Given the global political situation and the stance of the West, it won’t be easy, but Iran is hoping it has the juice to become a force in the games market.
That’s why the country’s trade body for games, the Iran National Foundation of Computer Games, was showing its wares at Gamescom in Cologne, showing what they have to offer – and trying to find Western retailers to stock their goods.
Amir Tarbyatjoui, head of Parsan Business Development Solutions told the BBC:
“We are using this event to promote what is happening in the Iranian games industry.”
“We believe we have more potential and we want to promote that potential.”
However, he acknowledged that US sanctions will cause problems.
There were several offerings, including an Iran-Iraq war first-person shooter, a game set during the Islamic Revolution, and one based on Persian mythology.
The only Iranian video game to have garnered global attention is Special Operation 85: Hostage Rescue, which appeared two years ago. In that, the player takes on the role of Iranian Special Forces fight against Israeli and US troops to rescue two scientists kidnapped by Israel. In Iran, however, it was unknown, according to Bahram Borgheai, head of Ras Games:
“It certainly wasn’t released there and the first I heard about it was through the international media.”
“If it was made then I would guess they just took an existing game and stuck a few textures and the like onto it; it certainly wasn’t a new game.”
The Iranians said they planned on being at E3 next year, but won’t have a stand. Tarbyatjoui said:
“It is difficult given the relations between Iran and the USA.”