Iraqi Mobile Gaming Gets New Mobile Payments Edge With Docomo Digital and Zain

February 7, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Mobile gaming is increasingly part of the landscape, as people take advantage of a few minutes here or there to enjoy a quick game of something, or to browse stores for merchandise. This has opened up plenty of opportunities for mobile payments to step in as a way to provide monetization for such mobile fun, and recently, a new effort between Docomo Digital and Zain Iraq provided one more example of such operations.

The new team-up between Zain Iraq and Docomo Digital allows Zain to offer direct carrier billing for its GamEmpire system, a variety of games—both native and HTML5 varieties—to be streamed to mobile devices and played remotely.

The original deal that brought the two companies together goes back to the Mobile World Congress 2018 event, where they signed their original agreement that brought Zain’s customers—around 46.9 million at the time—access to content from Docomo, billable monthly through the carrier itself. Since Zain operates in eight different Middle East countries, there was a serious opportunity here for Docomo to break into a new market.

Docomo Digital CEO Hiroyuki Sato elaborated, saying “Launching our games platform in Iraq marks yet another important milestone in our important partnership with the Zain Group, and our first such partnership in Iraq. We are committed to expanding our footprint across the Middle East and we hope to bring our latest suite of content and billing services to Zain’s subscribers across the region.”

Given that the Middle East is a fairly rapidly growing region for mobile access, Docomo’s move here might prove to be a sound one. While the culture is potentially problematic for game providers, who may unexpectedly find content accepted everywhere else to be objectionable there, the attempt to land access to a big new pot of players is hard to pass up. Throw in the new carrier billing options which should make the whole system that much more accessible and it’s a new platform with some serious revenue-making potential.

Only time will tell just how well this system works, but it’s a safe bet that there will be at least a few new customers out of the deal, and that should make both Zain and Docomo happy with new players on new mobile devices.