Phone in hand, you scroll around different online platforms and suddenly notice a few ads here and there for historical wars, dystopian worlds or just car driving mobile games spoken in a language that surprisingly isn’t English. You observe with interest the language, and wonder when did Arabic mobile games become popular? Well, the increase in the representation of this content in our language is thanks to none other than Tamatem.
Tamatem, which is an Arab word for tomato, is the leading mobile games publisher in the MENA market. They localize their games and enrich it with familiar culture for Arab gamers by partnering up with international studios and developers.
The founder, Hussam Hammo, started out Tamatem after his previous company, Wizards Production halted its works back in 2012. He remained resilient and determined though his peers became reluctant of supporting him in a path that they perceived as risky. Nonetheless, he was accepted into 500 Startups and Tamatem became the first Arab company to get into the program in 2013. This encouraged him to further pursue and persuade a few American-based investors successfully before moving back to Jordan and opening up their new offices. Some of the business’ most popular games are
We asked Hussam about Tamatem and what he has in store for it: “Although we have been expanding rapidly, I expect more for Tamatem in 2019.” he shared, “We are launching a number of new games and opening up new offices for marketing and user support purposes around the region. As for the future, I wish to see Tamatem become the best workplace in the region. We have an incredible team that believes in our vision and cultivated a company culture that is simply unique in Jordan.” We wish Tamatem the best too!
Hussam also shares with us a fun fact about their team: They’re a total of 55 employees that are all local Jordanians working across departments including Product Management, Marketing, Design, Public Relations, User Acquisition
According to Hussam, finding local talented people was not an easy task, as there is no awareness about the job prospects that could be found in the gaming industry. To solve this issue, the Tamatem team are currently teaching university students in Jordan about the job market and how the gaming industry can open up doors for them.
Before concluding, the founder Hussam shares with us some valuable advice to fresh-faced entrepreneurs: “Have an MVP that works to the best of its capability, and only after gaining traction for a period of 3 months or so, approach investors,” He states. “Always make sure your idea is defensible and isn’t a plagiarized version of another idea,” he advises.