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Vietnamese game industry, billions of users, ambition to lead the world

If in the past Vietnam mainly went to buy foreign games for release and business, recently many businesses have emerged very strongly, from the development, publishing, and trading stages of games.

Mới đây, Hãng tin nổi tiếng Bloomberg cũng đưa ra đánh giá Việt Nam là một cường quốc về game.

At the end of July, Google held an event called Google Think Apps 2023 - Creating the Future in Ho Chi Minh City. The event is considered by many in the world to be the largest in Southeast Asia of Google in the past 10 years, showing a new position in the application development industry, especially games, of Vietnam.

"Vietnam is a powerhouse in game development"

At the Think Apps 2023 event, citing a report by DataAI & AppMagic, a Google representative said that from the period 2019 to the first quarter of 2023, Vietnam jumped from the top 15 to the top 5 globally in terms of app downloads, corresponding to 4.2 billion downloads.

According to the report, there are four application developers in Vietnam who entered the ranking of the top 50 global companies with new applications surpassing 100,000 downloads in 2022, including Falcon Global, ABI Global, Zego Global, and Zego Global. Rocket Studio.

"Vietnam has been and is emerging as a hub for top developers, cementing its reputation as a powerhouse in the application development industry," said a Google representative.

Recently, the famous news agency Bloomberg also rated Vietnam as a powerhouse in gaming. Bloomberg cited data showing that Vietnam is in the top 5 of the world's leading mobile game production countries, measured by downloads in the first six months of 2023.

Billions of users, ambition to lead

Many businesses and game studios in Vietnam have boldly "reached out to the big sea" and succeeded, such as VNG - Vietnam's first technology unicorn.

According to a VNG representative, the total number of downloads of game products of MPS studio (of VNG) from 2019 to now is 261 million, most of which come from countries in South Asia, South America, and Southeast Asia. In particular, Dead Target is one of the most successful games of MPS with a total download of up to 155 million, mainly in Asia and North America.

In the fiscal year 2022, VNG launched the game Gunny Origin, reaching the top 2 total pre-orders on the iOS app store in Taiwan and the top 5 in Hong Kong at the time of launch.

Amanotes, a music game development company, also makes its mark through popular music games such as Magic Tiles 3 and Tiles Hop, belonging to the world's top music game publishers. Amanotes products have now reached users in more than 190 countries, with total downloads of more than 2.9 billion.

With the ambition to lead the global market for music games, this business has been implementing mergers and strategic cooperation projects to quickly acquire special capabilities in the market.

"Through close relationships with global partners such as Google, AWS, ironSource..., the company has increasingly enhanced its ability to attract users and optimize revenue sources with its data system. data over 100 million monthly users" - Mr. Tuan Binh, CEO of Amanotes, shared how and the meaning of the cooperation/M&A strategy that the company is implementing.

Or a start-up named Topebox, a game development studio in Ho Chi Minh City, also has more than 80 business game products in the global market.

In particular, the Pocket Army product of this unit was launched in 2012 and became the first Vietnamese game to enter the top of the highest-grossing apps in the US. In 2022, Titan Hunters was released, reaching more than 500,000 downloads after six months, reaching the top 3 most popular games in Japan.

Nhiều doanh nghiệp, studio game tại Việt Nam đã mạnh dạn "vươn ra biển lớn" và thành công

More challenges

Despite being recognized by the world, many game production leaders admit that they are still "far behind in quality and scale" compared to the world. Sharing with Tuoi Tre, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Khanh - founder and CEO of Wolffun Game - frankly: "Only considering mobile games, the number of downloads (downloads), Vietnam belongs to the group with the number of games with downloads. most in the world.

However, if we compare the quality on the product scale with the criteria including complexity, quality of game feel, graphics, etc., we are still far from the world's leading group. We still haven't appeared games with medium difficulty that can be compared with games like Lien Lien, Free Fire... let alone compare to more advanced level games."

As for revenue, Mr. Khanh said that Vietnam has not been able to produce games with billions of dollars in revenue per year. "If talking about games on PC (computer) or Console (game console) platforms, Vietnamese businesses are almost unable to compare," said Khanh.

Similarly, Mr. Kelly Wong - deputy general director of the VNG online game division - also said: "We do not have much experience in developing complex games like RPG (role-playing game) genre...".

According to Mr. Wong, developing a game is very risky, even more risky than producing a movie for reasons of budget, production time... "We are still focusing on making games. popular with simple play scenario ...", Mr. Wong said.

In addition, many experts in the field also believe that the Government has not had an investment policy focusing on the game production industry, and equates between game production (development) and game publishing (publishing) - that is, buying and selling games. Foreign games about domestic operations - also create many difficulties.

At the Vietnam Game Festival 2023 taking place in April 2023, Mr. Le Quang Tu Do, director of the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information of the Ministry of Information and Communications, said that he has set goals for the game industry. must quickly increase revenue to 1 billion USD, sharply increase the number of game businesses from the current 30 to 100 or even 150, and attract 400 production start-ups to join the community.

"We are working closely with ministries to prioritize the development of the gaming industry. The first is to remove unreasonable taxes, and the second, is to have pilot policies to support such as Sandbox. The ministry is also preparing a draft to submit to the Government a new decree on game management, in which it is recommended to remove licenses and cumbersome administrative procedures, "said Tu Do.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Khanh - founder and CEO of Wolffun Game - also said that the State should soon have more tax incentives and start-up capital incentives for the game industry. This is the desire of game studios that has been proposed for a long time, but there have not been many positive changes.

Mr. Le Quang Tu Do (Director of the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information, Ministry of Information and Communications):

Alliance for mutual development

The biggest drawback is that we haven't been together yet. In the past 10 years, our game industry has chosen to go alone to go fast, so only a few businesses have grown and the gaming community has not. Because they didn't go together, it became more and more difficult. Because they don't go together, they can't take advantage of each other.

Those who are good at writing games and making games have no publishing experience, so they have little access to users. As for the publishers who are very good, they can't find quality Vietnamese games. Therefore, it leads to the fact that Vietnamese people mostly play foreign games, while Vietnamese enterprises produce games not for domestic players.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has set up a game alliance to jointly support and promote the development of the game industry. We are also calling for investment funds and foreign businesses to join investment opportunities in Vietnam. In the near future, many businesses around the world will come to Vietnam for cooperation such as from China, Korea, the US...

Mr. Nguyen Dinh Khanh (founder and CEO of Wolffun Game):

Game production should be considered a smokeless industry

The ecosystem must be developed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Industry-related jobs including game designer, data analyst, illustrator, and game programmer need to be included in the curriculum in developed countries such as Finland, Singapore, Canada, the USA, and Japan. , Korea, China.

These countries have viewed game production as a smokeless industry that can generate billions of dollars. Associations or government agencies organize to strengthen cooperation, share experiences, and connect domestic and foreign resources.

Invest to deserve to be a "game powerhouse"

Vietnamese game developers all feel the responsibility to rise up even faster. How are they doing?

According to Mr. Thai Thanh Liem - CEO of game studio Topebox, although the startup is slower, with new opportunities and markets, Vietnam is a country that tends to lead in the world. "It is clear from two examples: Ha Dong's Flappy Bird has opened up the era of popular mobile games around the world. Axie Infinity opens up the blockchain game-making model for the whole world to follow," said Mr. Liem.

As noted by Tuoi Tre, if previously games released in Vietnam mostly had to buy products from Korea or China, now game companies like GOSU, VNG, VTC... have all moved from buying games to investing in technology, own technology, and publishing around the world.

Mr. Nguyen Truong Minh - director of GBC Center, GOSU Company - said: "Vietnam has a lot of good personnel in the field of information technology at big companies in the world such as Google, META or Microsoft.. The strongly developed gaming sector has created a good environment for these engineers to develop."

Many domestic game enterprises have taken strong steps for human resources - determining the success or failure of game production - in the future. For example, VNG said that it has worked closely with major universities such as Hanoi Polytechnic, and Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic... to continuously access high-quality human resources; worked with Ton Duc Thang University to jointly build a training program for the game industry...

"In terms of creativity - a very important factor for game development, Vietnam is catching up very quickly with world trends and flexibly applying in accordance with domestic culture," said Mr. Kelly Wong. VNG Games currently has 1,300 employees working in 11 offices in Southeast Asia and neighboring areas such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Taipei...

There have been many successes

The report published by Google also shows that there are 93 game and application development companies in Vietnam owning 171 applications that have at least once entered the ranking of the top 10 most downloaded weekly applications on Play. Store (the official app store for devices running the Android operating system).

"The Goose That Lays Golden Eggs"

According to the world's leading video game market analysis site Newzoo, the total revenue of the gaming industry in 2022 is 182.9 billion USD. It is forecasted that in 2023, this industry's revenue will reach 187.7 billion USD.

The share of games for smartphones accounts for 50% of total revenue. Revenue from the specialized gaming equipment segment accounts for 30%...

The US continues to be the world's biggest spender on video games as Americans are predicted to spend $48.3 billion on games in 2023. China comes in second with $44.4 billion.

Currently, China continues to affirm its position as the world's leading game industry when owning Tencent - the world's largest game company by sales. In 2023, Tencent is forecast to earn $ 7.5 billion and far ahead of the second-ranked company, Sony (Japan) with revenue of about $ 4.38 billion.

Tencent currently owns Riot Games, the "father" of popular online games like League of Legends, and Valorant...

The world video game market is considered the "goose that lays golden eggs". Newzoo estimates that global gaming revenue will reach $212.4 billion by 2026.



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