Their leading-edge tech adoption shows how Cloud/Edge/AI tech can level the playing field for a late-starter market such as Vietnam.
With the global gaming market set to generate an estimated US$187bn in revenues this year, Vietnam is eyeing a big piece of the pie.
The country’s mobile-first consumer economy and vast developer talent pool, combined with investments in full-fiber networks by telcos and gaming firms’ willingness to embrace new technologies to supercharge game production, could it leapfrog established games markets (which are better known for console and PC games) in exporting high-quality mobile games for the rest of the world.
At Google Cloud’s Games Industry Showcase event, the country’s ambitions were showcased in line with its Ministry of Information and Communications’ goal of increasing the local games industry’s revenue from US$600m to US$1bn within five years.
Three gaming firms contend for the market
At the event three homegrown firms, Amanotes, VNGGames and Wolffun Game were announced as partners that are harnessing Google Cloud’s infrastructure, analytics, and AI capabilities to more effectively serve large audiences, unlock player and game insights, accelerate time to market, and revolutionize real-time player experiences.
Amanotes, a music games publisher, uses a serverless data warehouse and streaming analytics service to unite player and game data locked in silos, enabling staff to pull real-time insights from the data to enhance decision-making. With these insights informing everything from gameplay design, to which songs to acquire licenses for and integrate into its games, to user acquisition and monetization strategy, Amanotes game titles like Magic Tiles 3, Tiles Hop, and Dancing Road—have now penetrated 190 countries, with significant market share in the UK, the US, and Brazil. The firm AI as the next frontier in modern technology innovation and is actively harnessing AI to reimagine game development and distribution. Its CEO and co-founder, Bill Vo noted that its AI-first approach and data science adoption “have helped our games achieve over three billion downloads to date.”
VNGGames uses Google Cloud’s global edge network and web application firewalls — with technical implementation support from Cloud Ace—to serve its Gunny Origins and Dead Target mobile shooter games content as close to users as possible while defending against botnet attacks. This enables VNGGames to reduce latency and load on its servers to cost-effectively reach millions of players, wherever they might be. Given that players regularly attain new levels, add friends, and make in-game purchases, gaming firms cannot afford to “forget” player progress.
The firm has also been using a scalable database management service to automatically organize and secure player profiles. This ensures they can pick up where they left off, every single time. Its Head of Game Publishing Platform, Le Trong Giap, said: “The same infrastructure that is powering live services like Google Search and YouTube for billions of users is now enabling us to deliver live game experiences to players in multiple markets. We do not need to compromise between achieving performance, manageability, and scale, since these services have effectively eliminated the need for manual infrastructure configurations.”
Since gamers are known to prefer to play games that reflect their culture, in their preferred language, VNGGames has also leveraged technology for machine translation services to appeal to more organizations and consumers. “This has significantly accelerated a localization process that used to be manual and highly tedious,” Giap said.
Wolffun Game, a development studio that specializes in player-versus-player games for mobile platforms, was launching its flagship games Thetan Arena and Heroes Strike to an international audience, when it wanted to be able to celebrate — and not be encumbered — by potential success. It therefore decided to operate the games using services Kubernetes Engine and Cloud Kinetics to ensure a smooth experience for users. The firm can handle 10 times the usual player traffic with a smooth user experience, before automatically scaling down to optimize costs when additional computing resources are no longer needed.
The firm has also built and tested advanced chatbots with generative AI that are capable of having lifelike conversations with players of Thetan Rivals. The bots will instantly generate customized versions of game items or character skins in response to simple, natural language prompts. Wolffun Game then plans to go even further by integrating dynamic GenAI into a creative application called Thetan Creator, which will create entirely novel content in real-time, such as unique game characters, based on the demands of its players.
According to the firm’s CEO, Nguyen Dinh Khanh, GenAI now “enables us to expand the range of experiences our team can deliver and opens up new avenues for audience engagement and monetization, without adding to our team’s already intense workload… With AI enhancing human creativity to accelerate future game production, our goal for Thetan Rivals is to attract 100m players worldwide and provide a customizable system for every player to freely express themselves through user-generated content.”
By staying at the forefront of technology adoption, the games industry in Vietnam can serve as a beacon of innovation for other businesses, showcasing new ways to inform, engage, and connect people at scale.