In a recent announcement, WeMade, the South Korean game developer shifting to blockchain, NFTs, and DeFi has signed an onboarding agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Rogue Sentinel Studios for the blockchain game Astra Nova.

Astra Nova, slated for release in the latter half of 2025, represents cutting-edge action RPG development, powered by Unreal Engine 5. The game promises to significantly elevate the player experience by integrating blockchain and AI technologies within an expansive and immersive universe.

In Astra Nova, players will embark on an extraordinary journey on the space planet “Astra Nova,” humanity’s final bastion, engaging with its wild flora and fauna. The game is designed to offer a wide variety of content, including action-based combat with advanced technology, magic, and weaponry.

As per the announcement, Wemade is committed to broadening its WEMIX PLAY lineup and diversifying its genre offerings through ongoing partnerships with leading development studios worldwide.

This doesn’t come as a surprise, given that in February of this year WEMADE, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with KSA based Nine66, a Savvy Games Group (“Savvy”) company, to drive the development of the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia.

In addition WEMIX and Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create and accelerate growth opportunities for their respective portfolio companies and Web3 startups.

Last year WEMIX expanded into the MENA region with an office in UAE.

The gaming industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been steadily growing over the past few years. It is a dynamic industry that includes the production and sale of video games, gaming hardware, and software. Additionally, it encompasses platforms such as mobile devices, consoles, and PCs.

By 2027, it is projected that MENA’s digital gaming revenue will almost double from its 2021 value of approximately $3 bn.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt are the top three gaming markets in MENA. These markets have a high number of gamers, a strong market presence, and significant growth potential.

The Biggest South Korean blockchain enabled game developer, Wemade has announced its collaboration with UAE’s Dubai Chambers to develop the blockchain gaming ecosystem in Dubai and UAE.

The two are in talks to contribute to game development industry initiatives. A meeting between Henry Chang, the CEO of Wemade and  H.E. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers  marked the next phase of Wemade’s efforts to support and grow blockchain gaming ecosystems in Dubai and the UAE.

As an advocate for the interests of Dubai’s business community, Dubai Chambers serves as a bridge connecting the local business community with Dubai’s dynamic government and is committed to ensuring a thriving environment in which businesses can flourish. The chamber seeks to facilitate and improve the ease of doing business in the emirate and advance Dubai’s position as a highly competitive global commercial center.

“The UAE is among the most dynamic regions building the next generation of games and gaming industry talent with Dubai and key stakeholders including Dubai Chambers playing an important role,” said Henry Chang, CEO, Wemade. “Wemade will focus on working with Dubai Chambers to explore how we can contribute our expertise and technology to support key initiatives including the Dubai Program for Gaming 2033.”

H.E. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, commented: “We are pleased to initiate this collaboration with Wemade, which will contribute to driving innovation in the UAE’s rapidly evolving digital ecosystem. Dubai’s growing influence in the global gaming and blockchain arenas reflects our dedication to fostering an ecosystem that is rich in technological expertise. We remain committed to further strengthening the emirate’s position as a leading global hub at the heart of the digital economy.”

Unveiled recently by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), the Dubai Program for Gaming 2033 set out major industry goals. These are: to position Dubai among the top 10 cities in the global gaming industry; generate 30,000 new jobs in the gaming sector; significantly boost the sector’s contribution to the growth of Dubai’s digital economy; and increase the GDP by approximately US$1 billion by 2033.

UAE tech venture company Scalo Technologies is backing plans to integrate blockchain technology into mobile gaming, a trend that it believes will revolutionize the way games are played.

Dubai-based Scalo has been working closely with mobile game developer and publisher Hexacore, one of its portfolio companies, on a new strategy built around blockchain giving players long overdue ownership of their in-game assets, and the time they devote to playing.

Hexacore, whose central team is located in Poland, has now fast-tracked development and publishing of its flagship space fantasy product, ‘Pocket Space,’ which boasts multiplayer modes and asset ownership mechanics.

In July2023 Scalo Technologies, led a $3.5 million investment round for Hexacore, mobile game publisher specialising in hybrid mobile web3 games. The funding was also supported by Xsolla, Estoty, and other angel investors, will fuel the expansion of Hexacore’s team, known for creating games that have garnered over 350 million downloads. Notable titles include Sushi Roll, Blend It 3D and Merge Animals.

“We believe that blockchain technology will usher in a new era of mobile gameplay experiences,” said Abdumalik Mirakhmedov, Director and co-founder of Scalo Technologies, which led a US$3.5 million investment round for Hexacore earlier this year.

“By integrating blockchain into their gaming ecosystem, Hexacore intends to elevate the overall user experience, with the main focus on enhancing asset ownership, and the ease of in game transactions. This will not only make the game more exciting, but also increase a player’s value to the game.”

The ‘Pocket Space’ community launch will take place in Q4 2023, with the soft launch scheduled for H2 2024 and the global release to follow in 2025.

One of the main problems for mobile gaming, which is forecast to be worth $160.6 billion by 2025, is that players are increasingly distracted by multiple entertainment options, and prefer shorter gaming sessions. Hexacore is tackling the challenge to retain their attention head-on.

“The strategy is to firstly embed a game IP across multiple platforms and media,” says Rashit Makhat, Director and co-founder at Scalo Technologies, who have been working with Hexacore for almost two years.

“The IP of your game should be everywhere. Not just on smartphones and social networks, but also in cartoons, books, toys, clothing, on the streets, and even billboards.

“Then you have a higher likelihood that users will stick with you for the long term. In addition, strong community engagement will be another vital tool in retaining players, so we are focusing on community to provide a strong sense of belonging to a specific circle of people.” Scalo and Hexacore see mobile games becoming the gateway for new web3 users, driven by the growing adoption of crypto wallets on smartphones, attracting investors and fostering innovation in gaming worldwide.

“Both traditional and web3-focused investors are now attracted to mobile gaming,” said Mikita Khazau, co-founder and CEO of Hexacore. “This continuous influx of funds will drive innovation, creativity, and deliver new gaming experiences that captivate audiences across the globe.

Singapore-based VC firm Scalo Technologies shifted its headquarters to Dubai UAE in April 2023 and had announced an investment of $100 million in MENA startups over the next three to five years.

KSA based Nine66, a Savvy Games Group company and South Korean Blockchain game developer Wemade jointly participate in the first edition of University Gamedev League which finals will be held in Riyadh KSA.

The University Gamedev League is a competition for university student game developers from across the world. Over 50 teams from 30 universities and 10 countries have registered to participate in the five-month contest. The initiative provides a unique opportunity for aspiring game developers to showcase their talents, collaborate with others, network, and receive mentorships from globally recognized gaming experts.

The top two teams will fly to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, to compete in the final held during Gamers8, an esports tournament and gaming festival which runs for eight weeks and previously gathered over 1.5 million visitors in 2022.

This partnership comes after the two entities signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Wemade and Nine66 and is in line with both parties’ ambitions for the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia. The middle east gaming market is also expected to grow by 56% to $2.79 billion by 2026, with Saudi Arabia’s 21 million gamers constituting an untapped demographic, according to analysts at Niko Partners

In an effort to become the next global hub for the gaming industry, Savvy Games Group is investing $38 billion into the gaming sector. Wemade is intensifying its effort to develop the booming gaming ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and increase its local presence by participating in this initiative. It is also the first Korean company to sponsor the competition. Through its role, Wemade will facilitate knowledge transfer and skills building for the new generation of game developers combining blockchain technology within the Saudi Arabian gaming ecosystem.

UAE based Blockchain gaming entity, iBLOXX,Studio has secured a $5 million investment in a recent funding round led by PrimeXM. The capital will be utilized to expand the company’s GameFi division. The investment brings the gaming division’s post-money valuation to 30 million USD.

The funds will be primarily used to develop iBLOXX Studios, the group´s Web3 gaming arm. iBLOXX Studios is focused on building blockchain games using Unreal Engine and Unity, developing GameFi economy health- and monitoring solutions, as well as creating trading-related blockchain applications. With this funding, iBLOXX Studios will be able to accelerate the development of its gaming offerings and expand its reach in the blockchain gaming market.

“PrimeXM, who is amongst the world’s leading providers for foreign exchange and cryptocurrency trading solutions, caters to some of the industry’s largest players, such as Saxo Bank, IG,, SwissQuote or OKCoin. Their decision to invest in iBLOXX is a testament to their unwavering confidence in our company’s potential for growth.” said Domenik Maier, CEO of iBLOXX.

iBLOXX recceived its license from Dubai DMCC in December 2021. 

Web3 technologies in gaming represents one of the fastest-growing segments of the nearly $200 billion global gaming industry. Currently standing at $1.8 billion, revenues generated by the gaming industry in the MENA region are expected to reach $5 billion by 2025. 

According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets, the NFT industry in the UAE is  expected to grow steadily, recording a CAGR of 32.1% during 2022-2028. The NFT Spend Value in the country will increase from US$982.1 million in 2022 to reach US$ 4.746.3 million by 2028.

As per the report the non-fungible token (NFT) scene is growing as more and more entrepreneurs, businesses, and celebrities enter the fast-growing industry. Like the rest of the world, the UAE market is also rapidly adopting NFTs.

The report notes that over the last 12 months, several innovative NFT marketplaces have also emerged in the country, which has made it relatively simpler for the general public to buy, sell, and trade in NFTs. From NFT-based startups to cryptocurrency exchanges, several players are entering the UAE NFT market; the presence of several NFT marketplaces has also supported the rise in NFT trading transaction value and volume, the trend expected to gain further momentum over the next three to four years in the UAE.

Already the NFT market is witnessing a resurgence in 2023. Digital ownership continues in 2023 with $256.69 million in non-fungible token (NFT) sales over the last seven days up to January 22nd 2023,  according to statistics from This represents a 16.39% increase from the previous week’s NFT sales and includes 1,355,376 NFT transactions. A total of 320,580 buyers participated in the market activity, a 43.48% increase from the prior week.

The rise of blockchain-based gaming is expected to drive NFT market growth in the UAE. With blockchain-based gaming, people are frequently awarded cryptocurrencies or NFTs for participating in gaming tournaments. This explains why the Abu Dhabi government-backed AD Gaming program has entered into a strategic collaboration with local crypto platforms such as Attarius Network, which attempts to increase the chances of blockchain-based gaming. The collaboration aims to create a participatory and collaborative NFT ecosystem for gamers.

For example GLEAC, an Abu Dhabi Hub71 entity announced the launch of the world’s first utility NFT, called Lovely Humans that allows users one-on-one time with global industry experts for five hours. The winning bidder can use the time with the industry expert to gain work-related knowledge and advice, solve problems or even try to co-create a new project that can be monetised. The knowledge gained from the discussion can also be minted into a utility NFT that could be co-owned by the buyer and the industry expert. The first round of bidding will include a group of 25 experts from industries including Fintech, Metaverse, Sustainability, Data, and others.

In addition UAE based Farming Online launched its NFT marketplace on UAE’s 51st National Day at Gracia Farm under the theme you farm on the internet we farm on the ground. Gracia Group is an innovative model of future farming, created by an Emirati entrepreneur Hamed Al Hamed to influence and change the agricultural sector. 

Rolls-Royce has unveiled its latest Bespoke Series Phantom ‘The Six Elements’ as NFTs in UAE. This unique project features six one-of-a-kind Phantom Extended Series II cars, each featuring a commissioned hand-painted artwork by world-renowned British artist Sacha Jafri. The cars were designed and crafted by the Bespoke Collective at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood in collaboration with the resident Bespoke designer in the Rolls-Royce Private Office in Dubai.

The project has raised over $1 million for charity. The project, initiated by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Dubai and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Abu Dhabi, began in late 2020 and has taken two years to complete.

The use of NFTs in the “The Six Elements” series allows each car to have its own unique digital token, which can be sold independently to raise funds for charity. This represents a new way for luxury car manufacturers to use blockchain technology for philanthropy and could potentially open up new opportunities for collaboration between artists, car manufacturers, and collectors.

WEMIX a South Korean blockchain gaming platform part of WEMADE blockchain firm, is developing and delivering various games and has launched its MENA presence with its foothold out of UAE, Abu Dhabi in specific.

Wemade’s blockbuster Legend of Mir IP boasts its 500 million accumulated users in China. Wemade has over 10 subsidiaries, including Joymax (developer of Wind runner) and Flero Games(developer of Every Town) and shares in some of Korea’s most promising game developing companies, including 4:33 Creative Lab, IMC Games, XL Games, Hound 13, Raidmob, and Pulsar Creative.

According to the announcement, WEMIX MENA will also open another branch in the region as well possibly KSA and other areas of UAE.

The announcement states, “The UAE with its pro-blockchain policies, governments are focusing on digital innovation business. The region is proactively supporting blockchain-based business ecosystems and digital assets services. Launching of WEMIX MENA means WEMIX will actively seek to expand its ecosystem in the MENA.”

It adds, “Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has been actively focusing on expanding global blockchain business by implementing digital asset regulations in 2018 and introducing Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The rapid growth in the game industry and positivity from the government toward blockchain business has made the city the base for many global IT companies to begin business in the MENA region.

MENA based Arts DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) and NFT and Web3 community with presence in UAE, has partnered with Ledger, a digital asset storage provider, to offer hardware crypto wallet solutions to its members. 

Arts DAO is currently investing in blue-chip NFTs, supporting major corporations with their Web3 strategy, and backing great founders building in Web3.

France-based Ledger, which employs more than 800 people has sold more than five million devices to customers in 200 different countries and is responsible for securing 20 percent of all crypto assets stored globally as of today.

‘100 Ledger NFTs,’ the first Ledger NFTs ever released, were part of a limited-edition collection created by Arts DAO to honor this groundbreaking partnership. Additionally, Arts DAO provided community members with branded ledgers, allowing NFT owners to claim a physical Ledger hard wallet.

“Ledgers are a so-called ‘cold storage’ solution,” explains Danosch Zahedi, Co-Founder of Arts DAO. “People are always looking for safer places to store their cryptocurrency, and thanks to decentralized finance, anyone with a cold storage wallet may basically act as their own bank. This is crucial in light of recent market volatility in the cryptocurrency space as well as future-defining events like the FTX collapse.”

According to Anas Bhurtun, Co-Founder of Arts DAO, “Dubai has constantly shown its dedication to the virtual economy, with historic regulatory developments providing a framework for companies dealing with digital assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs.”

As explained by Ledger, what you actually own when you purchase a cryptocurrency is a “private key,” a vital piece of data required to approve outgoing transactions on the blockchain network. Anyone who is aware of this key may use the related funds. There is no bank or other organization to back you up or provide you with a replacement if your private keys are lost, stolen, or if you keep them on a device that malfunctions. As a result, you lose access to your cryptocurrency.

Arts DAO advises clients to use a hardware wallet solution, where your private keys are kept offline in a hardware wallet so only you have access to them. As a result, your wallet is no longer at risk of being compromised by hackers who can’t get to the device or the private keys inside. Even if a hacker manages to take over your computer, they won’t be able to access your crypto assets by stealing your private keys if you have a hardware wallet. The risk of hacking is reduced because your private key is stored offline.

Arts DAO is looking to expand into many more avenues with their clients, including blockchain gaming, blockchain streaming and music, and digital fashion. The two main pillars of Arts DAO are community and consulting. With hundreds of members as of today and rapidly growing, the community is bringing together the Middle East’s largest Web 3.0 community.

UAE Based Cypher Capital among leading global Venture Capitalists to have invested in Blockchain gaming platform, MetaOne. UAE Cypher Capital, Huobi Ventures, LD Capital and GSR Capital have invested 2 million USD in MetaOne, a SAAS ( Software as a Service) platform that is working to onboard games and guilds onto blockchain gaming.

“We are beyond enthusiastic about our new investment, MetaOne, the service platform that enables massive gamer communities,” MetaOne is solving key problems in the current Web 3.0 GameFi market by creating a single platform that attracts Web 2.0 gamers to Web 3.0 GameFi and empowers the gaming guilds to take data-backed decisions. By leveraging on our strong influence in the region, MetaOne is looking to tap into the Middle East market to convert more gamers into GameFi, stated, Vineet Budki, Managing Partner and CEO of Cypher Capital.

With more than 242 guilds, over 72,000 gamers onboarded, 33 GameFi titles partnership in the pipeline and NFT asset management across 7 chains, the platform is eager to work with more partners to realize the vision of GameFi empowerment and to become the mainstream adoption platform from Web2 gaming to Web3 GameFi over the globe.

Furthermore, MetaOne  is seeking to localize the platform through their relationship in East-Africa as a MOU has been recently signed with East-African partners who are associated with Mpesa and Sports-Pesa. The partnership looks forward to providing a seamless onboarding experience for the gaming communities in the region.

“We are so excited about communicating this vision to all geographical regions and realizing it into real executable plans where guilds, gamers, GameFi studios and the retail investors can see and feel the tangibles.” said Marrtin Hoon, CEO of MetaOne.

The project is expected to have its official platform roll and utility token launch by year 2022.

Prior to this Cypher Capital invested in Iomob, a Blockchain company developing a decentralized protocol for mobility marketplace and token.