Jordanian game development studio Quirkat recently launched Pro Foosball for the PlayStation 3. With this title, Quirkat is looking to target players of all ages, providing a timeless game for those who may not have space for a foosball table in their home.
“Everyone should have the chance to play foosball in their living room,” says Marketing Manager Rawan Sha’ban.
Quirkat is actually the first developer in the Middle East so far to be published by Sony, now releasing their seventh title for the PlayStation platform, after 5 games on PlayStation Mini, and Word Blocked for PS Mobile late last year.
The recent announcement of Sony’s plan to open two gaming academies in Jordan in the next month, along with Quirkat’s new addition to their game line-up, shows that Sony is finally warming up to the huge user base they have in the Arab world, especially on PS3. While Arabic games haven’t been widely developed for Playstation yet, Sha’ban explains that the platform has just begun to offer some other titles in Arabic, including popular game FIFA 2013 with Arabic commentary and a new Lara Croft Tomb Raider game with Arabic voiceover.
Pro Foosball itself offers three modes of play: “kickabout” for a quick game between 1-4 players, “foos championship” is a tournament-style career campaign, and “foos madness” for some crazy table options. Some of these options include low gravity, low friction, a longer table, and a bouncing ball. Currently available in the Middle East, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the game has the option for English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic.
The gameplay is simple, taking a classic game and putting it on the big screen. Players can use PlayStation’s new “Move” controller or the regular PlayStation Dual Shock remote to spin the poles, maneuver the players across the table, and even do trick shots.
Multiplayer allows up to four players on one console to compete against each other. Players won’t be able to play against others online mostly because of a lag issue- foosball is such a fast-paced game that any internet slowness would prevent a fair match, explains Sha’ban.
After 13 months of development and testing, Quirkat has found that the game appeals to a wide audience, including youth, families, and older players.
“It was an arcade at the office,” she jokes.
For now, Quirkat seems to be PlayStation’s go-to developer for new Arabic games, mostly focusing on puzzles, recreational games, and easy functionality. But Sha’ban explains that Quirkat will continue to develop a diverse portfolio of games, with PlayStation titles only being a part of their business.
She’s optimistic about game development in the region, despite some recent closures in Jordan.
“Companies shut down, standards go higher, there’s healthy competition,” she says. “It’s still a growing industry; people come and go.” And despite the chellenges, Quirkat continues to grow, building on their relationship with Sony, adding new team members, and creating more engaging titles for the international market from the Arab world.