A misunderstanding, a prejudice
It was founded in 1998, prospered in 2010, and became king in 2016. It has been a long time since Tencent became an Internet giant.
I don’t know when it started. Everyone has a deep misunderstanding or misunderstanding about such a global Internet company with nearly 100,000 regular employees, six major business groups, and business lines spanning social, gaming, media, e-commerce, and film and television. In terms of prejudice, it is: Tencent should win from scratch to toes. The empire must be “impervious to the wind,” and a little “crack” will be used as a case of “a thousand mile embankment destroyed in an ant’s nest.”
Mihayou’s “Original God” seems to have dug a hole in the wall of the Tencent Empire overnight.
But in fact, the so-called “Imperial Defense is no longer impervious” can be proved without the need for “The Original God”. From the social platform Tencent Weibo, to the e-commerce business Paipai.com, to the short video business Weishi, Tencent has lost much more than games in other areas, but it is in sharp contrast with the “Tencent Pill”. Steady rising stock market value.
There is no company in this world that can truly dominate the world, or it would really be cyberpunk.
On the other hand, Tencent may be one of the domestic game companies that did not “miss” “Yuan Shen” the most. Because Tencent Games has not shown much enthusiasm for the core two-dimensional games from beginning to end.
Last year, the teahouse wrote an article “Tencent NetEase, who knows the second dimension better?” “, we can see that since the launch of “Naruto” in 2016, Tencent has not been on the two-dimensional circuit, but a pan-entertainment ecosystem linked with the PCG business group’s film and television dramas and animations. In Tencent Games’ own terms, This is called pan-two-dimensional.
Since the definition of a two-dimensional game is not the focus of this article, I won’t go into it too much here. As long as you know that in the next few years, Tencent’s self-developed or agency-published so-called two-dimensional games are basically all Japanese comics and national comics, and their target audiences do not overlap with the core two-dimensional groups. There are only two exceptions, “Love of Light and Night” is a female-oriented track, and “Ace Warrior” is a MOBA shooting competition track.
In most cases, the above games have been expelled from the second membership, and their competing products have never been “Benghuai 3”, “Original God”, “Azur Lane”, “Tomorrow’s Ark”, and “Battle of Double Pamish”. It can be said that Tencent has basically abandoned the core two-dimensional user market in the past few years. Firstly, the net profit of the two-dimensional product is not as strong as that of traditional games (short-term profitability and long-term life cycle), and ROI can not be counted; secondly, Tencent’s ambition is not here, pan-entertainment new cultural and creative is the main track; thirdly team It also lacks the ability to make core two-dimensional products, or genes.
Of course, we can see that in the past year, Tencent has invested in a lot of two-dimensional developers, including the new work “White Night” by Yonghang Technology (the developer of “QQ Hyun Dance”) a while back.
But in fact, this does not mean that Tencent has been stunned by “Yuan Shen” (the product launch time is later than the strategic investment meeting), because in addition to the two-dimensional field, Tencent has also invested a large number of independent games, single/console games, overseas games and traditional mobile games. Developers. For example, Sony China Star’s “Lost Soul”, French Dontnod Studio’s “Life is Strange”, Shanghai Dark Star’s “Road to Redemption”, game science “Black Myth Wukong”, Century Huatong, Palm Fun, Fat Pudding , Yuefu mutual entertainment are in this list.
It can only be said that Tencent is indeed more radical in game investment. It does not care so much about the input-output ratio of a single investment project. It cares more about the layout (or exclusivity) at the strategic level. The two-dimensional circuit is just one of them.
When we observe a company, we must not only listen to the so-called strategic layout, but also look at its actual actions. In sharp contrast with the second dimension is Tencent’s persistent pursuit on the SLG track.
Tencent’s earliest SLG mobile game should be a mobile game of the same name adapted from the web game “Seven Heroes” in 2014, and the development team is still the game Guyuan team. At the time, this was seen as a signal to enter a severe SLG. In the early days of the launch, the mobile game “Seven Heroes” and another mobile game of Game Valley “Sweeping Westward Journey” contributed 230 million in revenue in two and a half months. It is still in operation and even has a ranking.
The game type is actually quite different from the mainstream SLG in the strict sense. The main interface has only two parts: the main city management and the card push chart battle. There is no world sand table. The core gameplay is still a mobile game transplantation of page games.
It wasn’t until the same year that Zhixingtong’s “Clash of Kings” established COK-like, and the following year NetEase’s “Xituo Coast” established Xitu-like, the two main SLG tracks were officially opened. Later, a large number of Tencent SLG products were also established around 2015-2016.
On April 20, 2016, Tencent and Zhixingxingtong signed the “Strategic Mobile Game Production and Operation Agreement”, and obtained the authorization for the use of COK’s game engine to re-develop and produce game works. Based on this engine, Tencent Tianmei developed “The King of Chaos” in 2017. In the words of producer Shan Hui, in the Tencent market at that time, SLG was one of the few remaining blue ocean markets.
The COK engine is authorized to be adapted (Smart Stars will participate in the sharing), the high-profile announcement of the 2017 UP conference, and Tianmei’s self-researched take the lead, all expressing Tencent’s ambition on the SLG track.
In fact, “Kings of the World” did live up to expectations. It remained in the top ten best-selling four months before it was launched. According to App Annie data. During the period from December 2017 to November 2018, the total turnover of “The King of Chaos” was RMB 1.23 billion. And ranked ninth in the 2018 world’s most profitable mobile game TOP10 jointly released by CNG (CNG) and Newzoo. Its authorized share has contributed about 95,105,700 yuan in revenue to Zhixingtong.
Since it is authorized by COK, the framework of “King of Chaos” itself is still based on COK-like, which integrates gameplay such as AR, beauty anchor functions, P pictures, and monsters, and adds more RPG elements.
On the other hand, Tencent still prepared plan B as a bottom line: In the same month that “The King of the Troubles” was launched, Tencent also exclusively distributed the “Three Kingdoms Heroes” developed by Xinghui Tiantuo with IP authorization.
“King of Chaos” takes COK-like, while the game takes the Situ-like track. Its turnover data is also quite eye-catching. In just 15 days, the turnover has exceeded 100 million yuan, and the peak daily turnover has reached 10 million yuan. Its Korean version of “Three Kingdoms M” reached 20 million in 10 days (not issued by Tencent).
Immediately after March and April 2018, Tencent released two SLGs in a row, both of which were self-developed. Tencent Northern Lights made “True Dragon Overlord”, and Tencent Photonics Spartan Studio made “My Dynasty”. However, the data of these two works are much worse than the above two works.
The “True Dragon Overlord” development team is mainly composed of members of the original “Tribe Defense” and “Clash of Kings” projects, as well as members of the company’s internal web game team. The core gameplay is based on the LM (“Kingdom Era”) road, with some improvements to the counter gameplay and optimization of details. The visualization and the battle with a certain amount of operation space are the highlights. But in general, there is still a lack of fundamental changes.
The same is true of “My Dynasty”. “My Dynasty” has greatly strengthened the PVE content, introducing card elements, single-player pushing pictures, copying, playing BOSS and so on. The hero values are more detailed, with skills, attributes, bond gain effects, and RPG elements such as crit, dodge, and trigger probability. But in the core gameplay logic of the game, it is still indistinguishable from other products.
In 2018, the domestic SLG track has seen a high degree of homogeneity and proliferation of products. SLG+RPG cards are already a very common practice. In addition, the resources obtained by the two products are far inferior to those of “The King of Troubles”. Concentration (also losing the first-mover advantage), in terms of marketing purchases and linkage, is much worse than the magnitude of resources. (The glory of the king has led a lot to the king in troubled times)
This is also directly reflected in the trend chart of the best-selling list. It can be seen that “The King of Chaos” is still the pillar product of Tencent SLG to this day.
According to the 2020 financial report of Zhixingtongtong, there are still 77.68 million shares of “The King of Chaos” authorized by the COK engine.
But the east side is not bright and the west side is bright, and Tencent is always ready. In October 2018, the number of reservations before the launch of “Red Alert OL” by You Ai Huyu reached 18 million. According to the gamma data in the October 2018 mobile game briefing, “Red Alert OL” ranked first in the new tour list revenue with an estimated flow of 700 million+.
Although the core gameplay of the game does not deviate from the category of COK-like, the theme has changed from the Three Kingdoms Warring States to modern warfare, and the gameplay is more unlimited. The product has formed a certain degree of differentiated content.
Based on the same logic, in 2019, Tencent once again released a SLG game with IP “Game of Thrones Winter Is Coming”. This work was developed by Youzu’s Ares Studio, which is the earliest studio established under Youzu’s. It has the research and development experience of many SLG products. It has launched SLGs such as “Thirty-Six Strategies”, “General”, and “The Great Emperor”. game.
Tencent exclusive distribution resources (Tencent’s only SLG in 2019) + the world’s top IP + SLG veteran team + full platform reservations exceeded 15 million-“Game of Thrones Winter Is Coming” was optimistic by many people before it went live, plus channels The survey shows that the recent two rounds of test data are quite good (retention rate and payment rate have exceeded the average level of the track), some institutions predict that its peak monthly turnover will reach 400 million yuan, and the annual turnover will exceed 2 billion.
But it was such a game that seemed to only win but not lose. After it was launched, it briefly broke into the top ten best sellers, and then fell all the way. This is obviously lower than expected for the long-term operating category of SLG.
Then there is the 2020 Tencent UP Conference. At the meeting, Tencent announced four cooperative SLGs in one go, Zulong’s “Under the Great Picture”, Ledong’s “Conquer and Hegemony”, Xishanju’s “Wolong Yin 2”, and Caesar’s “Code: Glory” (official name). As “Glory of the New Three Kingdoms”).
It took three years from the project to the launch of “Under the Great Picture”. The core gameplay selected land occupation + season system, added weather terrain, formation skills, and more detailed visual combat performance. The main U4 engine is called Tencent’s flagship SLG. The project’s first month turnover exceeded 100 million.
The core gameplay logic of “Conquer and Domination” also hasn’t made much breakthrough. It also occupies an area + a season system. The theme is multi-civilized, and some specific gameplays have been added with their own unique designs. After the game was launched, it basically never made it into the top 50 of the best-selling list, and fell below 200 in less than a month.
Why do I say Tencent is in a hurry?
Because refer to “QQ Speed”, “QQ Dance”, “King of Glory”, “Peace Elite”, “Happy Landlord”, “CF Mobile Games” and many other games, once Tencent games occupy the dominance of a certain track through internal horse racing Status, basically in a short period of time will rarely launch new works for internal competition (or significantly reduce the frequency of launch). Unless it is to open up a new track, such as the globalization of “Call of Duty M”, the ACG+MOBA shooting of “Ace Warrior”.
SLG is the track that Tencent has been investing resources in and launching new games since 2014, and it has not yet given up. Aurora Borealis also released a new project recruitment a while ago. It is not difficult to see the labels of multi-civilization, globalization, next-generation Unreal Engine, strategic SLG, etc. on its body.
The reason for the urgency is simple.
First, on the SLG track, Tencent Games is still at a significant disadvantage. “The Chaotic King” is the best-performing SLG product in Tencent’s current market. However, compared with the SLG Big Three, “The Land of the Land”, “The Three Kingdoms Strategic Edition” and “The Awakening of the Worlds”, the “Chaotic King” obviously still has a big gap.
“Red Alert OL” was originally a very successful product, but due to Bytedance’s shareholding in 2020, the suspension of operations broke out. This year Bytedance has directly acquired the developer Youai Huyu. It can be said that it directly damaged a member of SLG’s capable fighter. Caesars Culture’s “Glory of the New Three Kingdoms” has not yet been launched and is still in testing, and has not yet seen the potential for explosions.
But “Wolong Yin 2” cooperating with Xishanju has no further news so far.
Secondly, SLG’s revenue capability is obvious to all. Sensor Tower data shows that the estimated total revenue of Lingxi Interactive Entertainment’s “Three Kingdoms Strategic Edition” in the global App Store and Google Play has exceeded the $1 billion mark, and it has only been online less than two years. “The Awakening of All Nations.” You can count how many SLGs are in the 2020 annual income TOP30 list.
And it is worth mentioning that thanks to the maturity of the core gameplay, the modularization of the mechanism, and the basic need to build a world view from 0 to 1, the development cost of the SLG project is not too high. Compared with the development costs and risks of original projects of the magnitude of “Yuan Shen”, SLG’s ROI is very stable. That is to say, although “Original God” is very strong from the perspective of the total flow, if you discount the cost and only look at the net profit, SLG may be better in profitability.
At the same time, SLG is also a representative category for long-term operations. The core products of star overseas companies such as IGG, Smart Star, Funplus, Youta, etc. have been continuously contributing huge revenue streams for many years. After five years of launch, IGG’s SLG mobile game “Kingdom Era” approached 250 million U.S. dollars in total revenue in the first quarter of this year.
In the domestic market, Netease’s “Side Land” has been online for almost 6 years since it was launched in 2015, and it has continued to maintain a high ranking of best-selling products.
In six years, the user payment rate and MAU have not decreased but increased.
Thirdly, SLG, which focuses on social networking, should have been Tencent’s dominant category. Gang battles, team battles, cross-server battles, etc., which social activity can avoid the two major social platforms of QQ and WeChat? Including live broadcast, KOL, in-game voice and other functions, Tencent has a very good foundation. Event operations, new cultural creation, pan-entertainment, heavy commercial mobile games, these are where Tencent excels. These can all be used to strengthen the value of SLG products.
There is meat in the pot, and I have chopsticks, but I can’t eat the largest piece of meat. Can you not worry?
Source: Game Tea House