The mobile game market was very quiet in the first half of the year, but things are expected to heat up in the second half, the English language news website VietNamNet Bridge reported.

Analysts had every reason to believe that mobile device-based online games would boom in 2014.

The telecommunications infrastructure has improved significantly, while the number of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, has increased rapidly thanks to the improved income of Vietnamese.

However, analysts seemed to have mistakenly predicted the taste of gamers and the trends of the market.

In late 2013, they said that favoured games in 2014 would be those with convenience, high quality 3D graphics and gameplays with depth.

However, high-quality graphics were not the most important feature for gamers. They played games with simple graphics, but required thinking and ingenuity.

This explained why Nguyen Ha Dong was so successful with his Flappy Bird, an arcade-form game with simple graphics.

But it was still very attractive to gamers because they found it difficult to get high scores.

Flappy Bird only existed for a couple of weeks (the author took it down from stores) but it gained an international reputation.

Vietnamese gamers are now interested in “blockbuster” mobile games instead of simple games which are just for gamers to “kill time”.

Real battle is about to start

Observers believe that Soha Game is leading the Vietnamese games market. Though Soha Game is not a veteran game distributor, its high number of products in distribution and its good support system have helped it lure more and more Vietnamese gamers.

The strong rise of Soha Game is a great challenge for veteran game distributors in the market.

Some observers even have doubts that big veteran distributors lagged behind because of unreasonable business strategies.

However, in fact, the big guys have kept quiet because they are busy preparing for the new battle.

GameK, a website about online games in Vietnam, has reported that VNG and Garena, two well-known names, will join the war.

One of the two is VNG, which has dozens of mobile games, both imports and self-developed, ready to be launched into the market. VNG is a formidable rival because it is the owner of Zalo, an OTT (over the top) app with about 10 million users.

Meanwhile, Garena, following success with Lien Minh Huyen Thoai (the legendary alliance) and FIFA Online 3, has begun distributing mobile games, mostly targeting the community of Beetalk users, also an OTT app.

The Soha Game, MCCorp, VTC Mobile and MeCorp, the other big guys, are also reportedly preparing for a big battle.-VNA