Sandsoft Opens New Studio in Riyadh

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Sandsoft, an innovative mobile-first game developer, publisher and investor, has announced the opening of Sandsoft Riyadh, a mobile games development studio based in the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Creating over 80 exciting career opportunities in the region, the studio is the first step in Sandsoft’s significant investment in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) gaming ecosystem.

Sandsoft is driven by seasoned games industry veterans, including its CEO David Fernandez, who whilst at King expanded the legendary Candy Crush and Bubble Witch IPs; as well as Rovio veteran and Head of Publishing, Miikka Lindgren.

Sandsoft has recently invested in major IP-linked mobile titles including Rambo: Strike Force, and Pacific Rim: Breach Wars, and has recently started to invest significantly into new and emerging technologies and projects in the gaming space such as blockchain.

Sandsoft Riyadh will be led by Yahsir Qureshi, who has more than a decade of experience across some of the most successful AAA and free-to-play games ever released, most recently while building FIFA’s Ultimate Team at EA. The Riyadh studio will act as a worldwide headquarters for Sandsoft, which is committed to nurturing local talent through a first-of-its-kind paid internship programme in the MENA region, Press Start. Launching this year and targeting emergent KSA talent who are passionate about entering the global games industry, the programme will allow a select group of game creators to develop their own games with the support and resources of the wider Sandsoft organisation. Press Start creators will benefit from the guidance of Sandsoft’s seasoned games industry figures while keeping the autonomy to decide what game they want to develop.

Sandsoft is the gaming arm of Ajlan & Bros Holding company, one of the region’s largest corporations, providing the Riyadh Studio with access to unrivalled infrastructure.

“Sandsoft Riyadh will contribute to making Saudi Arabia a global gaming powerhouse, in alignment with the national strategy for games and esports that His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently launched, as a pivotal and important step to start a new phase for this sector, following Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Sandsoft’s studio in Riyadh will be an important part of this vision by identifying and upskilling MENA talent, and combining it with the very best of global games industry expertise to create an international gaming dream team across development, publishing, and investment,” Abdulaziz Alajlan, Managing Director of Sandsoft, said.

“We have established a world-class mobile gaming team that’s poised to position Sandsoft as the premier MENA games company, and we’re excited to be expanding our local footprint. A key mission is to discover and attract the best and brightest local game development talent, and to nurture it with the expertise of leaders from gaming’s top international firms,” David Fernandez, CEO at Sandsoft, said.

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