In a move set to put Saudi Arabia’s creative industries on the global map, Square Enix Group, the creators of the Final Fantasy series have signed a MOU to provide training and mentorship to young Saudi games developers through the Misk Foundation, empowering them to introduce more Saudi-created content to the world stage.
In addition, Manga Productions, a Riyadh-based games development, animation and creative studio, affiliated with Misk Foundation signed a new agreement with Toei Animation Studios to jointly produce a number of anime movies and television serials to be shown in both Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Toei is a storied pillar of Japanese animation responsible for the first colour anime feature film in 1958 and the pioneer of a number of now well-established animation techniques. The two companies have already collaborated on an all-ages television adaptation of the Saudi folk tale, the Woodcutter and the Treasure, which will be broadcast in both countries.
The collaboration will enable young both countries to share and appreciate each other’s culture, bring Saudi folklore to Japan and anime techniques to the Kingdom.
Manga Productions also signed an agreement with SNK, a leading Japanese computer games developer responsible for a range of seminal games across several decades. The agreement will see two Arabic characters introduced into King of Fighters XIV, SNK’s long-running fighting video game franchise. This follows a competition held by Manga and SNK in September that challenged young people in the region to create a character and arena for the game. As announced today, the winners were:
King Of Fighters XIV is scheduled for release in Spring 2018 and will include not only these characters and arenas, but both Arabic and Japanese language options.
Mr. Yosuke Matsuda, President and CEO of Square Enix Group, said: “It is an honour to have this opportunity to offer our expertise to this career development program that will enable young Saudi game creators to compete in the global market with us. We look forward to the content developed by creators who have participated in this program taking off from Saudi Arabia to reach the rest of the world.”
The agreement was signed at the Misk Global Forum, which has seen these three leaders participate in a panel discussion entitled Work and Play: Digital Content Is Everywhere alongside Dr. Bukhary. The Forum was opened by Bill Gates and has seen other speeches, discussions, and workshops from global leaders in science and technology, art and creativity, and business and politics on “meeting the challenge of change.”