Boss Bunny Co – Founder and CEO recently gave an interview with IGN Middle East. Read the interview below or go to the original article here
It isn’t everyday that a game development studio opens its doors in the region. However, based out of their Dubai Production City offices, Boss Bunny Games is established to create a place for themselves in the casual mobile gaming scene with games that are deeply rooted in the Middle Eastern culture.We talk to CEO and Co-Founder Geraint Bungay on the challenges in creating a studio in the UAE, why it is solely focused on mobile gaming, and how it plans to avoid stereotyping the Arab culture in its games.
IGN ME: Boss Bunny is an interesting name for a studio – could you tell us how you came up with it, and how the idea of creating a studio in Dubai started?
Bungay: Everyone at Boss Bunny has their own Emoji Animal, which they choose themselves – we spend a lot of time communicating as a team on platforms such as WhatsApp. Mine is a gorilla (Silverback), anyone that knows me will understand why! Our Chairperson and co-Founder Aziza has a Lioness, and Annabel our Marketing Director has a T-Rex! So, as no one had chosen the “Bunny” emoji, we thought Boss Bunny Games was a great name for the company.
We chose Dubai due to the amazing support we have received from regional and local government initiatives and as the focus on our development will be games for the regional market, as well as globally. If you are going to make games focused on the Arabic language and regional cultures, then it is important to immerse yourself in them and work with local talent wherever and whenever possible.
Dubai is not exactly known to be a hotspot for video game development studios. How difficult was it to setup shop here, and what were some of the challenges you faced starting a production company?
The UAE and Dubai have become regional and global hubs for creative services and creative individuals. Logistically speaking, it was not difficult to set up shop here as the processes are very streamlined, especially with Dubai’s renewed mandate to attract more new businesses, so the process is now easier than ever.
We are developing the first ever custom designed Games Development and Publishing Studio in Dubai at this very moment called “The Warren” based in the newly developed Dubai Production City.
The Dubai government support we received from Dubai Media City made the process even easier and provided us with the necessary support to get us up and running. The biggest challenge that faces any company setting up here will always be the talent, and we are very fortunate to be working with a group of extremely talented people from all around the world. This shows that Dubai and the UAE are equipped to become globally competitive hubs for world-class production and distribution of games, and we at Boss Bunny hope to light that spark.
Boss Bunny specifically targets mobile games – why is it necessary to go for that demographic, and do you see yourselves making games for PCs and consoles?
Mobile gaming penetration across the MENA region is extremely high, and people spend much of their time on these small devices. As a matter of fact, the region has some of the biggest smartphone consumption rates globally, we are talking approximately 400m devices now, and over 550m by 2025. In the UAE, KSA and Egypt, 90% of smartphone owners are already playing mobile games – this equates to mobile gaming clearly establishing itself as the biggest gaming segment across the region, surpassing console and PC gaming, further removing the multiple barriers between us and the gamers. Our mission at Boss Bunny is to build great experiences rooted in this region’s cultures and language whilst delivering them to as many people as possible through a platform that is accessible. It is also worth mentioning that the MEA region is on the path to generating 8.53bn USD in revenue by next year – so we (as a region) are already a serious contender in this market globally. Having said all of that, we will never shy away from the opportunity to connect with more players, so developing for other platforms could be something on the horizon for us.
You have said that Boss Bunny will create games designed around the region’s sensibilities and culture. When we hear that, it usually means games that feature stereotypical Arab characters in a desert setting. Do you aim to move past that and explore other aspects of the Middle Eastern culture?
Absolutely. Cultural understanding and empathy are key pillars to how we operate. Boss Bunny wants to create wonderful experiences rooted in this region’s cultures and language – so the key is having the absolute right team and the right office culture, something everyone at Boss Bunny feels very passionately about.
We are a very strong and diverse team with over 60 years of combined, solid gaming experience from around the world – including people from this region like Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE who all play highly pivotal roles in the development process and act as sounding boards for the whole team, ensuring everything we do is appropriate, well represented, and relevant. We also have publishing partnerships with Arab developers that will also result in more culturally relevant content.