We’re continuing our series called #KnowYourMarket, where we will be exploring the various countries and their mobile gaming community, their significant growth, and unique cultural distinctions so game developers get at least a basic understanding of the mobile gaming market in a diverse space like Asia. In knowing this, game developers and publishers will be more equipped and attuned to making calculated decisions when interacting with the various demographics that will discover their games.
Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia, bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. It has a population of over 97 million people, making it the 16th most populous country in the world. It is known for its diverse landscape, ranging from beautiful beaches and lush forests to bustling cities and historic landmarks. Vietnamese is the official language in Vietnam, and as a legacy of French colonial rule, French is commonly spoken as a second language among the educated citizens of the country. It is a vibrant and fascinating country that is rapidly developing and changing. The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi, while Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in the country.
The Mobile Gaming Market
The publication of games in the Vietnamese market is heavily regulated by the authorities, and the Ministry of Information and Communications has placed several checks and balances for game creators looking to expand into the country. In fact, you can’t release a game in Vietnam without a local publisher, because selling a game in stores requires a license from the Ministry of Information and Communications. Regardless of the numerous hurdles, game developers have found ways for Vietnamese gamers to engage with their games regularly, including paying for an enhanced gaming experience. In-game currency and items are usually paid for with special cards that are sold by retail, each of which holds a specific value.
Vietnamese market is considered sixth in the world by the number of downloads of apps back in 2018 and ranks second across the SEA (Southeast Asia) region in 2020. It has accounted for 22% of all game downloads (after Indonesia with 38%). Year over year, the Vietnamese games market grew by 10% in terms of downloads. Gaming consumer spending in Vietnam grew by 50% year over year in 2020. Early in 2020, the Vietnamese publisher Amanotes announced that the total downloads of its games had passed one billion!
A recent report showed that 1 in 25 games downloaded around the world comes from Vietnam, which places the country in seventh place in the world in terms of game downloads. In spite of the country’s currently low monetary contributions to the gaming industry, Vietnam is showing great potential, with experts stating that games could become one of its greatest exports in the coming years.
The Vietnamese Gamer
The majority of the Vietnamese population owns and uses a smartphone, and playing mobile games is a popular pastime among people of all ages. The unique aspect of Vietnamese gamers is that a significant chunk of them prefer games that do not require too much concentration or effort, allowing them to do other activities simultaneously such as talking, eating, and watching TV. Studies have also shown that the Vietnamese spend more time on mobile gaming apps than on any other kind of phone app.
Of the mobile gaming population, 57% is male, while 43% is female; however, gamers between the ages of 25 and 34 consist more of females. This age demographic also has the highest number of gamers at 37.4%, followed by gamers aged between 35 and 44 at 22.5%. Vietnamese players are relatively not inclined to spend real money on games. Most prefer to watch rewarded ads to go further in gaming, with only 20% being prepared to spend money.
It would seem that as of now, Vietnam shows high potential to introduce its own game content into the world. An example of this would be Flappy Bird, which took the mobile gaming industry by storm a few years ago. The reach of the internet extends with every passing year, and Vietnam may also rise to take its place among the gaming powerhouses in Southeast Asia.
And that concludes part seven of our #KnowYourMarket series! Tune in to the next three final entries as we cover the countries of South Korea, Japan, and China!
Are you a Vietnamese mobile game developer? Tell us about your experience developing your game in your market! Use #KnowYourMarketSlab in social media or tag slab in your post! We’d love to know your story working in one of the largest gaming markets in Southeast Asia.