Gaming in Pakistan: A Complete Breakdown of Issues and Potential Solutions for Future Growth

“The industry itself cannot operate in a bubble, We are part of a larger society and a larger eco-system or an economy or a culture within which generally, people don’t understand liberal arts. People don’t understand the creative industry and despite jobs and professions being widespread, it’s safe to assume that a decade ago, even currently if someone wants to get into gaming or animation, there isn’t a very high-quality bachelor’s degree in Pakistan that you can do,” remarked Shehryar Hydri, Managing Partner at Deosai Ventures and formerly Co-Founder and COO of Trango Interactive, one of the pioneering studios in Pakistan. Speaking about the challenges faced by the gaming industry in Pakistan at the opening panel discussion at Game X 2021, two-day gaming, media, and entertainment tech conference organized by Epiphany.  It was a one-of-a-kind conference gathering global industry thought leaders to share their experiences, industry trends, and creative insights. The conference was supported by,

In this talk, veterans in the games industry in Pakistan shared a snapshot of how the games industry reached its present stage, and what they hoped the industry would transform into over the next few years, despite various obstacles and challenges. This high-level overview of the industry was provided by the following eminent professionals:

  • Shehryar Hydri, Managing Director at Deosai Ventures and former Co-Founder of Trango Interactive, a studio that grew from scratch into a team of 50+ artists and developers, and was listed in the Red Herring Asia 100 within two years for its proprietary game engine and tools
  • Mehran Khan, Art Director at We R Play, a gaming studio providing services to the games industry as well as a game designer of titles such as Explottens and Run Sheeda Run. Mehran is a visual designer with an edge for Technical side of things with 12+ years of experience in the games and CGI industry
  • Qasim M. Assad, Studio Director at Mindstorm Studios, where he leads the teams at the studio while ensuring speedy ideation, high-quality games, and keeping the studio updated with global trends
  • Noor Fatima, the Game Producer at We R Play, has a demonstrated history of working in the computer games industry. She is a strong professional, skilled in C++, Game Programming, and cocos2dx, with a Bachelor of Science (BS), focused in Computer Science from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences

The panel highlighted the challenge of limited educational opportunities to pursue careers in game design and development and substantial discouragement when young people are starting their gaming careers. The speakers emphasized the importance of a unified community in terms of designing a game. They reiterated that skill-building events such as game jams and hackathons are increasingly vital in creating wonderful projects and excelling in the field. Mehran stated there is a critical problem in terms of community building since a huge gap exists between the stakeholders and individuals at the grassroots level. An interesting point was suggested by Qassim that the gap could be bridged by creating a good business model, especially involving universities, celebrities, and influencers to encourage game design and development.

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