the company has over a million monthly active users.


Tamatem secures strategic partnership with Nanobit for launch of Hollywood Story in the MENA region

Mobile games publisher Tamatem has made a strategic partnership with developer Nanobit to release the latter’s games in the MENA region.

The partnership has seen Tamatem localise Nanobit’s game Hollywood Story for the region. It has been released under the name “Fashion Queen ملكة الموضة”.

As well as localising Hollywood Story, the publisher will also be handling marketing, live ops, monetisation and customer support for the game in the MENA region.

“Our partnership with Nanobit, a leading game developer, is in keeping with our strategic plan to expand our reach and offer the best international game Hollywood Story in Arabic,” said Hussam Hammo, CEO of Tamatem.

“We are very delighted to collaborate with this highly professional world-class team who have been leading the story based mobile game genre for the last 4 years with more than 300 million downloads. At Tamatem, we are also particularly excited as this is the first time that a game targeting female users will be published in Arabic.”

Movin’ on up

“We are sure Fashion Queen will take the MENA market by storm. Tamatem has a proven track record and clearly understands the needs of the market,” added Nanobit founders Zoran Vučinić and Alan Sumina.

“We believe that this partnership will definitely become the top mobile game in the whole story-based genre in the MENA and help us to establish our brand in a new market. We are looking forward to a long-standing partnership with Tamatem.”

Tamatem closed a $3.5 million funding round in February 2020 to help it expand into new markets. Back in June 2019, it signed a deal with South Korean developer NokNok to publish its game I Love Mart in the MENA region.

Article By Ric Cowley
Pocket Gamer

In conversation with Hussam Hammo of Tamatem

The Middle East’s mobile gaming industry was already a booming one prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic that has seen much of the region cooped up inside.

This, coupled with a complete shut down of outdoor activities has given the region’s population more time and incentive to play games on their mobile phones. The size of the mobile games market across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2020 according to Statista, a 238 per cent increase from $680 million in 2015.

One of the region’s largest mobile phone publishers, Jordan-based Tamatem, is one such gaming company that has noticed a growth in demand. Just before the outbreak, the company raised $3.5 million in an investment round led by Wamda.

We spoke with Tamatem’s Hussam Hammo, who founded the company back in 2013.

What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business?

Despite this very difficult time for humanity, for the entertainment and gaming businesses, now is the big time. The main reason is that people are staying at home with no outside entertainment options. So in the past, we, as a gaming company were not just competing with other gaming companies, but anything that takes times from the users, like the cinema, parks, going out, doing anything is a sort of a competition for time.

Most people are indoors, with powerful devices and an internet connection and they’re willing to try new things now.

We have seen significant growth in daily active users. We have seen a 20 per cent increase in revenues since the beginning of March. We have also seen growth in the time spent playing games. This year, we’re looking to break records.

How have you responded to the rise in demand?

I think the quarantine will take longer than expected. Our aim is to acquire as many users, we’re doubling down on our marketing efforts to acquire as many users as we can. We have increased our marketing spend by 200 per cent since the beginning of March.

We are seeing that we are acquiring users for a significantly lower cost, the main reason behind that is there is less competition for brand advertising. Advertising in general has gone down on a global scale. We have acquired users outside of the region, mainly Arabs living in the US and Europe, who are usually more expensive to acquire.

Have you noticed any negative impact?

The only negative impact is on business development. We’re a publisher, we have a B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) side. The B2C side went up in an excellent way but the B2B has been hit. The main reason behind that is the other companies we are dealing with are also in lockdown and they are afraid. They are trying to manage their work remotely and things are changing.

A lot of the business development efforts we do depends on us attending events and conferences. One of the biggest gaming events, where about 100,000 people attend was cancelled. So many other conferences have been cancelled and meeting partners to go and close deals has not happened.

What makes the gaming market in the Middle East such an attractive investment?

The main reason why it is an interesting market is because it has the highest average revenue per paying user in the entire world and Saudi Arabia is the country with the highest rate in the world, we are looking at seven to eight times higher than China. The average spend per user in Saudi is $270. We have seen in our games averages of $450 spend per user. We have heard stories from our partners and friends in China and South Korea who are targeting the Arab market because some users are paying $1000-2000 in a single game.

It is an industry that is not affected very much on a day to day basis. We compare it a lot to buying a cup of coffee, even if the price of oil goes down, you still buy your coffee. Most of these people who spend lots of money on games, this is their main source of entertainment, they spend hours playing them.

How have you adapted to working remotely?

We tried to be pioneers and implement a quick plan to work from home. We anticipated things would escalate quickly. We gave managers and employees training on how to manage work from home, it required us to learn how to do that and we found a lot of networks and material online. I am seeing excellent results. I believe the entire community will learn how to work from home and maybe we will start doing that and start hiring people to work from home.

As a culture, we’re very sensitive about that, we want people to sit at their desk at the same time, check in, check out. We have employees who take one and a half or two hours to commute to the office, if we eliminate that stress, I believe this will be the big outcome of this Coronavirus.

What can we expect from Tamatem?

We are blessed we were able to close the round before all this happened, otherwise things would have been much slower and more difficult. Tamatem today is still growing at 20 per cent month over month. We are launching two new games, and for the first time we are targeting female players. Currently 80 per cent of our users are male.

The investment, we are using today is for more marketing pushes and more awareness for the company and to grow the company further. We want to hire and increase the amount of employees by 20-25. We want to reach 75 employees.

Article By Jordan Times