No matter which country you are in, the game industry has a different direction of development. In recent years, almost all the games presented in Taiwan are indie games. Compared with other regions, there are no major companies in Taiwan that invest resources to make AAA masterpieces. Here I will share with you the development of Taiwan’s game industry and suggestions for game creation.
Resources needed to make a game
First, let’s understand how much resources a game needs to make. Suppose it takes five people to make an independent game, which are planning, programming, art, and music. In one year, they consume at least TWD 2 million. If it is a team of a large company, making a game may require ten times or more of the capital to operate.
For example, GTA5 spent a total of 265 million US dollars to develop that year. Neither of these teams will be profitable until the game is developed. If the game doesn’t sell well at launch, the team’s money spent is a failed investment.
Taiwan game company OEM
After the popularity of online games, the development of Taiwan’s game industry has gradually slowed down. The main reason is that Taiwan’s game companies are developing in the direction of OEM, taking over foreign companies’ art outsourcing cases. The biggest advantage of OEM is that the profit is quite stable and fast compared to independent research and development. Therefore, Taiwanese game companies focus on the development of OEM, but ignore the very important “inheritance” and “accumulation”. Later, many game companies were only responsible for the agency and operation of the game.
If a studio doesn’t make money from the games it develops, it could lose a lot. Rather than making a game, game companies directly represent ready-made games to reduce risk. Today, there are no companies in Taiwan willing to provide resources for game development. Most of the game industry talent went abroad to develop or give up developing games.
Game companies rely on experience to accumulate success
When Taiwan’s game industry stagnated, China’s game industry began to develop web games. At that time, many players and developers said that web games do not need to be purchased, so such low-quality free games will flood the game market. From another perspective, this may be an attempt by China in the game industry. After that, Chinese players have higher requirements for games, so Chinese game companies have begun to invest a lot of resources in developing games.
Today, Chinese game companies can make a AAA masterpiece if they want. The success of foreign game companies is the result of accumulated experience. It’s hard to make games right the first time. Usually game developers have made one or two games in the front, and then they are only known to players. However, Taiwanese indie game developers usually do not earn back the production cost after making their first game, making their studio unsustainable. Therefore, it is difficult for them to accumulate experience and inheritance of IP.
Game industry gets government help
In some countries, the entertainment industry will be helped by the government, such as South Korea. South Korea’s entertainment industry is completely different from Taiwan’s. There was a financial crisis in South Korea. At that time, the president of South Korea compiled a large national budget to support South Korea’s pan-entertainment industry. This policy has also successfully enabled South Korea to rely on these pan-entertainment industries for ten years. survived the financial turmoil.
There are also some private groups in Taiwan that support the cultural and creative industries, and provide resources to support these game development teams. However, government and private help is very limited, and not every indie game team has the luck to receive these grants. So they started developing various R18 games. The reason is that R18-themed games are popular abroad, so it is very easy to make money in the market. There are many small teams who will obtain funds by making R18 games to accumulate the cost of developing the next game.
There are actually a lot of game companies in China, so the competition is very fierce. Tencent has been acquiring game companies in recent years, and it can be seen that China has surpassed Taiwan in terms of capital and technology. In Taiwan, big companies all act as agents of ready-made games from abroad, and game developers have almost no stable income to guarantee their lives. Therefore, games are not an “industry” in Taiwan, but a purely hobby. However, cultural and creative groups continue to provide resources to the development team, because they hope to rekindle the tiny embers of Taiwan’s game industry.
How to improve game industry in Taiwan
The first thing Taiwan’s game industry needs to do is to start “accumulation” as soon as possible. Developers need to recognize their own abilities and accumulate the necessary technologies. After the NFT technology was launched last year, it was hated by players. In the eyes of some game developers, the so-called “NFT games” cannot be called “games” at all. Take the author of LF2 as an example, the author already has experience and know-how for this type of beat-up action game, and also has his own resources. If an inexperienced developer makes an NFT game, there will be a lot of criticism.
For teams that are already planning game development, they have to find resources before making games. It is very difficult to make a complete game without finding good resources. The team can make a Demo version of the game to obtain resources, and conduct market research through fundraising. Teams can also pull sponsorships through Demo. If you have sponsors, the game will inevitably need to be more commercialized. Assuming that the original game is good, but the market value is low, investors may not want to provide sponsorship, or even ask for changes.
Therefore, in order to make a good game, the first thing is to “accumulate” slowly, and “think clearly” what game you are playing and who you are playing for. Some developers ignore this problem when making, resulting in the final game that no one plays.
If Taiwanese games want to break through, there is no shortcut. Game development is not an easy task. Friends who want to join game development, please think clearly, what do you love about playing games, or the games themselves?