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Tue 1 May 2007 02:29 PM

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Games distributor hits out at ME piracy culture

CEO of Red Entertainment calls for more stringent action to be taken.

Gaming piracy is massively hindering the development of the Middle East's gaming market, according to the CEO of leading regional games distributor Red Entertainment, Michael Wombwell.

"In order for the gaming market to fully develop in this region, countries here need to have a clean intellectual property environment, which is not the case,'' he lamented. "This current situation means a number of gaming publishers such as Activision are less likely to invest in localising games and creating Arabic language support and online inter-play because of the loss in revenue.''

In a bid to halt the problem, Red is working closely with the Arabian Anti-piracy Association. Wombwell says gaming piracy is particularly high in Abu Dhabi, Saudi and Kuwait while Gameboy Advance, Nintendo and Xbox 360 are cited as the formats most likely to be targeted.

Wombwell reckons the region's law enforcement authorities need to implement tougher penalties in order for piracy to be curbed. ‘"If law enforcement would put pirates in jail for five years and fine them US$10,000 there would be a lot less piracy going on,'' he suggested.

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