The game industry in Vietnam has undergone a remarkable evolution, carving its path from humble beginnings to becoming a bright spot on the global mobile game map. Over the years, the country has witnessed the rise of the made-in-Vietnam games trend, with an ever-changing landscape of creativity and innovation.
The Early Stages: A Distant Dream
In the 90s, games appeared on basic 4-button electronic devices featuring classics like Mario and Battle City. However, Vietnam lacked a game industry at that time, considering it a technology far beyond the reach of domestic enterprises.
Embracing PC Games and Online Thrills
The late 90s and early 2000s saw the advent of PC games in Vietnam, riding the wave of internet development. Games like AOE, Star Craft, and Counter-Strike captured the attention of the gaming community, fostering a culture of playing at internet cafes or LAN parties.
Then came the early 2000s when online games made their grand entrance into Vietnam. Games like MU Online and Vo Lam Truyen Ky marked the first explosive wave of the industry, leading to a strong surge in game publishing and the birth of the first game studios in Vietnam, including VTC, FPT, VNG, and Hiker.
Challenges and the Emergence of eSports
The period from 2006 to 2014 witnessed significant milestones for the Vietnamese game industry. In 2009, the Vietnam eSports Entertainment Association (VIRESA) was established, marking a pivotal moment as eSports gained national recognition. However, this era was not without its challenges. The rising popularity of online games attracted criticism and raised social concerns, prompting tighter regulations and a temporary halt in new game licenses from 2010 to 2013. As a result, many first-generation game studios had to close their doors.
The Mobile Game Revolution
Despite the obstacles, the Vietnamese game industry emerged from the darkness and experienced a renaissance with the advent of mobile gaming. Local publishers achieved considerable success and continued investing in game development. This era also saw the formation of studios focusing on mobile games for the global market, with renowned names like Amanotes and One Soft.
The growing rate of Games Developed by Vietnamese
While the growth of mobile games was explosive, the overall number of Vietnamese games remains relatively modest, accounting for 12% of the industry, according to the Department of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information.
Vietnamese Talent Shines Globally
Notwithstanding the challenges, Vietnamese game developers have showcased their talent and creativity on the international stage. Games like Flappy Bird, created by Nguyen Ha Dong in 2013, became global sensations, reaching over 50 million downloads and capturing the world’s attention.
Another noteworthy example is Axie Infinity, developed by Nguyen Thanh Trung, the CEO of Sky Mavis, using blockchain technology. This game has created waves worldwide and propelled the company’s valuation to an impressive $3 billion.
Some notable indie games that are in-development progress, including The Scourge (Tai Ương), The Reed Field (Đồng Cỏ Lau), Blood Field, the Death, and The Horror have already been experienced by fellow international streamers. They are all shocked and terrified by the plot, the gameplay, and the jumpscares offered by these Horror-categorized games. This has proved that Vietnamese game studios possess the untapped and limitless potential to bring Vietnam’s gaming landscape to a higher level than ever before
Vietnam’s Game Industry Today and Beyond
Today, Vietnam stands tall in the Southeast Asian gaming landscape, ranking fifth in the region with projected revenues exceeding $500 million. The country boasts an impressive pool of over 430,000 game developers, and every 25th game downloaded globally is proudly “made in Vietnam.”
The rate of G1 Games developed by Countries
Despite the past challenges, Vietnamese game developers are bridging the gap and closing in on international standards. Games like Dead Target (VNG), Magic Tiles (Amanotes), and Gun & Dungeons (Topebox) have achieved global recognition, setting new standards for mobile gaming excellence.
As the Vietnamese game industry continues to grow, the government has taken action to address bottlenecks and support its development. Initiatives like the Vietnam Game Alliance, comprising 40 companies and overseen by the Ministry of Information and Communications, have been established to facilitate licensing, taxation, and anti-piracy efforts.
The rate of game genres developed by Vietnamese
With a thriving digital economy and a vibrant pool of talent, Vietnam’s game industry is poised for a promising future. As it diversifies its genres and caters to a diverse player base, the Vietnamese game market offers both domestic and international publishers a fertile ground for exploration and success.
In conclusion, Vietnam’s game industry’s trajectory has been one of transformation and growth. From its humble beginnings with basic electronic games to the rise of mobile gaming and global recognition, Vietnamese developers have proven their mettle on the world stage. With the government’s support and a talent pool that continues to impress, the future holds vast opportunities for Vietnam’s game industry to flourish and shine.
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