Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ho, ho, ho Chi Minh

How many games have you killed today, to the benefit of China and Korea;
Vietnam has more than 13 million video game players and the industry is growing rapidly.
It is also the largest online games market by value in Southeast Asia, with sales of around $200 million in 2012, up from $150 million in 2011 and $120 million in 2009, according to one industry insider who didn't want to be named.
But while the publishers are raking in the cash, developing games in Vietnam is difficult.
They fought a war for decades for this;
In September, Vietnam passed Decree 72 on the "Management, Provision, Use of Internet Services and Information Content Online."
Under the new rules, developers and publishers of games have to apply for a license for online games. And not everything is allowed. Banned content includes nudity and extreme violence, and first-person shooting games.
[Nguyen Tuan Huy, founder of one of the country's independent games developers, Emobi.]  says the uncertainty caused by the new license regime will discourage investment.
"The procedures make investment in game production too risky because even after spending a year of time and money, developers don't know whether their game will get a license or not," he says.
In the good old days there WAS certainty; no entrepreneurs allowed. Meanwhile the customers buy from their traditional enemies;
In the meantime, high school gamer Trung says he's not fussy about the origin of the games he plays.
"To be honest, I don't really care where a game is made - if I like it, I play it."

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