Japan’s CyberAgent Venture Invests in Vietnamese Game Developer Colorbox

CyberAgent Venture (CAV), a Venture Capital and a subsidiary of Japan’s leading internet group CyberAgent, Inc, announces their seventh investment in Colorbox Software Corporation, which develops casual smartphone games targeted at the global market. It’s the second investment whereby the fund comes from CA Asia Internet Fund, a fund specializing in the South East Asian market, which has allocated US$ 10 million for Vietnam’s market.

Colorbox' Rip Off iOS game got 2 million downloads in 4 days. (Image: iTunes iPhone Screenshot)

Colorbox was founded in 2009, and one of the Ho Chi Minh City-based developer considers the Rip Off as its most successful app, which actually ranked second in Apple’s U.S. App Store for a few months. The cute and addictive gameinvolves a ninja-like bird protecting his unhatched siblings by slashing waves of enemies. The game gained 2 million downloads in four days. By now Colorbox has released 14 mobile games in various platforms. Dalton – The Awesome! and Wave – Against every beat! are other games that were big hits among the gamers. Dalton, which involves killing zombies, has garnered over 2 million downloads.

Colorbox CEO, Thai Thanh Liem, plays an important role at the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Vietnam Chapter, a non-profit organization that supports the development of the local game industry and promoting it internationally. He is the IGDA organizer in Ho Chi Minh City, responsible for management and for communicating with other game developers in Vietnam.

Game Development is actually new in Vietnam‘s local market. In 2008, nobody believed they can develop video games. Now, the country already features 20 local game studios, which creates games for 30 publishers. Independent developers have likewise been pushing their contents out to iOS and Android, which is a sign that the mobile game development is growing fast. Yet there are challenges, like a lack of success stories, a perceived low level of creativity and poor development processes. The resources are becoming more sophisticated, though, and the labor cost is still categorized as affordable. Foreign companies that come here are mainly building their outsourcing division to reduce the cost of their core business.

Most of the major game studios are part of the major game operators such as VNG, VTC and FPTOnline. Gameloft and Koei-Tecmo are the big foreign companies, and EMobi and MusicKing are emerging independent Vietnamese game studios in the country. Since growth is fast outgrowing the human resources capabilities, several companies have decided to set up training centers to help personnel to achieve required skill sets or encourage them to participate in events. The TGX Game Developer Conference held mid last year in Ho Chi Minh was one such example.

Last but not least, CAV has a belief that based on their track record, expertise and potentialities, ColorBox will be a successful player both in the domestic and overseas market. The investment is aimed to leverage and utilize their game development capability and cost competitiveness.