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$750m Middle East Gaming Industry Prepares for Launch of 'DiRT 2' Video Game

posted on: Jul 10, 2009

The phenomenal growth of the video gaming industry across the Middle East continues this September with the launch of Colin McRae: DIRT 2 from developer Codemasters.

According to the PlayStation Division of Sony Gulf FZE the total Middle Eastern video gaming industry was said to be worth $750m in 2008 – a reflection of the region’s young gaming demographic.

The multi-platform rally racing game is significant as it will feature the image and voice of Middle Eastern rallying legend Mohammed Ben Sulayem – the first time an Arab racing celebrity has featured in a videogame.

Colin McRae: DIRT 2 also continues Nissan Motor Company’s marketing tactic of placing its cars in video games around the world with its 350Z sportscar featuring prominently in Colin McRae: DIRT 2 gameplay.

‘We are delighted Codemasters chose to use the famous Nissan Z sportscar in the latest version of its renowned rallying game,’ said Monal Zeidan, General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications Nissan Middle East.

The ‘Z’ as it’s affectionately known to thousands of car enthusiasts around the world – was officially introduced into Nissan’s Middle East product range in 2003. Through four previous generations Nissan’s affordable sportscar has achieved iconic status with performance car fans achieving over 1.5 million global sales since the first Datsun 240Z model was introduced in selected global markets in 1969.

Colin McRae: DiRT 2 will feature a roster of contemporary off-road racing events, taking players to the most diverse and challenging real-world environments. This World Tour will have players competing in aggressive multi-car and intense solo races at extraordinary new locations, from canyon racing and jungle trails to city stadium-based events.
‘As motorsports is my ultimate passion, I am honored to be featured in Colin McRae: DIRT 2, one of the most anticipated racing games of the year. Working closely with Codemasters’ team to develop a digital version of myself was a surreal experience. I look forward to the worldwide success of the game and I am confident that motorsports fans will have a great gaming experience,’ said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, 14-time FIA Middle East Rally Champion.

‘Codemasters is delighted to have entered into this partnership with Mohammed, Nissan and PlayStation for the launch of Colin McRae: Dirt 2 in the Middle East. Codemasters has a reputation of producing the world’s leading racing games and Colin McRae: Dirt 2 is the epitome of our development technology,’ commented Hal Bame, Director Distributor Territories Codemasters. ‘We believe the entire GCC region is at a tipping point in the video game industry and plan on investing heavily in product, on-line and overall marketing activity, in order to maximise what we feel is a market tailor-made for Codemasters’ portfolio of products, including our official Formula 1 game lineup in 2009 and 2010.’

A Colin McRae: Dirt 2 regional virtual racing competition on PlayStation3 will kick off across the region in September 2009. The winner will drive off with a brand new Nissan Z sports car, a version of which is featured in the game.

‘Pluto is proud to be the official distributor of the widely popular DiRT racing series of games in the Middle East. As the regional gaming market continues to grow, Pluto together with Codemasters aim to bring the latest and most popular games to customers here which in turn, reflects our commitment to the Middle East. We are sure that Colin McRae: DiRT 2 will be a huge success in the region where gaming enthusiasts and racing fans can choose to play with or compete against UAE champion rally driver Ben Sulayem,’
said Rami El Hussein, Managing Director Pluto.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 is scheduled to be released in September 2009 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Playstation3 computer entertainment system and Games For Windows LIVE, Wii, Nintendo DS and PSP (PlayStationPortable) system. The game will distributed regionally by Pluto Games.

Maha Karim