Obscure Games escaping obscurity

How many people are there who have left everything to fulfill their dream? How hard is it to ignore everything people are telling you, overcome obstacles and just follow you heart?

Ayman Hurani was a senior product and project manager at a number of high-tech companies, Muhammad Bushenk led a gaming community and Majed Abd-Al-Qadir Abed developed games. They lived in different places in the country, one in East Jerusalem, the other in Kafr Manda, the third in Taybeh. Connected by their love for network games, they began to create small mobile games together for fun. Last year, with the support of the hybrid startup accelerator founded by the 8200 Alumni Association to encourage high-tech in the Arab community, they decided to take their passion to the next level, leave their jobs, join forces and build their own gaming startup, Obscure Games.

Setting up a successful startup is always a huge challenge, for everyone, but for startups coming from the Arab community it is even more complex. Firstly, they often lack the connections in the industry that many other startups have. In addition the lack of stability is felt even more acutely in this sector with the emotional and economic rollercoaster inherent in building a startup from scratch. But despite everything, Ayman, Muhammad and Majid went for it with all their might. They made their first recruit this year, recruiting first-timers, and together they are working round the clock on building Raid Star - a multiplayer mobile action game that allows players around the world to steal each other's treasures and build kingdoms.

In recent months, we have also joined the Obscure Games journey. Hybrid Accelerator, led by Amit Svarzenberg of Microsoft for Startups, is providing them with close consulting and support together with cloud and streaming services, to help build momentum for this nascent startup. These are not only unusually talented and creative people, who understand programming, game design, marketing and user experience, they also live and breathe the gaming world and love it so much.

It is truly an honor for us at Microsoft to take part in the journey of Muhammad, Majed and Ayman, and see them progress day by day in building their game, developing layers, creating worlds, shaping characters, as they approach release. We hope that the startup they founded will not only attract millions of players around the world and be successful, but will also encourage more under-represented founders in the Israeli startup ecosystem and beyond, to dare and follow their dreams.