Home About us

Is the mini-game getting its iPhone moment?

Game matrix 2024/06/07 13:55

Looking at the list of major games this year, the presence of mini games is becoming stronger and stronger, not only running to a new high in traffic, but also rising in profitability, showing a strong ability to attract money. The turnover of some head mini-games can even wrestle with medium and heavy games. The improvement of the profitability of Mini Games is related to many factors, such as the diversification of game types and the maturity of technology, which have made the boundary between Mini Games and traditional APP games more and more blurred, and continuous market education has also made users more and more willing to pay for Mini Games. And what supports all these changes is the increasing maturity of super APP platforms represented by WeChat and Douyin. Just as the emergence of the iPhone has changed the landscape of mobile games, does the maturity of the super APP platform also mean that the iPhone moment of mini games has arrived?

SLG, which has thick eyebrows and big eyes, also started a small game? Compared with the popular mini-games such as "Sheep" in the past, which is in line with the public's inherent impression of mini-games, a major change this year is that the genre of popular mini-games has begun to change. The SLG game "Endless Winter", which was just launched at the beginning of the year and topped the best-selling list of WeChat mini games in April, is a typical example. This is not a new product, but a national server version of Whiteout Survival, which was launched overseas as early as last year. "Endless Winter" performed well overseas last year, relying on the combination of side gameplay and novel themes to penetrate the overseas market, with a cumulative revenue of more than 500 million US dollars, second only to "Honkai: Star Dome Railway" among new products going overseas in 2023. The game returned to China this year, and did not directly launch the APP version, but chose to launch the WeChat mini game release. Throughout the first half of the year, users were able to see the game's advertising creatives in the information flow of WeChat platforms such as Official Accounts and Channels. At the same time, the game has also done a lot of advertising on the Douyin platform, introducing short video users to WeChat Mini Programs. With the combined traffic of the two platforms, the game has achieved an explosion in the number of users and revenue in just 5 months. With the help of the popularity of the mini game, the game was launched on the APP on May 31 and entered the TOP20 of the best-selling list in just 3 days, which can be described as a dream start as an SLG. In terms of gameplay, "Endless Winter" does not take the sub-gameplay idea of "big map set small game", but combines the gameplay with its own survival theme, deepens the operation and management elements in the process of base construction, and creates a stronger sense of substitution for players. For example, the early blizzard countdown, field exploration, and personnel allocation are all game mechanics that are closely integrated with the theme. Previously, many people felt that SLGs like "Endless Winter" were not suitable for small game platforms, on the grounds that SLGs had high payment requirements and picked users, and themes such as "Survival in the Last Winter" were prepared for overseas players, and they might not be successful in China. This judgment is based on past experience. On the one hand, the domestic SLG track itself is very volatile, and the user acquisition cost has been mentioned to be extremely high. On the other hand, many overseas SLGs are designed for overseas markets, and themes such as Western, Viking, gangsters, and even ants are customized for the tastes of Western players, and they naturally perform mediocre when placed in the national server. However, the success of "Endless Winter" on the Mini Program side has shattered these stereotypes. The traffic of the Mini Program has found new users for SLG, while the casual gameplay and theme packaging have retained these new users. The user portraits on the WeChat platform are very different from those of traditional APP channels, and they have not yet formed an inherent impression of SLG and are willing to try new products, which makes "Endless Winter" reduce a lot of pressure on the cost of delivery and achieve rapid new recruitment. And a large part of the low retention of SLG comes from social networking. The mini-gamified "Endless Winter" tries its best to reduce the social pressure of SLG players by reducing penalties, downplaying socialization, automatic teaming and other gameplay optimizations. Although this will reduce revenue, it will also result in higher retention, which can be said to be the right medicine for casual users, and contribute to the active community atmosphere of the game. And an active community is the best way to stimulate the willingness of big R players to pay.Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?

Platform: I have traffic, come quickly! It's no accident that Endless Winter is an SLG that has succeeded through mini-gamification. Looking back on the development history of SLG, you will find that most of the mainstream SLGs in mobile games started with browser games, with simple graphics and no plot, which is a low-cost and large choice for many start-ups. At that time, SLG did not have a "heavy" label. Therefore, the SLG on the mobile game side itself has its own casual genes, which can naturally attract light users. The main reason why SLG later embarked on a road of becoming more and more heavy is that in order to compete with other APP products for users, it has to constantly increase the production cost and content packaging. The rise of mini games has actually helped SLG regain its original intention and refocus on making the game itself fun. The growing user base of the mini game platform also solves SLG's anxiety of finding new users, so that SLG can find enough users to survive even if it chooses niche themes. And a diverse mini-game ecology is exactly what the platform needs. Since the beginning of this year, WeChat and Douyin have frequently held mini game conferences and released data reports. Both companies are happy to show their user portraits to the outside world, which in turn attracts more developers to settle in. There are quite a few interesting numbers in it. For example, the Douyin Mini Game report shows that the active users of IAA Mini Games account for 80% of the Douyin Mini Game market, and male users are the core paying group of Douyin Mini Games, with 38% of men paying and only 12% of women. The data of WeChat Mini Games is that the monthly active users of IAA Mini Games are close to 500 million, and the DAU has increased by 20% year-on-year. Male users account for 45% and female users account for 55%, among which the payment rate of male older users has seen a rapid growth. Of course, data is just a directional guide. The platform does not really hand over the old background of the user portrait, not to mention that there is a black box of information flow recommended by the algorithm in the middle, and developers have to try the product themselves if they really want to make money. However, blind attempts are not efficient, in addition to referring to the various data given by the platform, this year's mini game tide has also given us another angle - that is, to find experience from successful overseas products.Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?

The reason why "Endless Winter" has become an example of attracting attention for global users is that in addition to the point that "SLG also makes small games", another noteworthy point is that it breaks the curse of the return of foreign server games to China. Previously, there was a phenomenon in the mobile game circle, that is, the performance of mobile game national servers that performed well overseas was always average, especially for products that were biased towards casual puzzle categories. For example, McGee Taiwen's "McGee's Big Makeover" has achieved good results overseas, but at the end of last year, the national service was quietly launched, and the national service of "The Legend of the Mushroom Brave", which exploded overseas in 4399, can only be said to be not eye-catching. The same is true for games imported from overseas. Supercell hasn't been able to replicate the glory of Clash of Clans in China for a long time, and it's still unknown whether the latest bet on "Burst Squad" will succeed. Merge Mansion, the champion of overseas merger and elimination, has not yet launched the national server version of "Manor Merge" after many tests. One of the main reasons for this phenomenon is that manufacturers can't find their own users and don't know where China's casual players are. Overseas, especially in North America and Japan, where the game industry is more developed, the boundaries of the platform are clearer. Players will choose PC or console for mid-core games, and mobile for relaxation. There is always no shortage of casual games on the best-selling list of mobile games in North America, which reflects this user ecology. However, due to the different development processes of the domestic industry, all types of games were once concentrated on mobile phone platforms. The existence of a large number of medium-to-heavy games has squeezed the light casual games, so that the value of casual games has not been fully explored. Perhaps it is precisely for this reason that domestic casual games have accumulated a lot of potential energy, which has led to the explosion of mini games. The popular mini-games this year are no longer limited to traditional categories such as elimination and puzzles. Represented by "Seeking the Way" and "Hundred Refining Heroes", idle games have begun to be subdivided into different subcategories such as "unboxing like" and "mercenary group like"; Yishi's "This City Has Fertile Land" has become a representative of the theme of simulated management; Big Dream Longtu's "Shooting at Zombies" became a dark horse in May with the integration of tower defense placement gameplay; And IP-adapted mini-games such as Kaiying's "The Legend of Xianxia: A New Beginning" and Ledong's "My Name is MT" have also achieved a high ranking. From the observation of game products that have come out this year, we can feel that the player portraits on domestic mini game platforms have begun to overlap with European and American mobile phone users. This overlap, on the one hand, shows that the mini game platform has concentrated the leisure needs of domestic users and formed potential energy. On the other hand, it also shows that domestic medium-heavy games have achieved rapid development, and medium-heavy players have gradually been separated from mobile phone platforms. Medium-heavy games and light games are not zero-sum games, but complement each other. At a time when hardcore gamers are increasingly intolerant of hardcore games wasting their time with "mini-game" content, there is more use for pure casual games. However, for super apps such as WeChat and Douyin, they are a bit drunk to develop mini-games, not because they are drinking, but because they have greater ambitions. So, it may not be accurate for us to ask if the Mini Game is coming to the iPhone moment. Compared with the era of Jobs, in the future, without major technological changes, the role of hardware in user screening will gradually decrease, on the contrary, the user screening role of software platforms will become stronger. In other words, we can no longer judge the user's likes and dislikes and determine his needs based on which phone he uses. On the contrary, it is easier to grasp the user portraits of different apps such as WeChat and Douyin. What platforms such as WeChat and Douyin are doing the most now is to break the shackles of hardware on software, reach out to traffic farther away, and attract more users into the platform. For example, the WeChat computer side has been updated early, not only supporting users to open the applet on the PC platform, but also opening an online payment channel. Playing mini program games on the computer side is aimed at the fishing scene of migrant workers, which is essentially a replacement for traditional web games. And this need is much greater than imagined. According to the data distributed by WeChat, the commercialization scale of WeChat PC mini games has increased by 130% compared with last year, the user scale has increased by 55%, and the average PC time per capita is 3.9 times that of mobile and ARPPU is twice that of ARPPU. Whether it's PC or mobile, these revenues will be reflected in the best-selling list of Mini Games. Today's WeChat Mini Game list has become a cross-terminal list covering multi-platform user scenarios. This is not a trend of WeChat as one platform, all platforms are now "cross-end". Mini games have gotten rid of the inherent labels such as no need to download, poor graphics, and single gameplay, and have broken through hardware limitations to enter more usage scenarios, intending to fill all the fragmented time of players. In fact, the explosion of mini games responds to the traffic anxiety of super platforms. At present, it is difficult for any platform to imprison its own traffic through hardware means, and there is a traffic war between major platforms all the time. Therefore, even for defensive reasons, platforms must also lay out mini games to fill in possible traffic leaks at any time. In China, Meituan and Zhuan have tried to implant native mini game entrances in their apps, and Meituan also held a mini game conference at the beginning of this year to show the achievements of its three-year layout. Overseas, the latest news is that YouTube launched its own mini-game application platform Playables to all users at the end of May this year, and the first batch of games includes many classic mini-games such as "Angry Birds" and "Cut the Rope". Even Android emulator Blue Stacks wants to use cloud technology and other means to implement functions similar to WeChat mini games, as a way to compete with Tencent's cooperation with MicrosoftLaunched the PC version of the application treasure. It seems that mini-games will become an "infrastructure" of super platforms in the future. The attributes of mini games will no longer be divided by hardware dimensions such as mobile phones or PCs, but will become a mirror that reflects the value of platform users. The more popular the platform, the more likely it is to pop popular mini games, and the more vertical the platform, the more likely it is to pop mini games for subcultural audiences. It can only be said that the rise of mini-games is a phenomenon. The platform does not want to lose blood to its own traffic, and wants to make the traffic more efficient and monetized, which is the essence of the rise of mini games. Of course, for game developers, the competition between platforms will undoubtedly bring more opportunities. And this opportunity is not only at home, but also globally. As long as the war between platforms does not end, there will always be a chance for Mini Games to recreate a hit.Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?Game Matrix, has the game ushered in its iPhone moment?

This article is from Xinzhi self-media and does not represent the views and positions of Business Xinzhi.If there is any suspicion of infringement, please contact the administrator of the Business News Platform.Contact: system@shangyexinzhi.com