Google Cloud's role in Vietnam's gaming renaissance

Google Cloud’s role in Vietnam’s gaming renaissance (Source – Pexels)

How Google Cloud is setting the gaming scene in Vietnam

  • Google Cloud is spearheading advancements to elevate the gaming industry in Vietnam to global prominence.
  • Vietnam’s gaming industry, currently valued at US$600 million, aims to grow to US$1 billion in five years.
  • Google Cloud has been critical in delivering some leading Vietnamese games.

In an era where gaming has not only become a dominant form of entertainment but also a significant contributor to economies worldwide, the spotlight is turning towards emerging markets. Vietnam, recognized for its rapid digital evolution and tech-savvy population, is carving out a notable position in the global gaming arena. As part of this development, key industry players are stepping in to foster the nation’s gaming prowess and catapult it onto the world stage.

During the Games Industry Showcase event, Google Cloud revealed advancements aimed at assisting Vietnamese game businesses to attain a global reach, aligning with the Ministry of Information and Communications’ ambition to boost the local gaming sector’s earnings from US$600 million to US$1 billion in five years.

Google Cloud’s expanded partnerships with VNGGames, Amanotes, and Wolffun Game were unveiled, as these game entities tap into Google Cloud’s robust infrastructure, data analysis, and AI offerings. This collaboration aims to better cater to large player bases, unearth game insights, hasten product launches, and elevate real-time gaming experiences.

Toan Duc Nguyen, Google Cloud’s country manager for Vietnam, reflected on the past, noting that as smartphone adoption surged a decade ago, Vietnamese game developers were quick to capitalize on the trend.

The mobile-first gaming evolution in Vietnam

Nguyen observed, “Today, nearly half of the planet plays games; the majority through their mobile device. Vietnam’s mobile-first consumer economy and vast developer talent pool, combined with investments in full-fiber networks by telcos like FPT Corporation and games companies’ willingness to embrace new technologies to supercharge game production, could very well enable its games industry to leapfrog established games markets—which are better known for console and PC games—in exporting high-quality mobile games for the rest of the world.”

With predictions suggesting global gaming revenue surpassing US$187 billion in 2023 – over five times the expected global cinema ticket sales for the same year – the potential for global expansion in the gaming sector is evident.

The future of the gaming industry is firmly anchored in live service games. In 2022, the list of the top 10 most engaged games consisted entirely of such live games, continually captivating players with fresh content and gameplay dynamics.

Powering Vietnam's developers and publishers - Vietnam gaming.

Powering Vietnam’s developers and publishers. (Source – Pexels)

Google Cloud offers developers the tools to link players with game servers on the most extensive and secure network in the world.

Consider the challenge of game launches. They’re tricky because developers must preemptively gauge their game’s success. Questions like, “Will my game attract thousands or millions of simultaneous players?” arise. Paradoxically, the worst-case scenario can sometimes be overwhelming success: failing to accommodate all the players eager to engage with the game.

Serving the largest player audiences

For game developers, success should be a cause for celebration, not concern.

VNGGames, an Asian game publisher, utilizes Google Cloud’s infrastructure and protection tools, assisted by Cloud Ace, for games like Gunny Origins and Dead Target. This ensures fast, secure content delivery to their global player base. Their use of Google Cloud’s database service ensures players’ progress is never lost.

Le Trong Giap, the chief of Game Publishing Platform at VNGGames, explained that the foundational tech that backs massive live services like Google Search and YouTube is now empowering them to offer real-time gaming to players across various regions. “We do not need to compromise between achieving performance, manageability, and scale, since Google Cloud services have effectively eliminated the need for manual infrastructure configurations,” he added.

Wolffun Game, launching titles Thetan Arena and Heroes Strike internationally, employed Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and Cloud Kinetics for a smooth player experience. This setup enabled global eSports connectivity, scaling to meet demand. Both games, backed by Google Cloud, have attracted millions of gamers worldwide. Wolffun Game is further enhancing its new game, Thetan Rivals, with Agones—a server solution by Google Cloud and Ubisoft—for optimized player pairing.

Gaming’s global appeal

With over three billion global gamers, developers need to smartly segment players using analytics and AI. This helps predict new game feature success, customize player offers, and adapt games for different regions.

Amanotes, a music game publisher, employs Google Cloud’s real-time analytics to merge separated player and game data. This aids in everything from gameplay decisions to music licensing. As a result, titles like Magic Tiles 3 have found success in numerous countries, including the UK, US, and Brazil.

Embracing AI as a tech breakthrough, Amanotes collaborates with Google Cloud and Cloud Ace for machine learning, ensuring efficient game development and delivery to their expansive user base.

Bill Vo of Amanotes credits Google Cloud’s AI and analytics for the firm’s three billion game downloads, highlighting the critical support from Google’s expert team.

Similarly, VNGGames utilizes Google Cloud’s Translation API for quick game localization, recognizing game-specific terms. This has enabled faster market entry for games like Revolution Thien Du in Southeast Asia.

Giap underscores the importance of culturally and linguistically tailored games, praising Google’s advanced translation services for streamlining the traditionally lengthy localization process.

The leap into generative AI for gaming creativity in Vietnam

Game content creation is a significant cost for studios in terms of money and manpower. As player demand rises, many teams find it tough to produce new content, especially when scaling globally.

Generative AI allows rapid creation of new content types using foundational models. It can help teams expedite the content creation process, from code to dialogue.

Google Cloud is boosting Vietnam's gaming potential - Vietnam gaming.

Google Cloud is boosting Vietnam’s gaming potential. (Generated with AI)

Wolffun Game plans to use Google Cloud’s Vertex AI for advanced chatbots in Thetan Rivals. These chatbots will interact naturally with players and generate custom game assets on-the-fly. Wolffun also aims to leverage generative AI in Thetan Creator, producing unique game elements based on player feedback.

Wolffun Game’s CEO, Nguyen Dinh Khanh, said that finalizing Thetan Rivals took over six months, particularly focusing on its artistic aspects. He noted, “We chose Google Cloud because its enterprise-grade generative AI includes built-in mechanisms that allow us to harness this technology while respecting intellectual property rights and safeguarding our proprietary data.

“With AI enhancing human creativity to accelerate future game production, our goal for Thetan Rivals is to attract 100 million players worldwide and provide a customizable system for every player to freely express themselves through user-generated content.”

Generative AI’s impact on gaming will be as transformative as 3D graphics and smartphones were. Embracing such tech positions the gaming industry as an innovation leader.

To help Vietnam gaming businesses to make the best use of generative AI, Google Cloud has launched training modules and tools, offering free courses like the Introduction to Generative AI Learning Path and The Arcade.