- Title: WEST BANK-SPERMANIA West Bank firm's daring app aims for world market
- Date: 12th September 2014
- Summary: VARIOUS OF ABU AL KHEIR PLAYING THE GAME
- Embargoed: 27th September 2014 13:00
- Location: West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA5OB59500K88I04IE5UFMBFUVB
- Story Text: Palestine's first venture-backed gaming company, PinchPoint, has launched "Spermania," a mobile game in which users race a sperm past acid pools, viruses, bacteria and other sperm, to try to fertilise an egg.
"It's the reason you are alive. There is no going back, no surrender, and only one winner," runs the provocative tag line to the game on PinchPoint's website. "This is the story of a brave little sperm's quest to create life - an epic one full of challenges and setbacks in the race for creation," it states.
PinchPoint says the Ramallah-based company is the first video games business to gain venture funding in the Palestinian territories.
The company was founded in June 2013, with an initial investment of tens of thousands of U.S. dollars, facilitated by Sadara Ventures, the first venture capital firm targeting the Palestinian IT sector. Khalid Abu Al Kheir, PinchPoint co-founder and CEO, estimates the company is now worth hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars.
Al Kheir says the company, which has struggled to expose its games to a wider public, is now working on a number of other games.
"Spermania is one of the games that we are working on. We are not working on just one game, we are also working on a number of other games, because in the games business we do not know which one will gain popularity. So we should keep working on producing more games even if we think that a specific one is interesting, the final word is for the people to say which one is the most interesting," said Abu Al Kheir.
In addition to 'Spermania', PinchPoint's website lists four other game apps that can be downloaded on either Google play or App Store, with a fifth one said to be released soon.
"We were able to put it (the game) on Google play store and on Facebook but we were not able to put it on Apple, for iPhone and iPad users, because the Apple company says that the subject of the game, which is the sperm, is an objectionable one which means that the users might object it," said Abu Al Kheir.
PinchPoint's five-member team say they started the company to improve the local gaming industry in the Palestinian territories. Al Kheir says his company has more plans for the future.
"The company's first step is to produce games for mobile phones, like iPhone, Android, Nokia and others, this is the first step. The second step will not only be promoting the games that we produce but also dedicating a special section to advertise the games that are produced by other Palestinian engineers and the Arab engineers," said Abu Al Kheir.
The app is free of charge and has so far been downloaded by 25,000 users worldwide.
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