VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of enterprises are rushing to distribute games, despite the legal barriers and the current difficulties, because games can bring attractive profit.
The lucrative business
A representative of a big game distributor said that game distribution is now considered the business which allows to most quickly make profit.
He said that as there are a lot of games available, the royalties are cheap. Therefore, one just needs to spend several billions of dong to set up a small game company. The investment capital of several billions of dong can be taken back soon after the company’s owner buys several games and distribute them.
The man said that it is easy to measure the success and failure of games. In Vietnam, it takes only three months to know if the games attract gamers and if the distributors can make profit.
Therefore, in Vietnam, distributing games has become the choice of many companies, both the ones operational for a long time and newly established. They distribute all kinds of games as long as the games can attract gamers.
In the first phase of development, there were only MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), Casual or MMOFPS (Massively Multiplayer Online First-person Shooter) with which gamers played on computer. Meanwhile, games have become diversified with different modes of webgatme, game mini and the games integrated into social networks, which allow gamers to play games on different devices, from computer, tablet PCs to mobile phones
In general, games distributors mostly buy games from foreign sources to distribute domestically. However, some companies have decided to produce games themselves for domestic distribution. VNG and VTC are considered the pioneers in game production in Vietnam. Meanwhile, many new faces have appeared, including Fgame, MusicKing, or Emobi Games.
Analysts say that a successful game can bring tens of billions of dong a month to the distributor, though he has to spend several billions of dong in investment capital. Gunny, which is considered the most successful product of VNG, for example, brings the turnover of over 30 billion dong, while other games also bring tens of billions of dong.
Meanwhile, VTC earns at least 10 billion dong from each of FIFA online or Audition. As for other enterprises, a game can bring more than 10 billion dong a month.
However, the high profit has incited game distributors to do everything to “suck the blood” of gamers. In the past, game distributors always gave enough time so that gamers can get adapted with the new games, and they only began collecting money in the official commercialization period. Meanwhile, nowadays, distributors begin collecting money from gamers right after they launch games into the market.
A gamer complained that game distributors nowadays try to sell everything they have. “They would sell even the blade of grass in the games,” a gamer said.
He also said that game distributors always “play safe”. The rules of the games set up by distributors, always protect the benefits of distributors. Meanwhile, if the games are forced to shut down by the management agencies, gamers will become “empty-handed”.
The problem here is that new games have been distributed illegally, because Vietnam has halted licensing new online games since July 2010. This means that management agencies can shut down any games. In these cases, distributors do not have to make any compensation to gamers.
Meanwhile, proposals have been made to the Ministry of Information and Communication that the ministry should consider resuming the licensing to some Vietnamese online games in an effort to develop the digital content industry, provided that the games do not come contrary to the Vietnamese habits and customs.
At present, though no more online game has been licensed since 2010, more and more new games still have been available on the market, while the State fails to collect tax from the game distribution.