Vietnam embracing a brand new reality in gaming industry

July 18, 2022 | 08:00
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For mixed reality technology to nurture and sustain growth momentum in Vietnam’s gaming industry, developers hope to narrow the gap with users by offering them the correct incentives and creating strong engagement.
Vietnam embracing a brand new reality in gaming industry
MR is a spectrum representing the merger between the physical and digital worlds, extending from AR to VR, Photo: Chi Cuong

Fight Of The Ages (FOTA), a blockchain-based gaming initiative from Singapore, debuted a 3D game utilising mixed reality (MR) technology at the Global Blockchain Congress in Vietnam last week.

The technology empowers users to connect to the FOTA’s metaverse at any time, from any place, and with any device at their disposal. After entering the game, participants may simply communicate and interact with other players.

MR is a spectrum representing the merger between the physical and digital worlds, extending from AR to VR, reported Havard Business Review (HBR). It may be experienced on a range of devices, including head-mounted displays, PCs, and mobile devices.

MR is rapidly becoming an integral component of the business digitalisation process. According to HBR, the technology is becoming a crucial tool for enhancing customer service. The institution’s 2018 survey revealed that 87 per cent of 644 business respondents are investigating, piloting, or implementing MR. It is anticipated to convert into substantial economic benefits, notably in strengthening customer interactions, unleashing staff productivity, and generating new products and services.

The future of technology

“MR is the inevitable technology of the future with potential applications in the gaming sector that help enhance user experience,” said Grey Trinh, CEO of FOTA.

With AR-based games, players can only play on 2D screens regardless of their quality. For instance, the appearance of a bottle on the ground is merely aesthetic in 2D games, while MR-based games allow users to pick it up and use it. The movements of 2D characters also require permission from developers. MR technology enables gamers to set one foot in the real world and the other in an infinite virtual realm.

Trinh added that the technology may improve the efficiency of businesses in other fields besides the gaming industry. According to the “Total Economic Impact of Mixed Reality using Microsoft HoloLens 2” report, companies in the manufacturing, AEC, healthcare, and education sectors are utilising MR for a wide variety of use cases with ambitious expansion plans. In 2021, MR increased field task efficiency by 40 per cent and decreased rework by 75 per cent, resulting in yearly savings of $13,680 per field worker.

“Vietnam is beginning to study and implement MR technology. It is only a matter of time until we reach the development phase since we already possess the essential instruments,” Trinh emphasised.

On the other hand, a tech expert from a game developer based in Germany, told VIR that MR-based gaming devices need to overcome two significant obstacles in design and operation for the technology to be extensively implemented in gaming creation.

“Currently, a majority of games applying MR technology are connected to the headsets, resulting in several deficiencies. Gamers might quickly suffer from dizziness and headaches when wearing the equipment, whereas interesting 2D conventional games can make them play for up to 4-6 hours continuously,” he said.

Another drawback of games using MR technology is the heavy hardware. He pointed out, “MR-based games enable players to interact with the three-dimensional area surrounding them, requiring a rendering engine with greater processing power than AR or VR games.”

The cost of developing MR games is not prohibitive, since the bulk of existing games are created in 3D and thus reducing the cost of switching to MR technology, according to the expert.

Laying solid foundation

For games using MR technology to grow and sustain, the key is to build a loyal user community. Jay Moore, chief collaboration officer at Prasaga, a Swiss Foundation providing tech solutions and consultancy said, “Startups in Vietnam should look into the dynamics between customer values and strive to incentivise them properly. One of the problems I find a lot of times is that they misinterpret their users to have the same incentive. However, not everybody wants the same rewards. Some of them play the game to experience and explore new technologies, while others expect to win.”

Several blockchain gaming startups today face the challenge of determining the inappropriate product development approach. “From play to earn, move to earn to metaverse games, many of them only focus on applying the most up-to-date technology but neglecting player’s actual needs,” said Le Thi Thu Uyen, head of business development at Faraland blockchain game project. The game creator appeals to a wide range of customers with engaging narratives and well-written content.

Moore from Prasaga highlighted, “Many game developers choose to target a market that is too small and then they can only grow to a certain size. Entrepreneurs need to think about long-term scaling and not think too small.”

In order to encourage players to adopt MR tech, he suggested game creators explore the added value of customer incentives. “It is a matter of creating a new context and reinforcing positive behaviours with new experiences,” Moore added.

By Hue Anh

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