Foreign companies dominate Vietnam online gaming industry

By Dang Khoa   August 2, 2020 | 03:17 am PT
Foreign companies dominate Vietnam online gaming industry
Men playing video games at a net café in Hanoi in 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Bao Nam.
The majority of online games sold in Vietnam are produced by foreign companies, with China accounting for the lion’s share.

Data from the Ministry of Information and Communications shows China accounts for 69 percent of massive multiplayer online games legally released in the Vietnamese market.

Among the top five games Vietnamese played during the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year, according to local data analytic company Reputa's study, were two produced by Chinese companies - battle game Arena of Valor (3rd) and shooting game Call of Duty Mobile (4th).

The U.S. also has two entries in the list, multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends (2nd) and online sports simulation game FIFA Online 4 (5th).

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), a competitive last-man-standing shooter online video game developed by South Korea, is the most popular in Vietnam.

The ministry said Vietnam is merely a game distribution market for foreign countries.

Only one Vietnamese online game, mobile battle royale game Garena Free Fire, made Reputa's top 10.

Vietnam is a growing market for e-sport and online games.

A study by market research company Niko Partners and Google, published last month, said Asia e-sport market growth "will keep snowballing" as higher number of tournaments, players and sponsors will drive up the overall value. The report forecast Vietnam will enjoy the highest five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Southeast Asia with of 28 percent, from 2018, for having highest mobile e-sport events and highest tournaments' prizes.

According to Germany data portal Statista, online game revenues in Vietnam this year are expected to top $10.1 million, up 16 percent from 2019.

The number of gamers is around 3.99 million.

Statista also forecast global revenues this year to rise by 7.4 percent to $18 billion.

In its report, Reputa found 73 percent of gamers to be aged between 18 and 30 and 21 percent between 31 and 45.

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