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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 11/03/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, has selected a local company to develop games for BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook users in the Middle East.

Maysalward, a Jordanian company specialised in mobile and online games, will develop about eight games that will soon be available for BlackBerry devices in the region, Maysalward Founder and CEO Nour Khrais told The Jordan Times during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which concluded March 1.

The games, which will be available in Arabic, English and Turkish, include card games such as Balot, Trix, Tarneeb and Hand Rummy, he said.

They will be available for smartphones running BlackBerry OS 6 and 7, as well as for the PlayBook tablet, according to a RIM statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

Other games include Street Football and Penalty ShootOut, in addition to traditional games like Carom and Tawla (Backgammon), Khrais noted.

"Demand for mobile and online games in Arabic is rising in the Arab world. Mobile users in the Middle East need localised content and through our deal with RIM we will utilise the expertise of young Jordanians in the gaming industry to provide the region with such content," he said.

"The Middle East is one of the top regions in the world that constantly registers high and fast growth in the number of people using smartphones and downloading apps, especially games," Khrais added.

"BlackBerry is extremely popular in the region, and we wanted to capitalise on this by making our games available on both the BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook platforms," he said.

According to an Arab Advisers Group report, smartphones constituted 41.6 per cent of the total cellular handsets in Jordan by end of July 2011.

Symbian topped the list with a 62 per cent share of smartphone operating systems, while iOS and BlackBerry shared second place, and Android ranked third, the report indicated.

Established in 2003, Maysalward has developed about 60 games that are currently downloaded and played in more than 65 countries, according to Khrais, who noted that the company has also developed games for Nokia.

Since the beginning of 2011, downloads of Maysalward games from Nokia app stores exceeded 1.6 million, he said.

Meanwhile, Jordan is poised to become a training hub for the BlackBerry platform with local apps developers and IT students expected to receive training at the Gaming Lab in King Hussein Business Park this year.

RIM will provide the training and development tools on BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets, according to the ICT Association of Jordan, int@j. BlackBerry services were introduced in Jordan in March 2007.


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