Vietnam taking over mobile games

By Anh-Minh Do, Tech in Asia

By now, everyone has heard of Flappy Bird. It quickly rose to prominence and is arguably the Gangnam Style of mobile gaming. With over 50 million downloads at its height, the game has now become a point of pride for Vietnamese startups and gamers. Along with that has come a barrage of questions from foreign journalists about the viability of Vietnam as a market that can create world class games and products.

flappy bird mobile game

Flappy Bird mobile game. Photo from Tech in Asia.

My position is that it’s very hard to tell until Vietnam consistently creates world class products and games. At the same time, Psy and Gangnam Style did not explode out of a vacuum. Psy was surrounded by a powerful Korean entertainment industry that fosters talent and great production. By the same token, is Vietnam laying on a hotbed of excellent game designers waiting to bloom?

In Dong Nguyen’s excellent interview with Rolling Stone, he got into the nitty gritty of how he would come up with something like Flappy Bird:

I pictured how people play. One hand holding the train strap. When you play game on a smartphone, the simplest way is just tapping.

In the budding mobile climate that is Vietnam, with over 140 million mobile phones in a country of 90 million people, did it create the ideal space for a simple game like Flappy Bird to rise?

The attack of the Flappy Bird clones

Soon after Nguyen abruptly took down Flappy Bird, a swarm of clones arrived on the App Store and Play Store. The onslaught prompted Apple and Google to start rejecting Flappy Bird clones. But the greatest irony for me is that Asia, especially Vietnam, has been repeatedly accused of being a clone factory. People in Vietnam are afraid of their businesses and ideas being cloned in the market. But here the tech community of Vietnam was bearing witness to the rest of the world copying a Vietnamese game.

And now, is Vietnam going to continue its gaming revolution?

In many ways, Vietnam’s startup and tech scene, especially in the consumer space, is driven by the gaming industry. VNG, by far one of Vietnam’ biggest successes, is fundamentally a gaming company. And the rising stars in Vietnam’s startup scene like mWork, Appota, ME Corp, Divmob, and more also exist in this space. This is Vietnam’s gaming ecosystem.

Read the full article by Anh-Minh Do from Tech in Asia.

Báo Người Việt hoan nghênh quý vị độc giả đóng góp và trao đổi ý kiến. Chúng tôi xin quý vị theo một số quy tắc sau đây:

Tôn trọng sự thật.
Tôn trọng các quan điểm bất đồng.
Dùng ngôn ngữ lễ độ, tương kính.
Không cổ võ độc tài phản dân chủ.
Không cổ động bạo lực và óc kỳ thị.
Không vi phạm đời tư, không mạ lỵ cá nhân cũng như tập thể.

Tòa soạn sẽ từ chối đăng tải các ý kiến không theo những quy tắc trên.

Xin quý vị dùng chữ Việt có đánh dấu đầy đủ. Những thư viết không dấu có thể bị từ chối vì dễ gây hiểu lầm cho người đọc. Tòa soạn có thể hiệu đính lời văn nhưng không thay đổi ý kiến của độc giả, và sẽ không đăng các bức thư chỉ lập lại ý kiến đã nhiều người viết. Việc đăng tải các bức thư không có nghĩa báo Người Việt đồng ý với tác giả.

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