Taking part in the AMA today are:

Ali Fakhar Owner of Dbazi u/alifakhar

He is also the head of PR of national foundation of videogames of Iran. He has the experience of working in Iran videogame media and industry for over 10 years. Recently he really loves playing Divinity: Original Sin 2 and he tweets about it almost all the time!

Sina Kiarostami Staff Writer u/Sina_Kiarostami

He has worked with us for 3 years now and has developed a mobile game which has over 50,000 active downloads in Cafe Bazaar (Iranian mobile game and app market). He is working on his new project named The Cayve with Tarokh _T which is going to be a different Metroidvania Lovecraft game. Recently he is enjoying his time with Inside and God of War (PS4).

Tarokh Tarhandeh Executive Editor of Dbazi u/Tarokh_T

It's been 2 years that he is working as the executive editor of Dbazi and it's been 3 years since he joined them. He’s also working as a freelance writer with national foundation of videogames of Iran for one year, and he has the experience of working in the videogame media of Iran for 8 years. Recently, he is playing AC Odyssey in as much as he can. He is a AC and Ubisoft fan by heart.

We must say there are some rules in Iran for any media and publication like any other countries that every writer should know about them. If we want to talk about the press freedom, we should say that for example we can ask any questions and challenging questions from most of the authorities in press conferences, but surely we cannot compare the press freedom in Iran to the one in the US.

And about the challenges of publishing a video gaming magazine here, we must say that the biggest challenge is the financial or budget-oriented challenge in printing and publishing the hard copy magazines. But on the other hand, we have a lot of online video game websites and media.

Comments: 413 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

radeonalex120 karma

How are general internet speeds, availability and costs there?

A great deal of gaming is either online, or involves patches/dlc to be downloaded.

Is there a network infrastructure to deal effectively with the growth of gaming and being online in general?

Tarokh_T135 karma

I could say in general, it is not bad. We can get online, play without lags and bad latency (most of the time). But we surely have problems in downloading. During to the new terms and costs set for the internet, everything is better than the past but it is far away from perfection. And about your last question, I have to say there still is not a good infrastructure to deal with the future of gaming. We all know the future has got a lot of streaming stuff coming which I think, as of now, most of the gamers in Iran will not be able to use the streaming services.

ali_arkani31 karma

Internet speed is relatively good here. I have a 4mb ADSL connection with a relatively low price & good online ping. The main problem is firstly the U.S sanctions which prevents Iranian gamers from accessing digital contents such as games. In order to buy a legal copy of a game, we have to buy gift cards and use VPN softwares which could result in acount bans & deactivation. The second problem is national censorship which is already spoken about above.

Matthew15814 karma

Can’t we in the US just send you guys games to play? Or will you get in trouble? I’d happily send games over there.

Tarokh_T10 karma

Well in that case we, the writers and staff of Dbazi, get review codes and promotional copies of almost all the games in case of coverage. But it has got pretty tough for gamers to buy a game here due to sanctions.

Matthew15816 karma

If there’s a way I can send you guys a code or something to review let me know! Happy to help. Keep up the good fight guys.

Tarokh_T6 karma

Thanks a ton! We keep up doing what we do because we all love the 8th art.

fahdadatin61 karma

As an Iranian living in Canada is there anyway I can support you guys? I'd love to get involved somehow, I am a graphic designer and illustrator by trade and have been an avid gamer the majority of my life so this is a lot of different paths crossing.

Tarokh_T33 karma

We would appreciate any kind of support. Whatever you have in mind just be in touch with us. Thanks.

think_once_more28 karma

What are some of the best Iranian-made games? Answer does not have to be in the present.

Tarokh_T40 karma

Garshasp, E.T. Armies, mountaineer, The Dark Phantom and many others. In Microsoft's Briefing in E3 2018 Children of Morta got featured in the indie games which is a game from an Iranian team.

mookler23 karma

What's been your favorite thing that you've covered? Your least favorite?

Tarokh_T38 karma

Well, personally I cover, edit and go through lots of news and articles daily. But I always had the most fun while I was writing my own series of feature articles named "Two sides of a coin". In this series I talk about both pros and cons of a game, movie, event etc as equally as possible and wonder about the future of those things. I haven't find the time to continue the series and write another episode for a while. My least favorite thing to cover are the news of online-only games which are again on a rise. I do enjoy my time playing online, but today with all the battle-royale heat... well you know! I'm exhausted!

ravensept11 karma

Sorry that I am asking very broadly as I am grasping to find the right question to understand one subjects in particular.

Oh oh what was the Iran's general audience reception to the first Assassins Creed? I think Saudi Arabia initially banned it first but then decided to unban it later?

Are Japanese game popular in Iran? are they given a different status or are they just simultaneously put together with western games?

And what is the Iran's game industry more attracted towards developing? is storybased games or arcade type of games? if it is storybased games are they more likely develop them in the setting of Iran or the west? (like how Capcom developed Resident Evil)

Tarokh_T14 karma

We are very happy to answer your question. I myself live AC and Ubisoft in genreal because who else makes great historical games? Well, aside from the fanboying, AC has a great fanbase in Iran and none of the versions got banned here. In general, Japanese games do not have the majority attention here and they have got their special fans and followers. The gaming industry here is more attracted towards arcade titles. But if story-based games get developed, they are more likely to be based in setting of Iran.

riordan782 karma

What social reasons do you believe caused the more common arcade style interest in the Iranian market?

Tarokh_T2 karma

Easier and more budget-friendly job, better supprot, more local user etc.

FreedomFallout6 karma

What does “Donya ye Bazi” mean, and what is the history behind it being chosen as magazine’s name?

TheSilentSeeker6 karma

World of Gaming

Tarokh_T5 karma

As our friend said here, it means world of gaming or gaming world.

EkiAku4 karma

Can you talk about female Iranian gamers? I wanna know how my sisters in the east are doing. Do they get the same bullshit us Western girls do with sexism and harassment? Or is it because it’s sort of a counter culture to begin with, that goes away? Any particular favorite games that are different from the male crowd? How many female coworkers do you guys have? I see a lot of “Ali”s posting in the comments, so I was curious.

Tarokh_T9 karma

Unfortunately yes, they get the sexist comments. We only have one female co-worker in our team and that is the same in other teams. As of my experience, for now, not a lot of girls apply for a job in magazines and websites like movie and vg-based websites. Whatever the reason is, if I see somebody knows what she/he is doing, I do not hesitate in answering her/his application.

spali3 karma

What do you think about the portrayal of the middle east in fighting games with characters like Rasheed in street fighter and Shaheen in tekken?

Tarokh_T8 karma

I have to say that's not bad at all, but Middle-East consists other people from other nations as well.

NoPunkProphet3 karma

Does Iranian gamer culture have the same toxic aspects as US culture? Specifically things like Swatting, Gamergate, verbal abuse, etc.

Tarokh_T3 karma

Well, I have to say it kinda has that, but it is seen mostly in the new generation.

addfase3 karma

How well does the Fallout series do out there? It would seem non English speakers would miss the oldies radio station playing ironic lyrics, or meeting a dude cosplaying as John Hancock wouldn’t carry the same subtext for someone unfamiliar with who he is.

Tarokh_T6 karma

Actually, Bethesda games are pretty popular here and Fallout has got some hardcore fans in Iran.

quickfire9133 karma

What are the general opinions on games like Prince of Persia and the Assassin's Creed Series?

Tarokh_T6 karma

PoP and AC have lots of lovers not only fans in Iran. I'm one of those lovers as well!

thisguyansthatguy3 karma

Hi, i wanted to ask why aren't you a part of MetaCritic or OpenCritic? i thought all the official gaming websites should at least submit their reviews on one of these websites.

also style of your website seems really outdated, i think you should consider a big upgrade!

Tarokh_T4 karma

Hi there. We are getting to be a part of OpenCritic and we are close. And about MetaCritic it is just a matter of time. Yeah it is so outdated, and that's why big upgrades are under works!

riordan783 karma

What other publications do you draw creative influence from? As in do you want to be built with integrity like rock paper shotgun, or more of a IGN give them what they want type of publication.

Tarokh_T3 karma

Well we are sth in-between and more oriented to RPS, Polygon etc.

riordan781 karma

Hey thanks for the response! I really wish you guys the best of luck! Drumming up enough interest in the hobby could spawn amazing developers and with such a rich history as your country has id love to see what could be developed!

Tarokh_T3 karma

Thank you for being supportive.

some_random_kaluna2 karma

Hi, mahalo for doing this AMA. The word "Metroidvania" drives me crazy. Could you please not use it anymore?

Tarokh_T3 karma

Ok :) But I think it is better than saying "2D Side-Scrolling Action-Adventure", isn't it?

some_random_kaluna3 karma

Well, "Metroid-like" gets the point across so much better. Metroid isn't just running from one end to the other, but exploring up and down and every nook and cranny too. It'll distinguish you from the rest of the gaming press. ;)

Tarokh_T2 karma

Nice point. Haven't thought about calling them "Metroid-like". But how would we mention the Castlevania elements?

garvisgarvis2 karma

Is portraiture taboo in Iran? Does this affect your portrayal of characters?

Tarokh_T1 karma

Sorry, I couldn't get your point.

generalzee2 karma

Is there a game or even genre thats wildly popular in Iran that gamers in the States dont know about, or just dont care about?

Tarokh_T3 karma

Well, maybe puzzle word/dictionary games are the ones.

DestroyerTerraria2 karma

Is there a streaming community in Iran? If so, where do you see it going?

Tarokh_T2 karma

The community here is just getting to grow up and stand on its feet, but it is too young for now. I think 5 to 7 years, it will become sth we can call a streaming community.

LegalEaglewithBeagle2 karma

Question as to what systems you tend to prefer in Iran, is it more geared towards consoles or PC's and is there a particular reason why one is favored over the other?

Upcoming game you are most looking forward to playing?

Tarokh_T3 karma

Most of the gamers here use PC's and after that consoles which the majority use PS4. And the reason is it is often more budget-friendly. Well, personally I'm looking forward for Darksiders 3 and the fact is I'm a little worried about its destiny. By the way, RDR 2 is coming! We can't ignore that! :)

sbzp2 karma

What do you make of expat developers such as Navid Khonsari and (going way back here, admittedly) Nasir Gebelli who have had a unique impact on the Western gaming industry?

Tarokh_T2 karma

We really admire them and we are grateful for what they've done and what they are trying to do.

trooperxx01 karma

An Iranian gaming industry? I would love to know about how the government interferes in creativity and freedom do speech in particular with video games.

Tarokh_T7 karma

This is not as harsh as you think about it. But it could become challenging sometimes which is not something impossible to handle.

norfnorfnorf1 karma

Do games that are story based have to follow rules like television/movies? I.e. a religious component, death and mourning, etc?

Tarokh_T2 karma

No, not at all.

ankh-en-aten1 karma

Is the magazine industry lucrative in Iran? I live in USA and most of the magazines that are sold around here seem to be celebrity gossip and Hollywood stuff. Are you guys going to be selling physical magazines, or is this just an online publication?

Tarokh_T1 karma

It was a lucrative industry once, but nowadays people tend to spend their time more online and in social media. Anyhow, the online gaming media industry (Websites, Channels etc) is quite lucrative.

faRawrie1 karma

Do you have Xbox Live gamer tags? Of so what are they and what games do you all like to play?

Tarokh_T2 karma

I do :) There it goes: A Gray Human

Vankier1 karma

Are the censorship laws harsh on any games in iran? Or are they unedited compared to say english versions aside from language?

what are the copyright laws like? I don't mean in terms of piracy, I mean do Iranian games on youtube get copyright strikes a lot like english ones do? Or is the streaming/lets play community minimal?

Tarokh_T7 karma

It is not harsh, but it is not completely unedited. No it not like that here (maybe yet), but maybe in the future it becomes like that because the minimal community of streamers is growing. But I personally think in this case, we cannot predict much.

joe_dirty3651 karma

'Gamers dont die, we just respawn.' GL with the publication! have you played pubg mobile? is it available for download in Iran? Regards.

Tarokh_T3 karma

We respawn for sure! Yeah, I see a lot of people surviving in their pocket-battlegrounds!

liamemsa1 karma

How did Iranians react to the woman on the cover of the new Battlefield?

Tarokh_T13 karma

They reacted as any other human being! :)

TehDialogBox1 karma

Are gamers as persecuted in Iran as they are here in America? Rise up!

Tarokh_T7 karma

They were severely once, but everything is better now. We Are Rising Up ;)

Spiderbundles1 karma

What are the most popular genres of games among Iranian developers and creators? Are there a few particular genres that seem to be developed more than others in Iran?

Tarokh_T1 karma

As we mentioned, because of the special (but not pleasantly special) like having a powerful platform and market for android devices which is really supportive of developers, most of the developers tend to develop an arcade or in general a mobile game.

Ess2s21 karma

Do games and gamers see any sort of social stigma? Within the journalism industry in your country, are you given the same respect as a sports-writer or columnist?

In those regards, how much have you seen the games industry change in the last 5-10 years there?

Tarokh_T3 karma

Well things weren't as good as they are now for example in 5 years ago. But right now, the majority of people respect people active in this industry in Iran and that did not happen easily but you know, it is a matter of time. The industry in Iran is growing so fast especially in the recent 2-3 years and soon more games from Iranian developers will meet international markets and events.

Fibberkick-14 karma

What are you're opinions on traps?

Are they gay?

Tarokh_T7 karma

Traps in Fortnite? :)