As the flagship IP Product of Netease games, "Yin Yang division" has been officially launched for three years. Driven by the third anniversary of Yin Yang division, on September 20, Yin Yang division once again ranked first on the IOS best seller list. However, it has been more than two years since it reached the top last time.
The saying "debut is the peak" applies not only to star artists, but also to Yin Yang master. After the official launch of Yin Yang division in China in early September 2016, it quickly made brilliant achievements such as dau breaking through 10 million and app store2016 top ten games.
Coupled with the dissemination of UGC content on the social platform and the successful marketing activities of Netease, "Yin Yang teacher" soon broke through the limitations of the two-dimensional circle and became the "national two-dimensional mobile game" at that time. With the help of yin and Yang division, Netease games even overshadowed Tencent at that time.
However, the life cycle of any game is limited. Under the strong impact of games such as the glory of the king and peace elite, the popularity of Yin Yang division has declined sharply. After the 3rd anniversary, how much contribution can Yin Yang master make to Netease games? If the popularity of Yin Yang division continues to decline, what does Netease games rely on to resist Tencent games? These are all topics that have to be pondered.
The third anniversary development history of Yin Yang teacher - the peak is when it goes online, and the heat sinks all the way after the peak
At the beginning of its launch, Yin Yang master quickly captured its first batch of players - two-dimensional enthusiasts by virtue of its accurate two-dimensional positioning. After that, with the help of these two-dimensional players, it gradually has the potential to brush the screen on social platforms such as microblog and wechat. The player circle wall has been broken, attracting a large number of ordinary players. The brilliant trend of Yin Yang division has gradually emerged.
But this glory is short-lived. According to public information, the Yin and Yang division launched in September 2016 won 200 million global downloads in less than half a year. In the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, Netease's game business net revenue was 8.9 billion and 10.7 billion yuan, largely due to the success of yin and Yang division.
At its peak, the number of users of Yin Yang division reached 14 million and the number of daily active users reached 2.7 million. After its peak, its monthly number of people living fell sharply, and its user scale and daily number of people living fell by nearly half. The phenomenal outbreak of Yin Yang division seemed to be a flash in the pan and was soon suppressed by the glory of the king.
According to public information, the top five revenue of China's IOS mobile games in 2017 were "glory of the king", "dream journey to the west", "ghost of a beautiful girl", "Yin and Yang teacher" and "Tianlong eight", and "Yin and Yang teacher" ranked fourth. In 2018, Yin Yang division has already fallen beyond the top ten and disappeared.
From the change trend of Baidu Index of Yin Yang master from 2016 to 2019, we can also see that the decline of Yin Yang master is irreversible.
To sum up, from 2016 to 2017, Yin Yang master, which became popular in the social circle, fell from the peak at an unusually fast speed, resulting in a large loss of players and a sharp decline in game profits. What's the reason? Why did Yin and Yang master, once so popular, fall off the altar so quickly?
(1) The game mechanism itself has disadvantages, and it is difficult to pay in direct proportion to the income
One of the important reasons for the decline of the popularity of the game is the disadvantages of the game itself. In the words of players, it's too "liver". If you want to cultivate a type God, you need to pay a lot of time and energy. The cultivation cycle of type God is too long. And after paying a lot of time and energy, you may not be able to keep it well, because the Royal soul inside is given randomly, and the payment is difficult to be proportional to the income, which greatly affects the player experience.
(2) Weak competition + weak social interaction, weak player stickiness
Yin Yang division suddenly became popular at the beginning because it broke the restrictions of the second-dimensional circle and attracted many ordinary mobile game audiences. The game loyalty of these players is not high. The game "Yin Yang division" itself tends to be a nurturing game. It is not competitive. The competitive time every day is only two hours. For players who are used to competitive games, this can not meet their requirements.
In addition, its sociality is also very weak. In addition to the organizational setting of "Yin-Yang Liao", players do not need to have any contact with other players to play well. Therefore, after the emergence of the highly competitive and social King's glory, a large number of low loyalty players such as Yin and Yang master have turned to the embrace of King's glory.
（3）The effect of IP linkage is limited, and the symptoms are not the root cause
In the past three years, in order to attract and retain players, Yin Yang division has also carried out many big actions, such as linkage with well-known animation, such as Inuyasha and strange cat. These are very famous animation works in Japan and have a strong fan base.
After the role linkage with them, Yin Yang division can really see the effect in a short time. Some old players return and animation fans who love the linkage role enter. But the number of fans is limited, and the number of fans who can be attracted is even more limited. At the same time, most of these attracted fan players chose to abandon the tour after they obtained their favorite roles.
(4) Tencent is eyeing fierce competition in the external environment
In addition to the mechanism and operation problems of the game itself, the squeeze of the external environment is also an important reason for the decline of Yin Yang division. The launch of several popular Tencent games has also caused great pressure on Yin Yang division, resulting in a serious loss of players.
Although the decline of Yin Yang master in these three years can not be reversed, the heat can no longer create the glory it once was. But it is still one of Netease's head games. It also proves the market value of the original two-dimensional game IP with its strength. And it is not just a mobile game now. It is now the most representative top game IP in China's ACG industry. Its IP derivation road is worthy of reference for major domestic game companies.
On the road of "self rescue" -- Yin Yang division has successfully created a benchmarking case of game IP ecosystem
Three years ago, we could regard Yin Yang master as an excellent two-dimensional style mobile game. But now, three years later, its market role has already changed. It has changed from a mobile game to a game IP with great market value. This is also the self rescue measure taken by Yin Yang master in the face of the dilemma of player loss.
(1) Deep ploughing IP, launched high-quality comics + high reputation musical
The IP derivative works of Yin Yang master were successively published in 2018. Derivative comic works such as Yin and Yang master · story of peace, baigui kindergarten and the unpromising Yin and Yang master family have won numerous high praise since they were launched, and have occupied the first place in the National Innovation Zone of station B for many weeks. Yin Yang division also launched the safe painting volume of the 2.5-dimensional musical Yin Yang division, which has been toured in many cities in China.
(2) Physical peripheral + offline participation to create an immersive IP experience
In terms of physical surroundings, "Yin Yang teacher" has successively launched some practical living items such as hand-made, pillow and stationery, which are sold online and offline at the same time. Public information shows that the cumulative sales of peripheral products of yin and Yang teacher is nearly one million, and the cumulative sales so far is about 200 million. Among them, as the representative of the middle and high-end series of peripheral products, nearly 60000 hand-made products have been sold.
The offline operation of the game IP of Yin Yang division is also wonderful. The IP theme store brand "onmyoji Cafe & shop" launched by Yin Yang division in 2019 truly connects games and people through three life scenes: eating, buying and playing. Physical peripheral and offline activities are carried out at the same time, creating a high-quality immersive IP experience for game players.
(3) Created a variety of derivative games, trying to build a game matrix
Yin Yang division has also launched a variety of derivative games, such as the decisive battle in safe Beijing, Yin Yang division: Baiwen card, Yin Yang division: Monster House, etc., trying to build a rich game type matrix belonging to the IP of Yin Yang division, but their achievements are far less than other derivative products.
Taking the decisive battle in safe Beijing as an example, public information shows that after it was officially launched on IOS on January 1, 2018, it did rise briefly in the initial stage, but it only rose from 105 to 60 on the IOS best seller list, and then began to regress.
After that, although it was linked with Yin and Yang teacher, it had little effect and had been in a tepid state. Generally speaking, the game IP of "Yin and Yang master" has not achieved substantive results in game derivation, and it can even be said to have failed.
(4) Carry out IP authorization cooperation to realize the pan entertainment layout of the whole industry chain
In addition to the derivative creation of IP works by the Yin Yang division team, the game IP can also be authorized to a third party for joint creation. For example, the film Yin Yang division jointly created by Netease film, Gongfu film and Huayi Brothers film has been finished and is currently in post production.
Through multi-party cooperation, animation, peripherals, games, musicals and films, take the game IP of Yin Yang division as the center to realize the pan entertainment layout of the whole industry chain.
Yin Yang division successfully prolongs the life cycle of the game through such an IP operation mode. Imagine, if you are a game player, when you can come into contact with various products derived from your favorite game characters in real life, can you control yourself not to see or buy relevant products at all? If you have retreated, this subtle contact online or offline may also be a stimulating point to attract you back into the pit.
Although it has lost more than half of its players now, the heat has also decreased a lot. However, some loyal players are firmly held in their hands through this IP operation mode, and these players are enough to support the existence and continued development of the game.
The game IP operation mode of Yin Yang division shows the great potential of China's ACG market. Starting from the game, use its fan effect to realize multi-dimensional market operation and tap the market potential of game IP as much as possible. Yin Yang division has successfully extended the life cycle of the game. Through this operation, it has transformed from an ordinary two-dimensional mobile game to one of the top game IP in China's ACG industry.
The successful self-help method of yin and Yang teacher is undoubtedly a gospel and Enlightenment for Netease games. Because it is not only the Yin and Yang teacher that faces the dilemma, but also the whole Netease game. But if Netease games want to succeed, in addition to stabilizing the current yin-yang master, what it needs is the next "explosive yin-yang master" to resist the glory of the king.
In the face of Tencent suppression, how should Netease games break the game?
The Yin Yang division, launched in 2016, did create huge revenue for Netease in the early stage, and the Yin Yang division also made Netease surpass Tencent to the top of IOS revenue list. During that period, Netease even had a faint momentum to surpass Tencent. However, the good times are not long. With the rise of rival Tencent's "glory of the king" and the rapid decline of the popularity of "Yin Yang division", Netease games are facing a more and more severe situation.
The domestic mobile game market in 2017 belongs to the glory of the king, and the domestic mobile game market in 2018 belongs to the battlefield of stimulation. Now it has been revised into peace elite. However, the online and commercialization of Netease chicken eating game "wilderness action" are earlier than Tencent's "stimulate the battlefield", and "wilderness action" has already obtained the domestic game version number. Why did Netease still lose to Tencent?
And when Tencent was unable to get the game version number and many games could not be launched, many people thought that Netease had the opportunity to turn over. But the actual situation is not like this. Why does Netease still lag behind Tencent?
（1）Lack of user traffic entry, internal traffic cannot be transformed
Compared with the user traffic that can be directly used by Tencent's social products wechat and QQ, Netease's user pulling ability in mailbox and other businesses is far less than Tencent. Tencent not only has two social products, wechat and QQ, as a solid support, but also has two game live traffic portals, Betta and tiger teeth.
Therefore, one of the main reasons why Netease games are facing severe difficulties is that it lacks a top-down traffic source. It doesn't have a powerful social product, and the traffic between its internal products can't be transformed into each other. It doesn't have an entrance to direct users, so it loses a lot of Tencent at the starting point.
（2）Lack of powerful follow-up games, and the newly launched games are light
Although Netease also launched many new games after the Yin and Yang division, such as bright mainland and the fifth personality, it has always been unable to copy the success of the Yin and Yang division at that time. These new games are basically suppressed by Tencent's glory of the king.
（3）Game R & D lacks IP works that can be adapted and relies too much on originality
Netease has always followed the route of high-quality products and self-research, which has many benefits, high user retention rate and good user stickiness. However, over reliance on self-research has led to a long R & D cycle and slow product update speed of Netease games, which greatly limits the profitability and scale of enterprises.
Compared with Netease, Tencent has mastered huge IP resources and diversified IP types. Tencent can use these IPS to constantly collide with games, with short profit cycle and fast realization speed.
Netease has many internal difficulties and external threats. In addition to its old rival Tencent, today's headlines also try to get a share in the game market.
Today's headlines to enter the game industry is not news. Today's headlines have launched a game platform on the Android version to cooperate with the game players. Although it is not independently developed, it can reveal the ambition of today's headlines in the game industry. This game platform may only be a small step in testing the water of the game industry.
As a super traffic portal, today's headlines, once you really want to develop mobile games, it doesn't seem to be a big problem. So what should Netease do in the face of such a severe internal and external environment?
（1）Game centric,Create a game IP ecosystem
The successful creation of the game IP of Yin Yang division is a good enlightenment for Netease games. The profit of the game is not limited to krypton gold in the game. The surrounding and derivative products also have broad profit space. Compared with the intuitive game revenue, the cultural value brought by IP derivative works is immeasurable.
Therefore, Netease should pay more attention to the creation of game IP ecosystem, which can not only prolong the life cycle of the game, but also an important profit channel. Take the game as the center, manage the circle culture, comprehensively build the game IP, and successfully realize the commercial expansion while feeding the game.
（2）Pay attention to overseas markets and seize the demographic dividend
Although Netease game has not been very smooth in China in the past two years, its way to sea is very smooth. According to public information, in early 2017, Yin Yang master took the lead in going to sea and won the top five in Japan's IOS + Android comprehensive download list for two consecutive months. Operation wilderness is mediocre in China. After it was launched in Japan, it has topped the best-selling list of Japanese app store for many times. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" topped the game download list of 59 countries around the world after its overseas release. Since last year, Netease has also successfully defeated Tencent and become the first Chinese game publisher in terms of overseas revenue.
Compared with China, Tencent's social advantages abroad are not obvious, but more competition at the level of game products and operations. This is the least afraid and most confident place for Netease, which focuses on self-research and high-quality products. Although there are many overseas users in today's headlines, it has not entered the game industry and the overseas market has not been established.
Therefore, for Netease games, the overseas market is an important market that it must not miss. Netease should also speed up the pace of going to sea, quickly seize the demographic dividend and gain a firm foothold in the overseas market as soon as possible.
In short, Tencent and Netease, as leading enterprises in the domestic game field, the fierce competition between them is inevitable. The fierce competition will only make the game industry better and better.
Although Netease is now in a declining state, it does not mean that Netease has no possibility of turnover. The world is changing rapidly, and so is the game industry. Therefore, who loses and who wins cannot be determined. Tencent and NetEase have opportunities.
Wen Xiaoqian, Internet observer, columnist of dozens of science and technology media, please indicate the copyright for reprint