The “drawn battle”
The four big guys–namely FPT Online, VTC Online, VNG and AsiaSoft, have been dominating the Vietnamese game market since 2005. A lot of others, including CyberWorld, Saigon Tel, Quang Minh DEC or VDC-Net2E, attempted to squeeze into the “big four,” but their plans failed completely.
Experienced gamers said that the Vietnamese game community has experienced ups and downs in the last many years with the positions changing regularly. However, this remains a drawn battle among the big fours.
From the technical point of view, VNG is considered the Vietnamese biggest distributor, which can both manufacturer and distribute products at the same time. The group has been willing to make heavy investments to develop games and update its products.
However, the game firm admits that it is inferior to FPT or VTC in terms of business relations. AsiaSoft is considered a “hidden big cheese” which sometimes launches “blockbuster” products to the market. However, its “jumps” have never been so high enough to be a threat to the other three.
The common thing that the big fours have to dominate the domestic game market is that their products have the high community characteristic. The noteworthy thing is that most of the games relate to the first period of the Vietnamese game industry development, and they are MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game). VNG has “Vo lam truyen ky” (the tale about the swordsmen), FPT has MU, VTC has Audition, while AsiaSoft has TS Online.
Besides, the Vietnamese gamers also had the chance to try the impressive client 3D games such as Genghis Khan, The Gioi Hoan My (the perfect world), Shaiya or Con duong to lua (Silk road) which then attracted a big community of hundreds of thousands of players for every game.
Since 2008, including game Casual, MMOFPS (Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter), webgame. The game firms, which were believed to “rest on their laurels,” then marketed the games that serve the short term entertainment demand.
Therefore, webgames then became the most popular products in the market, while client games became less favored. The community of game manufacturers then welcomed the appearance of the new names, such as SohaGames, SSGroup, Gosu and CMN.
Returning and getting stronger
The idea of coming back and developing client games has, by chance, been followed by a lot of game firms recently, for three reasons.
First, the game market has become saturated, while simple webgames prove to be unattractive to the gamers. Webgames gather separated players, while they don’t have the high community level.
Second, the game technologies have changed a lot which now allow to create the games with high graphics quality. It’s now the right time for game manufacturers to create higher quality blockbusters. Therefore, making the next-generation client games with higher quality has become the top choice for game firms.
Third, the investors want the games which can retain players for a longer time to obtain better revenue. And client games deserve to be investedin.
Even the young game firms such as Soha and CMN have also invested in the big products. Therefore, the big fours would also have to consider taking reasonable steps to protect their positions in the market.