In a video game-obsessed world, Thai developers are carving a niche of their own. Among the top players is Game Indy, a publisher who aims to launch six new titles this year, in addition to its present four.
Game Indy has hits like Asura, 400, GodsWar and Dummy: Asura is the first Thai 2D MMORPG _ massively multiplayer online role-playing game _ that users can enjoy in a local and international atmosphere; it's a Thai game that has the largest number of users and recently recorded 100 million baht in revenue.
Dummy is a flash client social game, which is dubbed the fastest growing game by Facebook. It has been in the market for four months and there are more than 350,000 users each month.
400 is a 3D MMORPG game that uses the backdrop of a Thai legend during the Ayutthaya era.
The MMORPG GodsWar is based on Greek civilisation, with players assuming the role of heroes of that time.
Game Indy encourages Thai developers to create local games by offering them funding and a game server.
The developer, in collaboration with Benchachinda Group, has set up Tumgame Co Ltd to offer the Online Multi-player Gamer server (OMGServer) to help Thai developers.
While the world of online gaming is shifting from computers to smartphones, Game Indy managing director Sittichai Theppaitoon says the company will be funding developers by up to 500,000 baht per game, depending on the game scale. Conditions stipulate the game must be played within 10-15 minutes and that it must run on any platform such as PC and mobile, and be similar to games such as collectable card types, racing or running, and also Dummy. The games initially will target the local market as they will be in Thai and will slowly be offered in the overseas market.
OMGServer supports more than 10,000 concurrent users. The software enables developers to focus on creating their games by letting the game server techniques be handled by OMGServer. So far developers take up to a year to introduce a new game, but with the OMGServer it should take just a month or less, as the server offers consulting and game development engines and promotes the games. It also connects with every leading prepaid operator.
Sittichai said that games from Korea, Taiwan and Japan continue to lead the market. Most imported games have servers in China and are translated into Thai with local partners.
Today, Thailand is ranked as the fourth largest mobile game app buyer in the world. While online games from foreign companies have faced a barrier in the payment system, the "Freemium" model is popular where gamers pay with a credit card.
"If the in-app purchase is effective in Thailand and the prepaid system becomes more open, the payment will no longer need to go via operators," said Sittichai.