YEREVAN. – Armenian News -continues to present a series of interviews dedicated to the Armenian companies doing business over the web, their achievements, the opportunities to do online business in Armenia, as well as PayPal payment system and the problems businesses face due to its incomplete accessibility in the country. Today, we’ve talked to the director of EyeMotion company, Mr. Vardan Meliksetyan.
Vardan, EyeMotion was founded in December 2014 and it is one of the few Armenian companies which deals with game development. Before the establishment of the company, you might have an idea about the market, and the activity carried out after its establishment allows you to have clear opinion about the potential and capacities of that market. What opportunities does Armenia provide for becoming a game industry participant?
Before starting two companies – EyeMotion andd Cross Casino – I have worked as a web and then game developer. Armenia indeed has a great opportunity to become a fully-fledged member [of the game industry], considering that the borders, state and nationality are of no importance in this area.
Besides EyeMotion, you also represent Unity3D platform in Armenia. You have created a Facebook group, which has become quite active recently. Why do you think the Armenian IT has until recently shown little interest in the game market? Is this due to the lack of information, or because it is a risky undertaking?
Armenia Unity Community (unity3d.am) was founded in April 2014. This group is an official group from Armenia (http://unity3d.com/community/user-groups). We had group meetings in the framework of Tumo Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015, in Ijevan town, in LOFT, State College of Informatics and school No 139. We also delivered a speech at DevDay 2.0 held by Microsoft in Tbilisi.
I think the problem is not related to the lack of information. There are teams and companies in Armenia which work very actively. Yes, the game sphere is quite risky, and considering the fact that Armenia has no history in this sphere, each team and company tries to learn on its own and move forward. How each of them manages to do this and whether they manage is all included in the aforementioned risky area.
During the recent two years, the application of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality projects, and games from Armenia which use Unity game development tool have significantly activated in the country. The application of these technologies in Armenia is quite active.
There is also another “activeness” among the Armenian specialists, who have started actively placing their works (3D models, codes, textures, games, shaders) in Unity Asset Store, through which they can sell them. But there is a problem here: the payment system.
The payment systems must be of great significance for you as a game developer. Do you think Armenia has sufficient level of integration in the work with payment systems?
We have been working in this area for many years. The integration level is indeed insufficient here, since we experience problems with certain payment systems.
PayPal isn’t yet fully accessible in Armenia, while globally it has 179 million active users who in 2015 performed 282 million transactions. Is this an obstacle for your business? Can you assess your possible financial losses due to the absence of PayPal?
Now we’re experiencing a problem with the incomplete accessibility to PayPal and Google Play in Armenia. It’s not that easy to assess the financial loss, since the absence of these two is an obstacle for us.
The mobile games market is quite large. The target market for our games is outside Armenia and we have to use only online payment systems, which are quite expensive. We face these issues due to the absence of PayPal in Armenia.
I think, its launch will significantly facilitate the process of doing e-commerce through eBay, Amazon and other systems for Armenia-based companies, individuals, and, why not, citizens.
In contrast to the Armenian officials, their Georgian partners were serous about PayPal’s launch, and now the Georgian banks offer PayPal service. Would you like to open a bank account in Georgia after this innovation so that it is possible to endure competition and not lose the market?
If we see that it remains impossible to use it in Armenia, we will have to find solution outside Armenia, including in neighboring Georgia.
Over 5600 people have taken part in the recent signature collection campaign through Change.org for the full launch of the PayPal payment system in the country. The significant part of the signees include people who connect their business activity with e-commerce, specifically PayPal. Besides the signature collection campaign, a group called Armenia needs PayPal has been created in Facebook.
Other interviews on the topic of PayPal: