What is the future for Vietnamese game developers?
Most Vietnamese game developers are targeting foreign markets as the domestic market is still too small and cannot support independent game studios. XBean
XBean Game Studio was established in June 2015 with just four workers and initial capital of VND500 million.
Half of the amount came from the sale of the house the company’s founder Tran Kim Vinh inherited from his parents, and the other half from Vinh’s friend, who decided to invest in Xbean after a four-hour presentation about the startup at a small street café.
XBean wanted to develop games to sell to foreign markets but it was not easy to approach clients abroad.
The company decided to do outsourcing for partners in Australia and Israel to get money to exist and seek a new path.
After a long time of struggle, in 2017, it reaped fruit from the Toy Collapse project, which brought stable revenue from a high number of gamers every day.
In 2018, the game was sold to a distributor in the UK. After that, XBan gathered strength on two largest projects in the company’s history – Meowaiii and Craftory.
Opportunities at IGA 2019
Craftory and Sky Champ, developed by another Vietnamese studio Spirit Bomb, were the keys that brought the two studios to Indie Games Accelerator 2019 (IGA 2019) organized by Google, a project which lasts four months to train potential game developers from many countries.
Ngo Minh Quan, CEO of Spirit Bomb, appreciated the opportunity to attend the training course, saying that he could learn experience from the big names in the world’s game industry such as King, Zynga, EA and Miniclip.
“For independent game developers, there are too many things to study. The simplest way is developing games very well and then attending supporting programs, such as IGA, and cooperating with big distributors. This might not be the best way, but it surely is the easiest way,” he said.
Nguyen Thu Nguyen from XBean also appreciated the training course, saying that she met investors from other countries showing their interest in her studio’s products.
Most Vietnamese game developers target foreign clients. In the large international market, they can find customers who are willing to pay for the games they create.
The domestic market is too small and they have to compete fiercely with Chinese game products.
According to Spirit Bomb’s CEO, the advantage of making games for foreign markets is that the scale of the product does not need to be too big, but the disadvantage is that this requires a lot of funding, resources and personnel.