'Viet Nam gears up to scale its game industry' – The Statesman

The authority is studying viable policies to tap the potential and strengths as well as tackle issues in the gaming industry.
Statesman News Service |
representational image (iStock)
There has been major progress in the gaming industry. In 2021, an alliance of online game producers and publishers named the Vietnam Game Development Alliance was established under the direction and support of the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information. The alliance has gathered 60 members working in the online gaming industry, of which the coordinating unit has 10 members, which are companies VNG, Vietnam Esports, GOSU Corp, SohaGame, VTC Game, Gamota, Funtap, Viettel Media, Travellet and Solaplay. The alliance was founded in the spirit of “Unity, Sharing and Continuous Innovation”, aiming to jointly contribute to the development of the gaming industry in Viet Nam, catch up with international trends and improve the competitiveness with foreign businesses and promote the activities and contribution of the industry to society.
The authority has closely followed the reports of international organisations and companies. Viet Nam ranks first in Southeast Asia in producing applications and games in stores like Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Viet Nam has huge potential, however, one problem is that most of Viet Nam’s games and app studios release their products and operate in international markets, and do offshore software development for foreign countries. This is to avoid being taxed. Therefore, this situation causes a loss of budget and brain drain. The authority is studying viable policies to tap the potential and strengths as well as tackle issues in the gaming industry. We are still in the process of studying the strategy. Basically, it will focus on two main areas: game production and game publication. For the structure, about 12 per cent of total revenues from games come from the production sector and the other 88 per cent from publication.
This shows that the game production sector is still limited. The share of production revenue is small and the figure is different from the one given by international game reports because as I mentioned earlier, studios based in foreign countries didn’t pay tax so the Government can’t claim tax and it is not added to the total revenue and profit figures. With regard to this, the authority is tasked with making policies to protect and push the development of game production in Viet Nam. We also aim to bring major studios based in foreign countries to return to operate in Viet Nam and encourage studios to start up in Viet Nam. The publishing sector of Viet Nam is doing very well, accounting for 88 per cent of the total revenue. However, Vietnamese companies buy games produced by foreign developers, mostly China, to publish.
This means our companies are just outsourced by foreign firms. And there is another issue when young Vietnamese people mostly play games by foreign developers ~ sometimes cultural or historical elements featured in these games are not appropriate for Vietnamese people. Another problem is that some, though very few, local companies help foreign businesses publish games in Viet Nam, earning money here but paying very little or no tax at all. The authority has cooperated with the Ministry of Public Security to handle violations. It is our goal to make our game industry less dependent on the international market as well as to increase revenues for local companies.The authority is working on specific goals and criteria to develop our gaming industry. For example, in the game production sector, we will have plans to promote the strengths of Vietnamese engineers and studios.


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