Startups always seem to grow up around games. Steve Jobs used to work at Atari and Bill Gates used to love playing poker. A bunch of entrepreneurs I’ve met in Ho Chi Minh city confess to playing games together before starting companies with each other. One of Vietnam’s biggest startup successes is VNG, formerly VinaGaming. These days, that space is accelerating in Vietnam with new, smaller companies rising to the game challenge. I’ll be looking at a handful of homegrown gaming companies in Vietnam during the next few weeks – starting with this one.
Colorbox started in 2009 with seven co-founders who use to work at Gameloft. They quit to start their own project focused specifically on mobile gaming.
Today, the company has 25 people, including two of the original co-founders. Since its inception, Colorbox has had over eight million downloads for all its games across Android, iOS, Samsung Bada, Symbian, and Windows Phone. Colorbox is now considering Blackberry as well.
Last February, Colorbox received VND 10 billion (US$500,000) in investment from Cyberagent Ventures, the Japanese venture capital firm.
Cyberagent is known to only invest in companies that have proven themselves on the market. And I can see why they chose Colorbox. Colorbox’s two top apps are both premium titles. Dalton, a stick figure platformer, is their most downloaded app, which goes for $0.99. The second most downloaded app is Twins Candy, costing the same, which is a mahjong and Bejeweled inspired game.
With the success of the original Dalton, the team just released Dalton 2, and also Save The Sheep.
I asked Nguyen Hoang Nam, the co-founder and current CEO of Colorbox, what’s next:
Well, with Cyberagent’s capital, we can focus more on the Vietnamese market, which until recently, was not a big market. But it has made serious strides. In terms of our games, we’ll be focusing more seriously on multi-player games and social media integration.
Colorbox has already stepped up its social media integration with Save The Sheep, a game in which you toss a beach ball at sheep in cages under a time constraint. The game has Facebook integration that allows users to have weekly tournaments and leaderboards.
Despite a history of users in Vietnam not paying for mobile apps, as I wrote about earlier today, Nam is very optimistic about the Vietnamese market.
Before, the market was small and people wouldn’t pay. But mobile payment has gotten a little easier and people are learning that paying for software is easy and good. People can now pay through SMS even.
We believe Colorbox has a new game out soon aimed at its home market, so we’ll keep you posted.
The post After Success Overseas, Colorbox Is Bringing Games To Vietnam appeared first on Tech in Asia.
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