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Vietnam mobile game market in review 2018 and h1 2019
Vietnam Mobile Game
market in review
2018 and H1-2019
By: Gacon – July 2019
• Mobile game
• Top titles and
• Top stories
• Market trends
• Vietnam, with over 60 millions internet and over 50 millions smartphone users is the
promising market for game, but it is still small.
• Since 2015, mobile game surpassed PC game and dominated the market in both revenue
• Local publishing market is leading by domestic publishers which are separated into two
groups: Tencent backed and the rest
• During this time, game market was suffered dramatically by the decision of shutting
down telco card payment from May 2018
• Casual and E-sport games are leading the market in term of user, but revenues are still
relied on MMORPG
• Local game market is strictly regulated by the government with better support for
domestic players from outside.
• Local game development had flying period but still small and limited in capability.
• Esports, game livestreaming and H5 games had positive sign and can be big in the future.
Top download games – All market
Top download games 2018 Top download games H1 2019
• Vietnamese top download chart is dominated by e-sport and casual games.
• With great success of Freefire and AOV, Garena is the number 1 publisher in term of user base.
• Rule of Survival went down after hack issue, while PUBG Mobile (VNG) came to No1 survival titles
Source: App Annie
Top download games by local publishers 2018
Top 20 local games 2018 Top 20 - 40 local games 2018
Source: App Annie
Top download games by local publishers 2019
Top 20 local games 2019 Top 20 - 40 local games 2019
Source: App Annie
Top game by
• Survival: PUBG Mobile (VNG), Freefire (Garena)
• Moba: Lien Quan Mobile (Garena), Bang Bang (VNG)
• Shooting: No hit game after Crossfire Legends (VNG)
• MMORPG: Vo Lam Truyen Ky mobile (VNG) still dominates
the market, Tan Thien Long 3D (VNG) Thien Nu (VNG), MU
Strongest (VNG), Xa Dieu (Gamota), Lang La (Sohagame)
Hiep Khach Giang Ho (Gamota), Nhat Kiem 3D (Funtap),
Tinh Kiem 3D (Funtap), Thuc Son Ky Hiep Mobile
• Casual: Zing speed (VNG), other global games
• Social online casino: Zingplay family (VNG)
• SLG: No hit game
• “Not so success” titles: Kiem Khach 360 (VNG), Cuu Duong
(VNG), Cuu Am 3D (VNG), Lineage 2 Revolution (VTC), Kiem
The Mobile (VNG)
Top local publishers
No. Publisher Quick notes
1 • 2018 and H1 2019 was a big success period of VNG with highest game revenue from
• After huge success in 2017, Vo Lam Truyen Ky Mobile was still number one game on
the market in revenues during this time.
• With Crossfire, ROS in 2018 and PUBG and Bang Bang (Mobile Legend) in 2019, VNG
was aggressively joined E-sport game business beside MMORPG and Casual.
• Along with publishing games, zingplay family and other seft-developed casual games
were very success also.
• Besides VN, VNG also published their games in other SEA countries
2 • Not so many new games published, but with the success of Freefire and Lien Quan
Mobile that helped Garena to dominate E-sport game business and keep the 2nd
position on the market in revenue.
• Onmyoji, DDtank were launched in 2018 but not so success
3 • Focus on MMORPG from beginning, Gamota kept growing recent years and became
top 3 on the market.
• In 2019, Gamota jumped into E-sport game business by launching 2 titles AOG
(MOBA) and Survival Heroes (survival) and OTA network that manage top 400 game
streamers in VN on FB Gaming platform.
Top local publishers
No. Publisher Quick notes
1 • Funtap was very success local publisher in this period through launching some good
titles including Nhat Kiem Giang Ho 3D and Tinh Kiem 3D.
• Started from SLG 3Q games to compete in niche market, now Funtap focus on
medium level MMORPG game to eat the cake of bigger guys.
• Mobgame, overseas brand of Funtap also publish some games in SEA market
2 • Sohagame is often known by the top 1 publisher in VN in number of game launching
• Sohagame launch multiple game genes including SLG, Casual, Card battle and
• In 2019, they made some changes by launching Thuc Son Ky Hiep Mobile with
aggressive investment in branding and user acquisition and got some successes.
3 • After booming in 2017, VTC (Moible, Online and Intecom) was quiet during this
period with just a few game launched.
• Well known by casual and shooting games, now VTC tend to launch MMORPG.
• In 2019, VTC came back with some 2D MMORPG games.
Rikvip and payment crisis
for local game industry
• Rikvip - the local online casino game platform with about
450 millions USD transaction value was arrested by local
• Telco card – the main payment method for local games
was cut off by the government late April 2018 caused
immediately 60-70% drop of total revenue of local game
• As a result, game companies had to issue their own game
cards to collect money from gamers but could not fully
• Until now, the impact of telco card shutdown still put
heavily on local game business by decreasing the paying
rate of all new games.
Store crisis for game
• With local payment issues, a lot of local publishes could
not pass review for their new games or update new
version of running games during the first 6 months in
• Some local publishers tried to publish their game with just
single store version. Result: most of their games died.
• After Apple/Google unlocked for the market in July 2018,
the local game market got a storm of new games. This
high competition made most of them not so success.
• In 2019, Apple and Google applied some new polices
including spam design/code, full game package on
store,… that made local publishers harder to publish their
game on stores.
Global publishing without
local game license
• 2018 started with some global games from Tencent
(PUBG) and Netease (Rule of Survival) along with a lot of
MMORPG or SLG games from China published directly to
Vietnam without license from local government.
• Local government worked closely with Google and Apple
to remove their games on Vietnamese app store.
• Now most of online mobile game developers are
cooperating with local publishers to republish their game
under regulation of local authorities.
• Some games are still running ok until now (don’t know
• Crack/hack games also made a lot of headaches to local
New wave of E-Sport in
• After long time leading by Garena, VNG and Gamota
jumped into E-sport business by publishing some titles
and organizing E-sport tournaments.
• Since 2017, we saw the dramatically transition of game
users from traditional to E-sport games. Now Vietnam has
over 25 millions E-sport gamers over total 30 millions
• Livestream game became very popular in the market with
the growth of Facebook Gaming along with Cube, Nimo
TV, NonoLive and other platforms.
• “Game streamer” is hot job for young gamers, top
streamer can be something like “super star” for young
generation. Now Vietnam has over 25 gaming houses that
train and provide game streamer for the market.
“Flying year” for local game
• Unlike publishing business with a lot of issues for
publishers during this period, local game studios had a
• There are thousands of indie game developers and mobile
game studios in Vietnam who are marketing money
through develop casual/hyper casual game and monetize
• Some big local game studios like VNG (Zingplay family +
casual games) or smaller ones like Divmob, Onesoft,
Amanotes, Teamobi, Athena, Punch,… published their
game globally and got some successes.
• Estimated annual total revenue from local game
developers can be about 200 millions USD and it will keep
growing in the future.
• After “stunning” period in 2018 caused by telco payment crisis,
Vietnamese game market continue to grow at 25%-35% in coming
• E-Sport games will continue to dominate the market in term of user
base. With a lot of efforts of local publishers/companies, it will get
more and more recognitions from social and government (official
sport at SEAGAMES). Top 2 will take all the market (no room for the
3rd titles in E-Sport)
• MMORPG games are still source of money for local game publishers
with 2.5D or 3D Kungfu and Fantasy games.
• H5 games may have some bootstrap while better games from China
come to the market and Facebook Instant game platform launched.
• Local game development continue to grow but still stick into casual or
social casino games and monetize mainly through ads. Vietnam local
mobile game studios can not develop 3D MMORPG in near future.
• Game streaming will become truly job for young gamers.
• Telco payment reopen still in doubt (if yes, it should go with better
fee for local publishers), but still need some better payment
solution to unlock the local game market.
• User acquisition will be harder caused by bidding competition and
heavy game package under new store policies.
• Some potential businesses related to games are still in doubt: E-
sport betting, wider open for social casino games,…
• Local government will continue to manage strictly online game
market to force global publishers publish their game under
Vietnamese law or quit (Supercell quit the market in July 2019).
• Local publishers continue to dominate the local publishing
business based on their experience and community and strong