|Addictive: The mobile game Flappy Bird, created by Nguyễn Hà Đông, exploded on the gaming scene.|
HÀ NỘI – Vietnamese game developers and lecturers of Uppsala University’s Department of Game Design in Sweden met yesterday in Hà Nội to share their experiences on computer game design.
The experience exchange was within the seminar Develop and Market Computer Games Successfully: Sharing Experiences between Sweden and Việt Nam hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in Hà Nội in collaboration with Uppsala University and Việt Nam’s Digital Communication Association.
Swedish Ambassador Camilla Mellander delivered an introduction about Sweden, where gaming has become a major social activity like TV and music.
“The country has firmly established itself as one of the world’s epicenters for developing and producing innovative and mass-market computer games,” she said, adding that the turnover in the Swedish gaming industry was 930 million euros (US$1.05 billion) in 2014 – an increase of 35 per cent from the previous year.
Swedish game products Minecraft and the Battlefield series have sold over 80 million copies around the world. In addition, Payday 2, Candy Crush Saga and Need for Speed: Rivals have become massively popular game titles.
The Swedish gaming industry is ranked one of the top computer game exporters of the world, reaching a growth of 215 per cent between 2010 and 2014.
The ambassador also explained the reasons why her country had become such a gaming hub.
According to her, some might say it starts with long and cold winters that keep people indoors and working on computers. “Playing games and the making of games then becomes a more attractive and comfortable alternative for gamers,” she said.
But it is not all about the weather. Other important factors include technology and solid technical expertise.
Education also plays a significant role because the Swedish gaming industry invests greatly in game research and game development education.
“Gaming was also introduced as a university subject, which makes gaming studies and research facilities both accessible and acceptable,” Ambassador Mellander said.
The ambassador also said that Việt Nam was a potential game market because it has a large and young population as well as a growing number of Internet users.
“With the significant success of the mobile game Flappy Bird, developed by a Vietnamese developer, I believe that Việt Nam’s game industry can grow rapidly, becoming a regional game hub in future,” she said.
Attending the game seminar, former Vietnamese Minister of Information Communications Lê Doãn Hợp stressed that Việt Nam’s potential could lead the country to become a country of technology.
“Seventy per cent of the 93 million population is under 45, which we regard as an effective labour source that can contribute to the country’s development in many fields,” he said.
He also expressed optimism about the development of the country’s gaming industry, especially after the Government loosened some game management policies and after Việt Nam joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
“Gaming is definitely a potential industry that will require further international co-operation in both training and education, thus creating a suitable labour force,” he said.
According to Lê Việt Thành, a representative of the Vietnam Game Developers’ Federation (VGDF), Việt Nam has 33.9 million gamers, of which 41 per cent spent money on the pastime.
“The federation was founded in January last year with only six companies,” he said. “Now, the number has increased to 20, showing that game developers and game studios have realized the important role of the federation, which aims to support and boost sustainable and creative development of the Vietnamese game industry.”
He also said that VGDF’s members had exported their products to Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.
In addition, Adam Mayes, a key lecturer of the Department of Game Design of Uppsala University, which is on the list of the World’s 100 Best Universities, discussed how he and his colleagues teach game design.
Uppsala University is the only university in Sweden that offers BA programmes and short courses on game design. The university offers elective courses on graphic design, programming design and project management.
The university looks forward to enrolling Vietnamese students to study in Sweden, as well as sending its experienced lecturers, who are also game developers, to teach in Việt Nam.
Today, Swedish lecturers will give a talk on game design at the Hà Nội University of Sciences and Technology from 9am to 3pm. – VNS