KDDI (the second largest carriers in Japan with about 30 million subscribers) is leading the wave of Japanese companies entering the game mobile market in Vietnam. It is expected to grow fourfold over the next several years and reach more than 100 billion JPY ($ 914 million USD) by 2020.
In December 2016, KDDI has cooperated with MobiFone, Vietnam's second largest network with 34.6 million subscribers. KDDI plans to sell mobile games in Vietnam through a system similar to its Smart Pass service in Japan. With a starting price of 372 JPY ($3.4 USD) per month, Smart Pass is allowing KDDI customers in Japan to drop more games and applications without any limitation at a fixed monthly cost.
Initially, KDDI will focus on selling Vietnamese entertainment content, but can provide more Japanese entertainment content after tracking user trends.
As for obiFone, this carrier has begun offering content downloads since July 2016, with hope to work with KDDI to help boost revenue by 15-20%, according to Deputy General Manager, Nguyen Manh Hung said.
Another Japanese company, Fuji Technology (the main office in Hanoi), launched a download service late last year with "Ren-Q-Bu!", a favorite dating game by Japanese. On June 27th, the company plans to release the Japanese version of the "Re: Monster" role-playing game.
Scale mobile gaming market in Vietnam (Unit: billion JPY ) is forecasted explosive growth coming soon. (Photo: Nikkei Asian Review)
To reduce development costs, Fuji Technology is localizing Japanese games for the Vietnamese market. As the number of Vietnamese arriving in Japan increases, Fuji says the interest in Japanese games will also increase.
CEO of Fuji Technology, Mr. Noriko Kato said: "At present, many Vietnamese like free games on smartphones, but the number of Vietnamese gamers willing to pay is also increasing."
Mobile game is on the boom
Mobile games are starting to attract more players in Vietnam by 2016. According to current estimation, the Vietnamese market has more than 150 mobile games. Some of them have been very popular such as role-playing games like "Swordsman"(Vo Lam Truong Ki) and "MU Origin." Both of these games have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.
According to estimation in 2014, Vietnam has about 20 million gamers, mainly young people. Areas near universities are centering high-speed internet where young gamers play all night long.
But in the last few years, many gamers have left internet line to switch to mobile games. Vietnam's sluggish mobile network will soon see significant improvements this year, as 4G networks are increasingly being spread across the country, helping the mobile phone game market grow sharply.
Video game consoles like Nintendo's Switch, which was just launched in Japan this spring, are still too expensive for Vietnamese gamers. This makes mobile games a top priority as the Vietnamese game market continues to grow.
Synthesized by ThaoNTX