To quote the late great Notorious B.I.G, “It was all a dream!” As one of the pioneering Emirati founded Indie Game Studios, Hello Sir Games is breaking new ground yet again.
For the first time ever, an Arab game developer is set to exhibit, and launch, a title at one of the world’s largest video game shows. Their fully localized, flagship game, The Adventures of Zozo, is bringing Middle East storytelling to the Japanese and Southeast Asian markets.
“Zozo represents a story we would love to share with the world. There is no better place to position and launchpad this story than at the Tokyo Game Show, a show we believe is the best in the world,” said Mohamed Al Jneibi, Founder and CEO of Hello Sir Games. “We are looking forward to meeting and working with new collaborative partners from across the globe and sharing our stories with the Japanese audience and Asia-Pacific region.”
Like many tradeshows and conventions, Tokyo Game Show was not immune to the global shutdown. While it remains one of the most popular video games shows running (the third largest globally), it was an online event for the last two years. Once the TGS management team announced the show would be returning to an in-person event, the team at Hello Sir Games saw this as an opportunity they could not pass up.
“With our flagship title, The Adventures of Zozo, we think Hello Sir Games can highlight the potential Abu Dhabi and the region has when it comes to video games,” Mohamed continues, “the Middle East is still a relatively young place for game developers. We have been heavily influenced by many of the gaming greats that came through and greatly impacted many of our childhoods.”
Building bridges with game development
When asked why he would go through the effort of localizing his game into Japanese, a language spoken by approximately 128M people globally, Mr. Al Jneibi says, “We want to create a use-case and example of how a product could come to our region and be given to the rest of the world. For us, we see Zozo two ways: 1) A great concept and story we want to share with everyone, 2) as a bridge between the UAE and other regions. I think the way we are positioning Zozo, our timetable is ambitious. Ideally, that timetable will only strengthen the links that can happen and help forge potential collaborations between the UAE, Japan, and other areas abroad.”
A deeper story for the future
On the surface, The Adventures of Zozo is a standard 2D, pixel are platformer. The game nods to the retro greats like the Capcom and Nintendo franchises. When asked, the Hello Sir Games team summed up the game as, “The Adventures of Zozo twists and turns through fun and strange lands, exciting combat, battle with over-the-top bosses, and ultimately a story about the importance of protecting and caring for animals.” It turns out the crew at HSG are big animal lovers, and the overall story of Zozo will lead to an animal conservation message as the IP develops further. Understanding the CEO of the company, it’s easy to see why the idea of environmental stewardship is, to steal one of their industry terms, a core dynamic.
“Arab cultures have a long history of understanding their environment, scarcity, and fluctuations in the climate,” Mohamed (“MJ” to his friends) offered. “Our forefathers traversed the deserts for centuries and water conservation was very much a natural way of life. They also understood the value of the animals they herded and cared for, the same as Bedouin peoples do today. Today, there is an even greater focus on the climate. Through a myriad of factors, increasing pressure on the biodiversity of the planet is causing an alarming number of species to become endangered or forced into extinction. We are hopeful, utilizing the fastest growing platform, gaming, we can help bring awareness to the next generation who will care for the planet.”
The road ahead
Once seen as purely entertainment, video games have created a new avenue of storytelling. Hello Sir Games is embracing this path and hoping to connect nostalgic gamers with animal conservation advocates, international business interests with future game developers. As this young Emirati company is quick-dashing and double jumping ahead, Mohamed concludes, “This is one of the reasons Hello Sir Games is committed to enhancing and creating dialog bridges between different regions; most importantly, showcasing the region and its stories, which we feel are best told through video game platforms. Today, we are proud and honored to be part of an amazing and growing, vibrant sector.”
Learn about Hello Sir games at:
Company Name: The Adventures of Zozo
Contact Person: Dave Audelo
Email: Send Email
Country: United Arab Emirates