Types of video games
There are several types of video games based on duration, depth and level. These are hyper casual, hybrid casual, casual, mediocre and hard-core.
A hyper casual game has short duration and is played during a break. Usually, it lasts 15-20 minutes. A hybrid casual game has more duration than a hyper casual game. And a casual game has a relatively more duration.
These three types of games are mainly played on mobile and relatively garner more users. Usually, these games have easy rules, require less skill to play, costs no money and generate revenue from advertisements.
Mediocre and hard-core games are a bit difficult. It takes time to master these games and require proven skills to play against opponents. Its stories are depth and may evolve on fighting. There are many levels in these games.
Games can also be classified according to garners – action, adventure, strategy, sports, puzzle games and others.
Hyper casual games to capture global market
Most of games developed locally are hyper casual games. People concerned in the industry said about half of the total firms developed such games.
One of such firm is Hamba Studio. The firm claimed to have released the first game in 2016. Another firm Alpha Potato Games also garnered fame with Playense and Thunder Games focusing on developing hyper casual game.
Thunder Games co-founder Bony Yousuf said previously he developed other games but now he is focusing on hyper casual games for his new frim.
Hamba Studio CEO Ashrafuzzaman Shuvo said since it takes 2-3 months to develop a good hyper casual game, they don’t have to worry much even if the game does not become successful.
Besides, UGL has built games with casual and mediocre features. Two firms also developed augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) games for local market.
AR, VR to seize local market
Most of firms develop hyper casual games to catch global market but several companies are working to seize the local market of AR, VR games. Battery Low Interactive, which started its journey in 2015, dominates the market, followed by Rise Up Labs that was founded in 2009.
They mainly developed games for big corporate firms and government. AR is a combination of a three dimensional (3D) character with a reality and VR is a simulated experience in 3D world. A VR glass is required to experience it. And it takes 1 month to 1 year to create such games in accordance with its depth and feature.
Chief technology officer (CTO) of Battery Low Interactive Minhaj Mimo told Prothom Alo that people are not interested to spend money for video game at individual level in the country. So, local NGOs, corporate firms and government agencies have taken initiatives to create AR and VR games. Most of these games are developed for their campaign.
Battery Low Interactive has created 51 games, including 11 AR and 16 VR games, so far. The firm now works for several companies in Germany, United States and Australia and has partnerships with 14 international companies.
Product manager of Rise Up Labs Enamul Haque Ratul said their firm has created 10-12 AR and seven VR games.
Success and failure in global market competition
Several local game studios are competing at international market, especially in Google Paly for Android and App Store for iPhone.
Hamba Studio claimed their games have attracted users from USA, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, India and several European countries and their games have been downloaded for 300 million times altogether.
Pick Me Up game had topped Google Play and App Store globally for five weeks since March 2019, Hamba CEO Ashrafuzzaman Shuvo said, adding it topped in 30 countries by then.
Ulka Games also creates their own games along with developing games for their partner Stillfront. Their games are mainly played in India and Bangladesh.
Popular games developed for Stilfront are Carom Club, Ludo Club, Teen Patti Gold and Jalebi. And Ludo Club has been downloaded more than 100 million times. Besides, their four top games are Adda, Twentynine Gold, Hajari and Board Club.
Rise Up Labs claimed their Tap Tap Ants game saw more than 15 million downloads in over 100 countries. The firm has developed about 30 games for local and international corporate firms and government agencies.
Playense has developed 100 plus games and these saw more than 10 million downloads, the firm said in its website.
There are some risks
Though local game developing firms make profit, there are some risks at the beginning. Hamba Studio started in 2016 and made profit by mid-2019.
There is some uncertainty over product as some games fail to attract players. Hamba Studio has developed over 200 games and finally seven of these were successful.
Hamba Studio CEO Ashrafuzzaman Shuvo said publishers finally approves a game based on number of downloads, how many days are bring played and how much time being played daily.
To date, Ulka Games developed 20 game prototypes and half of these were successful.
Since the industry is new, there is a tendency to split business and then several people come together and found a new firm.
Acute crisis of skilled workforce
People concerned in the game industry said currently, the number of developers and programmers working in the industry would not exceed 200. Other than this, no skilled workforce is being found.
Bony Yusuf and Isfakur Rahman have co-founded Thunder Games for a year. They both worked in several companies. Now they are searching for new workforce and they can find it.
Bony Yusuf told Prothom Alo, “Innumerable programmers are necessary. We are even offering high salary but we cannot find skilled developers and programmers. Besides, many people do not want to come in this sector. But they do not know they can earn more from this sector.”
The government’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division has been providing training at 38 gaming labs and test centres across the country under the ‘Mobile Game and Application Skill Development Project’. People concerned in games developing firms said it is still inadequate for the existing market.
*This report appeared in the online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Hasanul Banna