The French video game developer behind the new Grendizer video game|Arab News Japan

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Amin Abbas

Microids, a French video game developer and publisher based in Paris, sat down with Arab News Japan to discuss the challenges they faced while creating the upcoming Grendizer game as well as their recent trip to Saudi Arabia.

The company has worked on many games since its establishment, including more than 50 games on the Nintendo DS and hundreds of games on casual PCs and mobile devices.

They came back to the console universe in 2016 with their first game on Agatha Christie IP: The ABC Murders.

The company launched this month their fourth Agatha Christie game, ‘Murder on The Orient Express.’ They have a list of new games that will be released this winter, such as ‘Tintin Reporter: Cigars of the Pharaoh’, ‘Flashback 2’, and ‘UFO Robot Grendizer: The Feast of the Wolves’.

Alain MILLY, Microids’ Vice President of Publishing and former videogame journalist, shared exclusively with Arab News Japan the story and challenges for developing the upcoming Grendizer game, saying, “The first challenge was to convince Dynamic Planning, the owner of Grendizer IP, to trust us. It took us almost four years to sign the deal. Our track record with a Japanese company was, at this time, only the release on Switch of Toki (Juju Densetsu) with Tad Corporation.”

“The second challenge was to create a game that will target a fan-based audience and will seduce a new audience that did not grow up with the animated series. I think it is a common fact to respect the budget and timeline when developing a fun game that people will play with pleasure. Afterwards, there are some technical challenges, especially with the Switch port,” he added.

Regarding the development process and challenges for the Arabic version of the video game, MILLY shared that the company has a strong partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Manga Productions. “(They) helped us a lot, and they managed all the Arabic translations and voiceovers in the game. We are managing the integration, and it is a little tricky sometimes as it is the first time we are producing a game in Arabic.”

The Microids team visited Saudi Arabia in March to sign their partnership with Manga Productions. “I really appreciated the kindness of the people we met and was surprised by the youth of the population. I was really surprised by the mix of historical and modern architecture. We have visited Al Masmak Palace, Diriyah, some malls, and Boulevard World, where the Grendizer Statue is featured. We also visited NEOM, the Line Expo and it was impressive”.

Alain MILLY, Microids’ Vice President of Publishing and former videogame journalist, during his visit to Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)

MILLY shared that the videogame company stands out from competitors since they collaborate with various independent studios across Europe. “We have a very close relationship with the studios and are very trusting of them. Our DNA has evolved during all those years, but we are still focused on Adventure, Action, Family and Racing categories. We are specialists in editing games with a brand, but we are still promoting and developing original IP belonging to us, like ‘Syberia: The World Before’,” he said. 

The company has many upcoming video games, such as ‘The Empire of the Ants’ and ‘Space Adventure Cobra.’ They also have many unannounced projects for the next few years.

For those interested in becoming video game developers or working in the gaming industry, MILLY recommends always looking up what other developers are doing. “You need to be open and not try to reinvent the wheel. Great games are great inspirations for players and developers. You don’t develop a game for yourself, but for people who share the same passion. Being patient, organized, and passionate,” he shared. 

‘UFO Robot Grendizer: The Feast of the Wolves’ will be available Nov. 14 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.

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