Blockchain game development booms as Vietnamese gamers make their play

By Khuong Nha   November 11, 2021 | 09:57 pm PT
Blockchain game development booms as Vietnamese gamers make their play
A promotional banner for blockchain game Faraland. Photo courtesy of Faraland
Vietnamese companies are racing to develop blockchain games and mobilizing millions of dollars from foreign investors as they seek to make their place in the new industry.

After the monster-combat game Axie Infinity became the most valuable non-fungible token (NFT) game in the world this year, at least six more games developed by Vietnamese companies have been launched.

Sipher, a multiplayer online battle arena game, recently raised $6.8 million from investors in the U.S. and South Korea.

Faraland, a multiplayer role-playing game, had earlier received $2.4 million from investors, while another game, HeroVerse, got $1.7 million.

Other notable projects include My Defit Pet, MeebMaster and Theta Arena.

Vietnamese have gained prominence in the blockchain game industry with Axie Infinity, followed by many other projects that have raised millions of dollars, said Phan Tung, co-founder of Faraland.

Thao Trang, chief marketing officer at Project SEED, a game platform powered by blockchain technology, said global industry insiders see Vietnam as a blockchain ecosystem, not just separate projects.

The country has a large number of smartphone game players with 57 percent of 68 million smartphone users spending an average of 3.9 hours a day gaming, according to market research company App Annie.

It is also ranked second in Southeast Asia in mobile game downloads with 22 percent of market, behind Indonesia at 38 percent.

"Blockchain has opened the door for new business and revenue for game companies. They should take this advantage of this to expand globally," said Lynn Hoang, national director of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Vietnam.

However, blockchain game developers in the country face many challenges, especially in recruiting people with adequate skills. There is a shortage of suitable candidates, companies say.

Trang said that her company usually found people who are either good at blockchain or game technology and had to train them to acquire other skillsets.

"Conflicts between the two groups are common. Blockchain changes every day and developers have to on their toes all the time, ready to respond to market reactions."

Another difficulty is market pressure, which pushes developers to launch their products early, compromising quality.

Nguyen Thanh Trung, one of the founders of Axie Infinity, said that blockchain game has moved beyond the stage of discovering whether making something possible or not, to how good a creation can be.

Pham Anh Tuan, a game developer with 10 years in the industry, said that blockchain games could remain popular for at least another 10-20 years.

The blockchain industry is set to see the entrance of many traditional game giants, he said.

Technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality will be utilized to create a metaverse, he added.

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