Image source @Visual China Wen | Attention Xiong Chumo The game market has been very “sweet” in recent years, and it is obvious both inside and outside the circle. On June 16, Baotong Technology responded to investors’ concerns about its first self-developed two-dimensional mobile game “End Front: Inobeta”. Such a scenario, It’s just the same daily routine among A-share game companies. , But for Baotong Technology, there is something interesting-this company was founded in 2000, and its main business in the 16 years after its establishment is heavy industry production and intelligent transportation of industrial goods that have nothing to do with games. After 2016, Baotong Technology’s revenue structure, which has been engaged in the game industry, has rapidly changed. As of 2020, Baotong Technology’s game business revenue has accounted for 58.04% of total revenue, completing the transformation from a gorgeous “cross circle” , Boarded the express train of the game market. According to the data of the “2021 Net Generation Online Social Behavior Insight Report” released by the Mob Research Institute, online games rank first with 78.9% of the online entertainment ratio of the “Net Generation Generation”, and they have become the most popular among the younger generation. The main form of entertainment consumption. Today, when young people are in the world, the development of game business has become an important strategy for many Internet companies. Even many traditional companies outside the circle have also started to eat crabs. Traditional companies going downhill meet the booming game industry According to the “2020 China Game Industry Report” released by the Game Publishing Working Committee of the China Audiovisual and Digital Publishing Association, in 2020, the actual sales revenue of the Chinese game market will be 278.687 billion yuan, an increase of 47.81 billion yuan from 2019, a year-on-year increase of 20.71 %, to maintain rapid growth. It can be said that the game industry that emerged from the 2018 version of “Bitter Winter” (that is, the domestic suspension of the release of game version numbers in 2018) has become a trend in the entire pan-entertainment field, and the powerful gold-absorbing ability shown by boutique games has left companies both inside and outside the circle. I am deeply impressed that many Internet companies are rushing to deploy their own game business, which is really lively. However, compared with Internet companies, the consciousness of many traditional companies outside the circle is even “ahead”. In fact, since 2014, many listed companies in traditional industries have entered the game industry in the form of mergers and acquisitions of game companies. For example, in 2015, the giant dragon pipe industry engaged in pipeline production acquired the game company Aiglas at a premium of 25.5 times at a price of 3 billion yuan; in the same year, Zhongnan Heavy Industry acquired 100% of the equity of Value Interactive for 870 million yuan, and its main business continued to Cultural and entertainment transformation; in 2016, the agricultural and veterinary drug company Shenghua Beike acquired 100% of the equity of the game company Chengdu Yanlong Technology for 1.6 billion yuan; in the same year, the aforementioned Baotong Technology acquired the overseas game publishing company Yihuan Internet, and invested 7 million yuan in VR game company Ha Shiqi… These companies chose to enter the game market on the eve of the version number “Bitter Winter”, On the one hand, it is related to the outbreak of mobile game products after 2013. At that time, the release of games such as “Legend of Dota” and “Sword of the Three Kingdoms” allowed domestic companies to see the momentum of the rise of mobile games, attracting many entrepreneurial teams and companies during the transition period, and some traditional companies engaged in the game industry have also joined the game. among them. On the other hand, it is also related to the difficulties faced by traditional enterprises themselves. Since the emergence of the concept of Internet+, the Internet industry has been raging, food delivery has changed the traditional catering industry, e-commerce has penetrated into traditional retail, and traditional companies have had to accelerate digital transformation in order to save themselves. However, the digital transformation of traditional enterprises is not an easy task. In the past few years, many physical industries have fallen into the quagmire of the case. I will not repeat them here. Only the impact of the 2020 epidemic will cause catering, hotels, tourism, real estate, private, transportation, foreign trade, Traditional industries such as movies have no choice but to suspend operations and suffer heavy losses. Small and micro enterprises and startups are struggling to withstand the pressure and go bankrupt. According to the results of 995 small and medium-sized enterprises surveyed by Tsinghua University and Peking University in 2020, 34% of the companies can only last for one month, 17.91% of the companies can last for 3 months, and only 9.96% of the companies can last for more than 6 months. Image source: China Europe Business Review In such an urgent situation, simply advancing digitalization may not be able to save traditional enterprises. What they need is a more direct transformation to protect themselves. In August 2020, Mingchen Health, a listed daily chemical company with brands such as “Dihua Show” and “Meiwang”, announced that it has entered the mobile game field through acquisition. In the announcement, Mingchen Health bluntly stated that with the development of new business types such as daily chemical specialty stores, e-commerce retail, and online celebrity products, coupled with unfavorable factors such as consumers’ reduced brand stickiness, the company’s daily chemical industry is increasingly competitive. , Business development is facing bottlenecks, and it is necessary to create new growth points by cutting into the field of mobile online games. Under such a background, it is not difficult for traditional companies in dire straits to join the thriving game industry. Seventy percent of the manufacturers closed down in two years, is the game really so fragrant? From before the outbreak of the epidemic to the post-epidemic era, game products and manufacturers have been out of the circle more and more frequently. “Shanghai F4”-the achievements of Eagle Corner, Folding Paper, Mihayou, and Lilith are visible to the naked eye. The way is changing the ecology of the industry. People can’t help but imagine that in the future, the pattern of Tencent and Netease giants dominating the domestic game market will be completely changed. In front of a group of game manufacturers, there will be a new market full of unlimited opportunities. Obviously, the spotlight effect of the media makes people only see the most eye-catching celebrities in the industry, and they have an overly optimistic evaluation of the entire market environment. In fact, the game market is no longer the calm blue ocean they imagined. According to the statistics of the game media game new knowledge, from 2013 to present, a total of 2,194 game companies have declared their deaths, and the growth rate has increased year by year. In 2019, the number of domestic closed game companies was 742, and in 2020, it was 761. Data source: new game knowledge in other words, Game companies that have closed down in the past two years account for nearly 70% of the game companies that have closed down in the past seven years. Behind these figures, what is revealed is the pain brought by the “premium trend” to the game market. After the increase in game version restrictions in 2018, game companies that still adopt “low game development investment and high purchase volume promotion investment” are forced to face the plight of no games, and they hold and operate “skin-changing mobile games” “It is inevitable that it is difficult to operate for a long time because of the low quality, so it will soon be eliminated. The remaining small and medium-sized enterprises will inevitably be forced into the “arms race” that they are not familiar with by cutting-edge game companies such as Eagle Horn and Mihayou-that is, in the game play, art, music, copywriting and other parts. Intense competition. Zhou Bo, the original painter of a mobile game manufacturer in Hangzhou, has a deep understanding of this. After 2014, the domestic two-dimensional mobile game kicked off its own prelude, and Zhou Bo’s game company also started to develop anime-style card development games. At the beginning, Zhou Bo found that the overall quality of the domestic two-dimensional mobile games was not high, and his work was fairly easy. But in recent years, with the launch of a series of new games such as “Azur Lane” and “Tomorrow’s Ark”, Zhou Bo found that the tastes of players have become more and more “tricky”. “In the case of Liehui, we first put on the shelves only Liehui with characters, and the players didn’t have any comments, but then players began to have various requirements, such as the background of the next-door manufacturer’s game, why don’t you bring the background? , The next-door manufacturer’s game Liga is live2D dynamic, why don’t you guys…and so on, every day we can see players criticize our Liga and say they want to uninstall the game, which feels really uncomfortable.” Zhou Bo sighed. The plight of “Zhou Bo” is hard to feel for big companies with well-established families such as Tencent and Netease. These leading companies want to compete with the newcomers in the market, and it is not as difficult as imagined. As long as they change their strategies, increase investment, and make similar products based on the current explosive models in the market. For example, “Game Overlord” Tencent, although “Yuan Shen” escaped from its own channels, but after a year, he was able to take out “Xuan Zhong Ji” to preempt the two-dimensional open world mobile game developed by “Yuan Shen” Market segments. With the passage of time, there will only be more and more such works in Tencent channels, and it may not be able to completely defeat the original God, but it will be easy to make the uniqueness of the original God without competing products eventually disappear. However, for those small and medium-sized game companies, the situation is not so easy. The phenomenon of “involution” brought about by the “arms race” with newcomers will only increase the development costs of small and medium-sized enterprises and prolong product development time. At a time when game companies are developing game market segments like gold rushes, the more time small and medium-sized companies spend on game development, the less time they spend exploring the market segments, and the same market segmentation they encounter subsequently There will also be more competitors-in short, the trend of high-quality games has increased the development threshold for small and medium-sized enterprises and reduced the opportunities for trial and error. Under such a predicament like walking on thin ice, small and medium-sized game companies will only find it more difficult to compete with leading companies, and eventually end up with a tragic ending of “heart is higher than the sky, life is thinner than paper”. Game makers are still in such a difficult situation, and traditional companies outside the circle who want to enter this field will undoubtedly face more pressures. For those traditional companies that have not really made up their minds, playing games is not a good choice. The different situations of cross-industry bigwigs, how do manufacturers outside the circle make best-selling products The “involution” of the game is already so difficult, and the entry of traditional companies into the game field, from the perspective of players, is even more grievous: these laymen just came over and kicked in because they smelled the aroma of the “player economy”. , Can they really make a good game? In fact, this kind of thinking is somewhat stereotyped. Traditional companies have indeed not been exposed to game products before, but it does not mean that they must have been deeply involved in the industry from beginning to end in order to produce “authentic” products. With enough investment and in-depth understanding, manufacturers outside the circle can also develop works that can conquer players. For example, “Destiny” and its developer Jiashan Forest Entertainment Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Jiashan Forest Entertainment). Recently, with the return of sales promotion activities on the game online sales platform steam, a new martial arts game released in 2018, “Destiny Qi Yu”, has once again come to the player’s field of vision because it has topped the steam national best-selling list. In, and received a lot of praise from the players. Although in 2021, the picture performance of “Fate of Heaven” is not outstanding, the flaws are not hidden. The excellent branch plot, smooth combat system and rich and interesting mini game play are still enough to make it a “masterpiece of martial arts”. Word of mouth, and aroused a large number of players’ expectations for its follow-up works, which officially opened the prelude to an IP. The most surprising thing is that the main business of the parent company of the developer of this game is not games, but real estate. From the perspective of bubble planning for a mobile game company in Chengdu, Jiashanlin Entertainment made his debut and received good reviews. It has been verified that the current “high investment, high return” boutique model has replaced the past channel-led model of “low investment in development and high investment in publicity”. Acquisition and diversified development is also one of the paths for cross-border players. For example, Jinke Culture, which started with the research and development, production and sales of bleaching self-service agent SPC (sodium percarbonate) in the early days, completed the acquisition of Outfit7 for 7.3 billion yuan in 2017 and transferred the IP of “Talking Tom Cat” The copyright belongs to it. The company’s business revenue has also achieved significant changes afterwards. According to the 2019 financial report, Jinke Culture’s revenue reached 1.35 billion yuan in the first half of the year and 1.38 billion in the same period in 2018. The mobile Internet culture business, where the game business is located, has a revenue of 937 million yuan and a gross profit margin of 88.6%. The chemical business has revenue of 413 million yuan and a gross profit margin of 36.5%. “Knowing games is easy to say, but it’s not a good practice. To put it bluntly, the main purpose of most companies that want to enter the game field is to take advantage of the hot game market and quickly launch games to monetize. They don’t trust high The new model of “investment and high return” still chooses the traditional model of “skin-changing mobile games + channel promotion” to test the waters. If you have a little capital, you may take the path of IP adaptation, but it is also purely using IP art materials to give it. The game is “shell”.” Bubble pointed out that if the concept does not change, it will be difficult for companies to adapt to the new environment. For example, the well-known Japanese comic “Sword Art Online” IP adaptation of the mobile game Kaiying Network recently launched, even with the IP blessing, but the quality of the game itself is not good enough, the promotion effect of the channel will soon be negative by word of mouth among players. Evaluation hedging will have a serious impact on the subsequent operations of the game. Understanding the game and understanding the players has become a compulsory course for companies that want to get involved in this field. “But even if this is the case, many companies outside the circle feel that I don’t understand games myself, so I just spend money to buy a game company and let special people do special things. Isn’t it enough?” For this attitude, Pao thinks Even if they lack experience in setting up game development teams, they can only enter the game industry by acquiring game companies. Traditional companies must also understand the ecology and trends of the game industry. To give a simple example, when Tencent is aware of the expanding influence of domestic console games, and immediately turns to invest in potential stocks such as “Black Myth: Wukong”, when Perfect World perceives that the two-dimensional open world will become popular, When switching to the development of “Phantom Tower”, the unidentified traditional companies went against the trend of the times and chose to invest or acquire companies that developed “skin-changing mobile games” products, or web game products that were already in the dark, then the end result would be natural It goes without saying. The entry of traditional companies into the game brings fresh blood to the next-generation game market, which is self-explanatory. However, judging from the current status quo that speculators are still the mainstream, the prospects can be imagined. For traditional companies, how to look at games, a product closely related to the spiritual entertainment of young people, will be an unavoidable problem for a long time in the future
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