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Iconic Middle Eastern Characters in Video Games

By Rick W. Hindi

Video games have long been a popular form of entertainment, and with the rise of the internet and social media, they have become more popular than ever before. While video games have traditionally been dominated by Western characters and settings, recent years have seen a growing trend towards diversity and inclusion. This has led to the creation of a number of iconic characters in video games from the Middle East.

In no particular order:

Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad

Video game: Assassin’s Creed series

Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad is the protagonist of the first Assassin’s Creed game. He is a master assassin who is tasked with recovering nine Pieces of Eden, powerful artefacts that could be used to control humanity. Altaïr is a skilled warrior and a complex character who is struggling to come to terms with his past. Although his nationality isn’t mentioned (the concept of sovereign nations wasn’t as established in the early 1100s), it’s heavily implied that he’s from the Levant, particularly modern day Syria, especially the very real, the very much there, and the very Assassin-lore heavy city of Masyaf, seat of the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins

Prince of Persia

Video game: Prince of Persia series 

The fan-favourite and often nameless Prince of Persia is the protagonist of the Prince of Persia video game series (He’s named Dastan in the 2010 film). He is a skilled acrobat and swordsman who is often tasked with saving his kingdom from evil. The Prince is a classic video game hero who has been captivating gamers for decades. In no version of the game does the Prince however speak Farsi or any of the languages from modern day Iran. 

A Farsi-language guide for Warrior Within

Fun Fact: In Iran, the iconic video game “Prince of Persia” is commonly referred to as شاهزاده‌ی ایران, which translates to “Prince of Iran.” The literal translation of the title would be شاهزاده‌ی فارس, signifying “a Prince hailing from the region of Pars or Persia.” However, it is worth noting that Westerners often employ the terms “Pars” and its Latin derivatives, such as Persia in English or Perse in French, to denote what we, as Iranians and Persian-speaking individuals, recognise as Iran. For additional information, read this amazing article

Saladin

Video game: Age of Empires II 

Saladin is a playable character in the Age of Empires II video game. He is a skilled military leader who led the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 1187. Saladin is a respected historical figure who is also a powerful video game character and needs no introduction. 

Rashid 

Video game: Street Fighter series 

Rashid Alazam is a playable character in the Street Fighter video game series. Possibly Saudi, most definitely a socialite (and a flirt) who is also a skilled fighter. Rashid is a unique and interesting video game character who has been praised for his diversity and representation.

These are just a few of the many iconic Arab characters in video games. These characters are helping to break down stereotypes and promote a more diverse and inclusive gaming industry.

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

The Top 10 Most Popular Localised Video Games in the Arab World

The Arab world is home to a thriving video game market, with millions of gamers of all ages and interests. In recent years, there has been a growing demand for localised video games, as gamers in the region want to be able to play their favourite games in their native language.

Here is a list of the top 10 most popular localised video games in the Arab world, based on sales and player engagement:

  1. EA Sports FC 24 (previously FIFA)
  2. Assassin’s Creed (the entire series)
  3. Grand Theft Auto (the entire series but especially V)
  4. Call of Duty (the entire series)
  5. Fortnite
  6. PUBG
  7. Free Fire
  8. Need for Speed (Old but Gold)
  9. NBA 2K (the entire series)
  10. Tekken 

These games are all popular for different reasons. FIFA is popular because it is a realistic football simulation game that features Arab teams and players. Assassin’s Creed is popular because it is a historical adventure game with rich storylines and immersive gameplay (and positive Arab characters). Grand Theft Auto is popular because it is an open-world action game with a lot of freedom and variety. Call of Duty is popular because it is a first-person shooter game with intense multiplayer action. Fortnite and PUBG are popular because they are battle royale games where players compete to be the last one standing. Free Fire is popular because it is a mobile battle royale game that is easy to learn and play. Need for Speed is popular because it is a racing game with high-octane action and stunning visuals. NBA 2K is popular because it is a basketball simulation game that features realistic gameplay and all of the latest NBA players and teams. Tekken is popular because it is a fighting game with a large roster of characters and a variety of fighting styles.

All of these games have been localised into Arabic, meaning that the menus, subtitles, and voice acting are all in Arabic. This makes the games more accessible and enjoyable for Arabic gamers.

In addition to being localised into Arabic, many of these games also feature Arab content. For example, FIFA includes Arab teams and players, and Assassin’s Creed has featured Arab cities and historical figures. This helps to make the games more relatable and engaging for Arabic gamers.

The localisation of video games into Arabic is a positive development for both gamers and developers. Gamers in the Arab world now have access to a wider range of high-quality video games, and developers are able to tap into a new and growing market.

Here are some of the benefits of localised video games for Arab gamers:

  • Improved gameplay experience: Localised video games allow Arab gamers to play their favourite games in their native language. This makes the games more immersive and enjoyable.
  • Increased accessibility: Localised video games are more accessible to Arabic gamers who may not be fluent in English. This allows them to participate in the global gaming community and enjoy the same games as gamers from other countries.
  • Greater cultural representation: Localised video games often feature Arab content, such as Arab characters, locations, and stories. This helps to promote Arab culture and make Arab gamers feel more represented in the gaming world.

Overall, the localisation of video games into Arabic is a positive development for the Arab gaming community. It allows Arab gamers to play their favourite games in their native language, makes the games more accessible, and promotes Arab culture.

About Us: 
Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

The Best Video Games with Arabic Subtitles

The Arab world is home to a growing and vibrant gaming community, and there is a growing demand for Arabic video games. While there are still relatively few games that are fully translated into Arabic, there is a growing number of games that offer Arabic subtitles. We in Tamatem Games love playing games translated in Arabic, we like to keep up with the industry standards. We’ll take a look at some of the best video games with Arabic subtitles. These games are all highly rated and offer a variety of different genres, so there is something for everyone.

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of the most popular video games in the series, and it is now available with Arabic subtitles – we know what you’re thinking but we’re going to skip Mirage for now. This game is set in the Viking Age, and it allows you to explore the vast and beautiful world of 1100s England where you’ll battle against Saxon warriors, raid monasteries, and build your own Viking settlement.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Another popular first-person shooter that is now available with Arabic subtitles. This game features a gritty and realistic campaign that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You will also be able to experience intense multiplayer battles and a cooperative spec ops mode. This only works in the campaign (and depends on the version that you have) but it’s an interesting approach to translating video games.
  • EA Sports FC 24: is the latest instalment in the popular FIFA soccer franchise. This game features realistic graphics, gameplay, and player rosters. You will be able to play in a variety of different modes, including career mode, ultimate team, and online multiplayer. And most importantly, this is one of the first series ever to have complete dubbing in Arabic for the commentators.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time. This game features a vast and open world to explore, a compelling story, and engaging gameplay. You will be able to fight monsters, complete quests, and make choices that will affect the outcome of the game. Its UAE release included an Arabic-language patch as well which exceptionally well made.
  • Minecraft: One of the most popular video games in the world, and it is now available with Arabic subtitles. This game allows you to build anything you can imagine, from simple houses to complex machines. You can also explore the world, fight monsters, and survive the night.
  • PUBG Mobile is a popular multiplayer battle royale game. This game is set on a large island where you will need to fight against other players to be the last one standing. PUBG Mobile is a challenging and rewarding game that is perfect for competitive gamers and we in Tamatem Games stan a good mobile game when we see one, especially if it’s available in Arabic! 

The Arab world is a growing and important market for video games. By offering Arabic subtitles, games can appeal to a wider audience and grow its business. The games listed in this blog post are just a few examples of the many great Arabic video games with Arabic subtitles and we in Tamatem strive to constantly bring more and more games into the region.

About Us: 
Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

The Future of Arabic Mobile Gaming

The Arabic mobile gaming market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, with a projected revenue of $3.9 billion by 2026. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including a young and tech-savvy population, increasing smartphone penetration, and a growing awareness of gaming as a legitimate form of entertainment. One of the key trends in the Arabic mobile gaming market is the increasing demand for localised content. Gamers in the region want to play games that are relevant to their culture and language, and Tamatem Games is at the forefront of meeting this demand.

Another trend in the Arabic mobile gaming market is the growing popularity of eSports as a form of competitive gaming that is played by millions of people around the world. Tamatem Games is a major supporter of esports in the Arab region, and it hosts a number of tournaments throughout the year. The future of Arabic mobile gaming is bright. The market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, and Tamatem Games is well-positioned to capitalise on this growth. Tamatem Games has a strong track record of localising and publishing popular mobile games in Arabic, and it is also a major supporter of eSports in the region.

Here are some of the specific ways in which Tamatem Games is helping to shape the future of Arabic mobile gaming:

  • Localising popular mobile games in Arabic: Tamatem Games has localised and published over 50 popular mobile games, making them accessible to a wider audience in the region.
  • Supporting eSports in the Arab region: Tamatem Games hosts a number of esports tournaments throughout the year, giving Arabic gamers the opportunity to compete against each other and win prizes.
  • Investing in Arabic mobile game development: Tamatem Games is investing in the development of Arabic mobile games by providing funding and support to local developers.

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.