Exclusive Interview With Tamatem CEO Hussam Hammo – A Leading Mobile Games Publisher In Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

We met up with Hussam Hammo, CEO of Tamatem and spoke about what it is like creating games for the MENA region.


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Q: Can you please tell us about your company and the specific problem or challenge that you are addressing?

Corporate Profile:

A: Tamatem is the leading mobile games publishers in Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region and we focus entirely on serving Arabic smartphone users with games tailored for the language and culture of the region. Tamatem was founded in 2013 and we take successful game from across the globe through partnerships with international developers and studios; we localize the games and make them culturally relevant to the needs and wants of the region.

Q: Can you please tell us a little about the market and the market opportunity?

Arabs crave games in Arabic, games that are localized and culturally relevant to the region however, supply is low. The biggest problem the Middle East’s market faces is how underserved it is. There are over 60 million users in the region and less than one percent of games on the App Store and Google Play are in Arabic. According to Strategy&, the mobile games market in the region is expected to triple in size by 2020 and 60 percent of Arab users prefer Arabic content.

tamatem_blackArabic is also the fourth biggest language in the world and the App store only has 250 games in Arabic, compared to more than 400,000 games in English. According to Statista, revenue in the mobile games segments in Saudi Arabia has amounted to $84.6 million since the beginning of 2016. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 8.36 percent, resulting in a market volume of $116.7 million in 2020.

Q: Please tell us a little about your technology that drives your platform?

We promote our games mostly through social media, the Arab region has one of the highest populations of people under the age of 25 in the world. Which has lead to very high social media penetration rates therefore, we mostly use platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Q: What geographic markets are you focusing on currently?

We only serve the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) but our clients are from all over the world.

Q: What markets will you focus on in the near future and what is your plan to conquer them?

baloot So far, we only want to target the MENA region by bringing better games with every new release.

Q: What makes your platform stand out?

We tailor games in order the fit the culture and trends of the region, every game is made for the users. We work on language, art, environments, user experience and even music. Our most successful game to date is called Shake the Metal, which is the ultimate highway drifting game,  everything in the game was tailored to fit the market in Saudi Arabia. We used Saudi music, desert environments and we even used the same cars that are commonly used in the country such as; Toyota Camry, Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan pick up etc…

shake-the-metalQ: Tell us about your team?

We currently have two offices, our HQ in Amman, Jordan and a small studio in Cairo, Egypt. We have 26 employees in total and our Amman office is filled with young, bright and extraordinary local talents. We have developers, marketing, and 2D & 3D artists.

Q: How will you succeed in such a saturated market?

shake-the-metal-rushWe are currently planning bringing in bigger and better games to properly serve the market, we are getting hundreds of new requests from our users everyday for new games as well as, new international studios and developers looking to enter the MENA market. So we are planning on serving the needs of our users, all whilst introducing new and highly competitive games.

Q: How many users do you have?

So far we have unlocked more than 31 million downloads and with our latest game VIP Baloot, our users are increasing day by day.

Q: What is your focus for the next 6-12 months?

We are focusing on localizing new highly competitive games.


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