Vietnam Takes Action Against Payments for Unlicensed Games

The Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications has announced its intention to implement measures to prevent payments for unauthorized games within the country. The Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information stated at a recent meeting that hundreds of thousands of unlicensed games, card games, and gambling games are causing societal unrest and negative consequences.

These unauthorized games, predominantly found on the App Store, Google Play, and the Valve Stream online gaming platform, are estimated to generate approximately VND 5 trillion ($211.86 million) in annual revenue, which constitutes 30% of Vietnam’s total gaming industry revenue.

The ministry is directing organizations and businesses offering intermediary payment services to prohibit payments for unlicensed games through their systems. For in-app purchases (IAP), these intermediaries should request transaction information from Apple and Google to block payments effectively.

The Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information plans to update the list of licensed and unlicensed games monthly for payment intermediaries. Additionally, the ministry intends to ask Google and Apple to refrain from collaborating with intermediaries in facilitating payments for unlicensed games on their app stores.

Mr. Le Quang Tu Do, the authority’s director, highlighted that numerous games are being distributed across borders via the App Store and Play Store. With several Vietnamese e-wallets available on these platforms, users find it convenient to make payments through intermediaries.

Although the Ministry of Information and Communications has granted licenses to around 200 game companies, fewer than 30 of these licensed businesses are actively supplying games to the market.