Local Jordanian company Tamatem Games vaccinates all of its employees

AMMAN — Tamatem Games, a major mobile games publisher in the Middle East, vaccinated all of its 75 employees this week. Tamatem is a local Jordanian mobile publishing company that has been growing exponentially in recent years despite the current economic downturn. Tamatem places the health and well-being of its employees at the forefront and is adamant about creating an excellent work environment for its team. With that, the company is eager to move forward towards a better and brighter future by creating job opportunities for the Jordanian youth. 

“It is vital for us to keep on pushing forward during these uncertain and difficult times. Our region has been going through an economic and political downturn so it is important for organisations and companies alike to remain hopeful and take any step, no matter how small, towards a better and healthier future,” said Hussam Hammo, CEO of Tamatem Games. 

Article By Jordan Times

Deep Science: AI simulates economies and predicts which startups receive funding

Research in the field of machine learning and AI, now a key technology in practically every industry and company, is far too voluminous for anyone to read it all. This column aims to collect some of the most relevant recent discoveries and papers — particularly in, but not limited to, artificial intelligence — and explain why they matter.

This week in AI, scientists conducted a fascinating experiment to predict how “market-driven” platforms like food delivery and ride-hailing businesses affect the overall economy when they’re optimized for different objectives, like maximizing revenue. Elsewhere, demonstrating the versatility of AI, a team hailing from ETH Zurich developed a system that can read tree heights from satellite images, while a separate group of researchers tested a system to predict a startup’s success from public web data.

The market-driven platform work builds on Salesforce’s AI Economist, an open source research environment for understanding how AI could improve economic policy. In fact, some of the researchers behind the AI Economist were involved in the new work, which was detailed in a study originally published in March.

As the coauthors explained to TechCrunch via email, the goal was to investigate two-sided marketplaces like Amazon, DoorDash, Uber and TaskRabbit that enjoy larger market power due to surging demand and supply. Using reinforcement learning — a type of AI system that learns to solve a multi-level problem by trial and error — the researchers trained a system to understand the impact of interactions between platforms (e.g., Lyft) and consumers (e.g., riders).

“We use reinforcement learning to reason about how a platform would operate under different design objectives … [Our] simulator enables evaluating reinforcement learning policies in diverse settings under different objectives and model assumptions,” the coauthors told TechCrunch via email. “We explored a total of 15 different market settings — i.e., a combination of market structure, buyer knowledge about sellers, [economic] shock intensity and design objective.”

Using their AI system, the researchers arrived at the conclusion that a platform designed to maximize revenue tends to raise fees and extract more profits from buyers and sellers during economic shocks at the expense of social welfare. When platform fees are fixed (e.g., due to regulation), they found a platform’s revenue-maximizing incentive generally aligns with the welfare considerations of the overall economy.

The findings might not be Earth-shattering, but the coauthors believe the system — which they plan to open source — could provide a foundation for either a business or policymaker to analyze a platform economy under different conditions, designs and regulatory considerations. “We adopt reinforcement learning as a methodology to describe strategic operations of platform businesses that optimize their pricing and matching in response to changes in the environment, either the economic shock or some regulation” they added. “This may give new insights about platform economies that go beyond this work or those that can be generated analytically.”

Turning our attention from platform businesses to the venture capital that fuels them, researchers hailing from Skopai, a startup that uses AI to characterize companies based on criteria like technology, market and finances, claims to be able to predict the ability of a startup to attract investments using publicly available data. Relying on data from startup websites, social media, and company registries, the coauthors say that they can obtain prediction results “comparable to the ones making also use of structured data available in private databases.”

Applying AI to due diligence is nothing new. Correlation Ventures, EQT Ventures and Signalfire are among the firms currently using algorithms to inform their investments. Gartner predicts that 75% of VCs will use AI to make investment decisions by 2025, up from less than 5% today. But while some see the value in the technology, dangers lurk beneath the surface. In 2020, Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that an investment algorithm outperformed novice investors but exhibited biases, for example frequently selecting white and male entrepreneurs. HBR noted that this reflects the real world, highlighting AI’s tendency to amplify existing prejudices.

In more encouraging news, scientists at MIT, alongside researchers at Cornell and Microsoft, claim to have developed a computer vision algorithm — STEGO — that can identify images down to the individual pixel. While this might not sound significant, it’s a vast improvement over the conventional method of “teaching” an algorithm to spot and classify objects in pictures and videos.

Traditionally, computer vision algorithms learn to recognize objects (e.g., trees, cars, tumors, etc.) by being shown many examples of the objects that have been labeled by humans. STEGO does away with this time-consuming, labor-intensive workflow by instead applying a class label to each pixel in the image. The system isn’t perfect — it sometimes confuses grits with pasta, for example — but STEGO can successfully segment out things like roads, people and street signs, the researchers say.

On the topic of object recognition, it appears we’re approaching the day when academic work like DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s image-generating system, becomes productized. New research out of Columbia University shows a system called Opal that’s designed to create featured images for news stories from text descriptions, guiding users through the process with visual prompts.

When they tested it with a group of users, the researchers said that those who tried Opal were “more efficient” at creating featured images for articles, creating over two times more “usable” results than users without. It’s not difficult to imagine a tool like Opal eventually making its way into content management systems like WordPress, perhaps as a plugin or extension.

“Given an article text, Opal guides users through a structured search for visual concepts and provides pipelines allowing users to illustrate based on an article’s tone, subjects and intended illustration style,” the coauthors wrote. “[Opal] generates diverse sets of editorial illustrations, graphic assets and concept ideas.”

Article By Kyle Wiggers
Tech Crunch

Tamatem Games Enhances the Royal Jordanian Flight Experience

AMMAN — Tamatem Games has officially launched a full gaming experience with Royal Jordanian! Arcade machines, charging stations, and gaming tablets are now available at the RJ Crown Lounge for the enjoyment of travelers!

The region’s leading mobile games publisher and Royal Jordanian signed a partnership deal earlier this month to provide in-flight entertainment and an enhanced travel experience for passengers. “We are immensely excited and proud of this fully local partnership! More companies and organizations alike should look towards promoting local businesses with the goal of growing together and not apart. We are very happy to play a small part in entertaining and enhancing the travel experience of all RJ flyers”  CEO & Founder of Tamatem Games, Hussam Hammo

Tamatem Games is the region’s leading mobile games publisher. Since its launch in 2013, it leveraged over 150 million game downloads, published over 50 games, and grew to 100 employees with the goal of entertaining the region with Arabic mobile games.

Article By Jordan Times

PUBG, BGMI creator Krafton has invested $6 million in this Arabic gaming company

The new round of funding is expected to provide a boost to the up and coming studio. It will help with the expansion to more corners of the market and also introduce bigger and better titles

Krafton, the studio behind popular mobile gaming titles such as PUBG, PUBG Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India and the latest PUBG: New State has revealed that it has invested $6 million in an Arabic mobile games publisher. Also Read – India shipped 1 million ‘Made in India’ iPhones in Q1 2022: Report

The Arabic studio, Tamatem Games underwent an investment round with more investors such as Venture Souq and Endeavor Catalyst, apart from Krafton. The total investment in this round has been valued at $11 million. Also Read – Call of Duty: Mobile Season 4 Wild Dogs Launches on April 28: All you need to know

The Tamatem studio was founded in the year 2013 and it mainly focuses on developing mobile games for the Arabic-speaking market. The company is based in Amman, Jordan. According to an IANS report, the gaming company has managed to publish over 50 games and has amassed a total of over 100 million downloads. Also Read – HMD Global launches Nokia G21, Nokia 105, Nokia 105 Plus and more in India: Check details

The new round of funding is expected to provide a boost to the up and coming studio. It will help with the expansion to more corners of the market and also introduce bigger and better titles, according to Yonhap news agency.

Established in 2007, Krafton became a major contender in the global video market after its launch of PUBG in 2017.

The battle royale style game, in which users fight to remain as the last person alive, has been hugely popular worldwide, with Krafton selling over 75 million copies of the game for computers and consoles.

Recently, the company launched PUBG: New State, which is set in a dystopian future in the year 2051. The game aims to provide mobile gamers a more PC-like experience by implementing better graphics as well as new gameplay styles.

The game introduces more futuristic vehicles along with some upgraded weapons and an all-new map Troi, alongside Erangel. The studio will be rolling out the first major update after the launch of the game on December 9. The update introduce two new vehicles as well as a new weapon and some additional attachments.

Article By Danny Dcruze
BGR

Krafton Invests US$6 mln in Arabic Mobile Games Publisher

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Krafton Inc., a South Korean gaming giant behind the global smash hit “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG), said Tuesday that it has invested US$6 million in an Arabic mobile games publisher

The investment into Tamatem Games is part of a funding round worth $11 million that includes other investors, such as Venture Souq and Endeavor Catalyst, it said.

Tamatem Games — founded in 2013 and based in Amman, Jordan — is a mobile publisher focusing on the Arabic-speaking market. It has published over 50 games, logging over 100 million downloads.

Krafton said the funds will help Tamatem Games expand its efforts to bring a wider selection of games with bigger and more popular titles to the Arabic market.

Established in 2007, Krafton became a major contender in the global video market after its launch of PUBG in 2017.

The battle royale style game, in which users fight to remain as the last person alive, has been hugely popular worldwide, with Krafton selling over 75 million copies of the game for computers and consoles.

The mobile version of the game has racked up over 1 billion downloads globally, excluding China.

Article By Korea Bizwire
Korea Biz Wire

Tamatem scores $11M funding for MENA expansion

Jordan-based mobile game publisher Tamatem secured $11 million in a funding round led by South Korean game developer Krafton, as the former seeks to widen its portfolio and set foot into more countries in the MENA region.

Investment companies VentureSouq, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investors also contributed to the fundraising, which Tamatem explained in a statement will be used for efforts to broaden its suite of games tailored to the Arabic speaking market.

It plans to do so by opening new offices and hiring local staff in Saudi Arabia, which it stated is home to 70 per cent of its users, alongside expansion efforts planned for more countries in the region.

“The demand for relatable and enjoyable mobile games is higher than ever and our mission is to provide our region with the best gaming experience possible”, Tamatem CEO Hussam Hammo commented.

Pouring cash into a gaming academy to train, educate and boost employment in the industry is also on the company’s horizon, “in pursuit of pushing market growth and maturity”.

Dubbing itself a “leading Arabic mobile games publisher”, Tamatem estimated its mobile titles accumulated more than 100 million downloads since its launch in 2013. It claimed to have raised more than $17 million in funding since.

Article By Yanitsa Boyadzhieva
Mobile World Live

CHANGING THE GAME: INTERVIEW WITH HUSSAM HAMMO, FOUNDER OF TAMATEM

BEntrepreneur is thrilled to have the chance to interview Hussam Hammo, the dynamic and charismatic founder of Tamatem; a games publisher, serial entrepreneur, and like most of us a dreamer. Read on to find out why Tamatem is a great idea, the way they are changing the game in the MENA region, and how they localize their games.

BE: Can you give us a brief background of yourself, Tamatem, and what inspired you to start this revolutionary game publishing business?  

HH: I studied Computer Science and Programming at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology in Amman and from there looked into working in anything related to the field. I was always so fascinated by the world of computer technology. But like most twenty-something-year-olds, I wasn’t sure how to pursue my passion.

After graduating, I delved into a variety of different projects and companies before launching and co-founding my first company in 2006, ‘Faye3.com’. Faye3 was the first-ever Arabic Social Network with over 1 Million users. It was during that time that I began to realize the enormous need for Arabic content and how much people wanted to consume content in their own language. Faye3.com was integrated with Internet Portal Maktoob, shortly after Maktoob got acquired by Yahoo.

Following the success of Faye3.com, I was persistent in following the same suit of creating content that was in the native language of our region and our people. I entered the world of social online game development and founded a gaming studio named ‘Wizards Productions’. With Wizards, we launched the first Arabic 3D Game on Facebook and developed around 10 games that gathered 500,000 users. Although the games were a big hit, funding efforts failed to succeed and so it had to shut down. Despite the lack of investment in Arabic web online games the need for Arabic content was unquestionable. There was less than 1% of Arabic content available online and an Arabic-speaking market that was 300 million people strong. The market was essentially begging to consume relatable content in their own language and I was fixed on meeting that demand. I spent a year analyzing what went wrong with Wizards and realized that the answer lied in mobile games. Albeit my past experience was more with social online computer gaming I could easily see that the mobile games market was much less saturated, almost even untouched and with that, in 2013, Tamatem Games was born.

BE: Here at Bentrepreneur, we are obsessed with great ideas. Why did you think Tamatem was a great idea. What gap were you trying to fill in the market?  

HH: The demand for Arabic content that was culturally relevant to the Arabic-speaking world was the reason why Tamatem Games was born. People want to be entertained with content they can relate to. The market opportunity was tremendous and very much in our favor. There were almost zero mobile gaming companies that published mobile games that fit the language and culture of the Arabic-speaking market and demand was growing day by day. With less than 1% of Arabic content available online and an almost completely untapped market, the answer was simple, Tamatem Games.

BE: What’s your money model? How do you monetize this idea? 

HH: Tamatem partners up with mobile game developers from across the world to bring their games to the MENA market. We receive the game and localize it from A to Z making sure that the game perfectly fits the language, culture, and world of the market and fully meets the demands of the Arabic-speaking user. Monetization happens within the game through in-app purchases and in-game advertising from there we work on a split share revenue model with the developers we partner with.

BE: Let’s talk about culture and localization. How do you localize games that were bought from other areas/ regions? Are there specific things that you need to include? 

HH: It is very important to differentiate between translation and localization. Of course, when launching a game in a foreign market it is important to have the language in the mother tongue of the user so they are able to maneuver the game, but it doesn’t stop there. A simple translation job won’t do it. The users need to feel that the game was made for them, not just translated from one language to another.

Translation is a part of localization but not a substitute for it. The ultimate goal of localization is to have everything from the language, design, characters, storyline, and even social media pages custom-made for the user.

Before we take on a game, we assess its potential success rate through a rigorous testing phase based on certain metrics. Once we see that the game could potentially sell and succeed in the market we take it on and begin with our localization process. Each department at Tamatem is dedicated to a specific localization procedure. We handle everything from data analytics, design, social media, marketing, translation, and community support. Our games are not only fine-tuned in design and text to enhance user experience but are also launched into the market with massive data-driven marketing efforts that amplify user acquisition, app store optimization, growth, and monetization. This whole process is overseen by our product management team that also manages the post-launch phase of the game to ensure that the users are constantly engaged, entertained, and satisfied with the product.

BE: What is the future that you can see for Tamatem?  

Tamatem’s future is extremely bright. Our growth process over the past couple of years has been outstanding. With over 100 million game downloads and more than 40 games launched we are dominating the market. In 2013 we started off with 10 employees, now we are a team of more than 75 people. The future for Tamatem is to continuously bring the best mobile games to the Arabic-speaking market, games that entertain and satisfy our customers. Whether it’s expanding into developing our own mobile games or multiplying our partner portfolio we will always strive and grow to bring only the best mobile games to the Arabic-speaking world.

For more information:

Tamatem

Jordanian company dives into Arabic mobile games market

Amman (AFP) – Its logo is a tomato, not an apple, but in just eight years Jordanian company Tamatem has already bitten a chunk out of the lucrative market for Arabic mobile games.

“Less than one percent of internet content is in Arabic, even though there are 400 million Arab users,” said the company’s founder and CEO Hussam Hammo.

“There is a very big gap in this market that we are trying to fill,” added the 38-year-old entrepreneur, sitting in his elegant Amman offices.

Hamo founded Tamatem — which means tomato — in 2013 and it was the first Arab company to win investment from the “500 Startups” programme based in Silicon Valley, California.

Eight years on the company has grown to about 80 staff who convert mobile phone games into Arabic, also adapting content to fit Arab culture.

“Language was a barrier to mobile games growth” in the region, said Nour Khrais, founder and chief executive of games developer Maysalward.

“The Arabic language connects (the player) emotionally.”

With offices now in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Tamatem has published more than 50 mobile games, which have been downloaded more than 100 million times on Apple and Google Play stores.

“Seventy percent of smartphone users in the Arab world have set their phones in Arabic, which means they like to use content in their mother language,” said Hammo.

“Sadly when you search in English for a game in app stores you will find millions of games, but when you search in Arabic there are only a few thousand,” he added.

‘Billion-dollar industry’

But competition is fierce, and Khrais said the Middle East and North Africa region was “the largest growth region in the world in the field of electronic games”.

Market analysts Mordor Intelligence said the global gaming market in 2020 was valued at $174 billion, and was expected to reach $314 billion in 2026.

Tamatem, which has partnerships with companies in the US, China, France, South Korea, Bulgaria and Croatia, converts games by replacing characters’ voices and names, adapting music and clothing, adding Muslim holidays like Ramadan and even changing car licence plates.

“We don’t only do translation, we do the most important thing which is educating by making the content relevant to the Arab culture,” said chief operating officer Eyad Al Basheer.

“Hollywood Story” from Nanobit.com, in which players can become movie stars, strut the red carpet, hang out with fans and even shoot blockbusters, was renamed “Malekat al Moda” — or “Queen of Fashion”.

Instead of locations in New York and Los Angeles, the avatars travel between Dubai, Beirut and Cairo, in an Arabic game which has now been downloaded more than 15 million times.

Strategy multiplayer and civilisation-building game “Clash of Empire” from developer Leme Games launched its Arabic version “Tahadi Al-Molouk” or “Challenge of Kings” this year.

Next industrial revolution’

To fit Arab audiences, the figure of the notorious crusader Richard the Lionheart has been replaced by legendary dynastic Muslim leader, Salah al-Din al-Ayubi.

One of the company’s biggest hits is “Shake the Metal” which taps into the popular sport of drifting. Featuring car models beloved in the Arab world, it has now been downloaded five million times.

The most popular of Tamatem’s Arabic mobile games however, is “VIP Belote”, which is based on the French card game and has been downloaded more than 20 million times.

In a 2019 report by the World Economic Forum, Tamatem was chosen as one of the best 100 Arabic companies “shaping the fourth industrial revolution”.

And the Covid-19 pandemic has proved a boon, with the number of mobile gamers soaring by 150 percent, Hammo said.

“Tamatem made games easier, and we understand things that we didn’t understand before, because it was in English,” said player Khader Hamid, a 28-year-old civil engineer.

Mona Rummaneh, a 30-year-old working in e-marketing, said Arabic games left her “confident that all the content is appropriate for our culture and morals”.

She recalled how after the Beirut port explosion in August 2020, she and other gamers voiced their solidarity with Lebanese players.

“So it is more than just a game,” she said.

Article By France 24

Tamatem Games Announces Release of Brand New Narrative Mobile Game ‘Girl’s Secrets’ in Partnership with Nanobit

(MENAFN– PR Newswire) AMMAN, Jordan, April 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Tamatem, the leading mobile games publisher in the MENA region, launches ‘Girl’s Secrets’ in the Middle East in partnership with Nanobit, the Croatian mobile games developer. Girl’s Secrets is the localized and ‘Arab-ized’ version of Nanobit’s extremely popular narrative game ‘My Story’. 

Girl’s Secrets is not the first localized game in partnership with Nanobit. In 2020, Tamatem published the successful title ‘Fashion Queen’ also known as ‘Hollywood Story’ that took the MENA market by storm with over 10 million game downloads. 

Dina Rashdan, Tamatem Product Manager, states: “We have high expectations on the launch of Girl’s Secrets in the MENA market. This narrative game will be the first of its kind in the region and will surely get users captivated as they determine the fate of their very own personalized characters!” 

Tamatem’s collaboration with Nanobit in 2020 was only the beginning of a fruitful partnership in publishing extraordinary mobile games in the region. Dominik Safaric, Project Manager at Nanobit states “After the successful launch of Fashion Queen, we’re delighted to continue our joint venture with Tamatem in localizing and publishing one of our most popular international hits in mobile games, ‘My Story’, into Arabic. This continuation of our partnership has not only allowed us to strengthen our relationship but also expands existing opportunities in taking ‘My Story’ to the MENA region and reach Arab gamers who have been enjoying the game tremendously even before the localization. We are confident that Tamatem’s extensive knowledge of the market and audience will have a significant impact on the Arabic story-telling gaming landscape and that this partnership will provide Arab players with exciting experiences.”

Tamatem has worked with a handful of renowned international game developers to bring only the best games to the MENA market. Today, Tamatem stands at the forefront of the industry with over 100 million game downloads and counting. You can download Girl’s Secrets on both Google Play & App Store.

Article By MENA FN