A RISE IN MOBILE GAME DEVELOPMENT IS HELPING TRANSFORM THE COUNTRY’S IT INDUSTRY.
It’s a city better known for its history and culture, but a new generation of mobile game developers is bringing a slice of Silicon Valley to Lahore.
With open plan offices, mixed gender teams, gourmet catering and an emphasis on a fun atmosphere, the small but growing IT industry worth an estimated $2.8 billion is being led by young entrepreneurs like Babar Ahmed.
Ahmed, 33, left a career as a circuit engineer in Austin, Texas to found Mindstorm Studios in Lahore in 2006 with his brother Faraz. Today their studio employs 47 people thanks to hits like 2010’s “Whacksy Taxi,” which shot to No. 1 on Apple’s AppStore in over 25 countries; “Mafia Farm” in 2012 and “Cricket Power,” the official game of the 2011 World Cup.
“The idea was to put Pakistan on the gaming world,” said Ahmed, explaining he was tired of “drawing room talk” among expatriates in the U.S. about how something should be done for their homeland.