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Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?

Game matrix 2024/06/07 14:18

In May of this year, a game produced by South Korea's Netmarble, "I Upgrade Alone: Stand Up" (hereinafter referred to as "Stand Up"), rushed to the top of the best-selling list in more than 30 countries around the world on the first day of its launch. According to the data, the DAU on the first day of the game's public beta exceeded 5 million, and the revenue reached 14 billion won (about 74 million yuan). This data, even compared with the previous first-day launch results of "Genshin Impact" and "Star Iron", is not false. Netstone's CEO also publicly stated: "(Game revenue) far exceeded expectations and was the highest sales in the company's history." However, it is not difficult to find that the "Stand Up" game itself has no major innovations, and the popularity of the game can be said to come entirely from the original IP "I Upgrade Alone" (hereinafter referred to as "I Alone"). "I Du" was originally just an online cool article serialized on KakaoPage in South Korea, but it evolved into a global IP in just a few years, not only entering Japan and becoming a phenomenal comic, but also becoming a representative of "East Asian Shuangwen" in Europe and the United States. However, when this IP is transmitted to China, especially for students who have been accustomed to reading the starting point online articles since childhood, everyone has long been surprised by this kind of system flow and cool text, and they don't understand why such a "mediocre" work can be so popular overseas. The results of the launch of the adapted game make people see that overseas fans are not only shouting to support the work, but also paying real money. On the other hand, although our online articles have always claimed to be "one version ahead of the world", it has not been smooth to go overseas, and there has not yet been a phenomenon-level IP that has become popular all over the world (can "The Three-Body Problem" be counted as an online article). And the lack of IP popularity has also led to the lack of overseas revenue capacity of our online text adaptation games, and we lost to the ACG that went overseas. And the success of "I Alone" shows that Long Aotian's cool text has a market in the world. But why was this bite of meat eaten by the Koreans first? Copying the Korean experience, can our Shuangwen also eat this bite of meat? To answer this question, we must first look at how South Korea is doing.

Han Man's cheats for going to sea: Looking for the greatest common divisor "I Alone" is out of the circle, relying not on online texts but on adapted comics. On the one hand, the comics are colored in full color, relying on excellent picture quality and focusing coolness to attract fans. On the other hand, comics took the capital express of Piccoma, a Korean comic platform for going overseas, and went to sea with the task of "rolling the Japanese to death with full-color + high-quality bars". In the end, "I Alone" relied on the high picture quality and compact plot that the author exchanged for his life to gain a foothold overseas, and became one of the representatives of Korean comics' industrialization. However, high image quality is only the hardware foundation for the success of "I Alone", and its global explosion also benefits from its creative methodology of finding the "greatest common divisor". In order to minimize the threshold for readers from different cultural backgrounds to understand the work, the background setting of "I Alone" tries to copy the real world as much as possible, and the main axis of the plot revolves around the male protagonist getting the "plug-in system" step by step to upgrade and fight monsters to save the world, and try to cut out the details that have nothing to do with it. For this reason, the author also abandoned the harem-like scenes of multiple heroines that often appear in Japanese comics, so that the protagonist's three views are as close to universal values as possible, and their feelings are more single-minded. Although "opening a harem" is the traffic password for many male-oriented works, when a work wants to face a larger pan-user, it is safer to choose the three views of emotional single-mindedness. "I Alone" relied on this to widen the distance between itself and the "Japanese-style toilet paper novel", giving birth to a sense of luxury. In order to further expand the overseas market, "I Du" also carried out in-depth localization transformation after leaving South Korea. For example, the Japanese and Chinese versions of the manga have changed the main characters with more local names (Shun Mizushi, Cheng Zhenyu, Cheng Xiaoyu). The lack of uniform names is actually not conducive to the long-term dissemination of IP, but "I Alone" abandoned these for the sake of localization. This localized idea of the beginning of different versions of the manga has been carried over in both the anime adaptation and the game adaptation. For example, in the same text, the Japanese and Korean dubbing will emphasize that the story takes place in their own country, in order to make it easier for the audience to substitute. Of course, among all the overseas markets, "I Du" pays the most attention to the Japanese market. The manga IP side not only cooperated with the Japanese side to produce the animation, but it was broadcast worldwide in January this year, and has decided to produce a second season. The focus of overseas advertising before the launch of the game was also in Japan. However, even if the localization is to this extent, the tendency of the original work of "I Du" to "praise Korea and belittle Japan" still affects the spread of IP in Japan to a certain extent. During the broadcast of the animation, some Japanese netizens dug up some "insulting Japanese" content in the original Korean work to attack, coupled with problems such as the slow pace of the animation, which finally made many Japanese viewers give the animation a bad review. The "praise of Korea and depreciation of Japan" here refers to the plot routine of the Korean protagonist in the original work who trampled hunters from Japan, the United States and other countries under his feet in order to be cool for a while. This kind of routine belongs to the "traffic password" in South Korea, and going to sea will become a time bomb. How well the author absorbs traffic in his own country, how big the fireworks will be after going to sea. Just like "I Alone", even though it has done so much localization work in Japan, using animation production to tie Japanese investors into a community of interests, and even changing the nationality of the protagonist to Japan, it has still been counterattacked. However, "I Alone" did not play this rhythm when it was serialized in China, which is inseparable from the original author's clever bypassing of the head-on conflict with Chinese hunters. Even after a long time, the comics' ranking on platforms such as Kuaikan and Station B is still not low.Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?

Shuangwen paves the way, and it is estimated that it will be difficult to recover the animation of "I Alone" in Japan, but this is not important, because Han Man has explored a new monetization idea over the years, that is, to use comics and animation to pave the way for IP to expand its voice, and then use games to complete the commercial harvest. "I Alone" is one of the most successful cases of this business model so far. And a large part of the reason for its success is due to the fact that the comic itself realizes the screening of the target group. The core of "I Am Alone" is Shuangwen. The work is a "game" from the setting, and the entire value system is also born from online games, such as dividing dungeons and hunters into different levels of ABCD, completing more tasks can get more rewards, and so on. Most of the audiences who like such a setting and can get a refreshing feeling from it agree with the values of "fighting monsters and upgrading", and they are naturally easy to accept the krypton logic of numerical online games. In other words, the original IP has already selected users for the game, and the adaptation of the game does not need to spend additional costs to "convince" users of kryptonite, just restore the original work and provide users with the expected coolness. Even hindering the spread of the original IP in Japan, the "praise of Korea and depreciation of Japan" can become a "national hunter competition" in the game, and become an important krypton gold point. This also shows that Shuangwen and Krypton online games are essentially two sides of the same coin, and there are many values in common. In addition, "I Alone" also enjoyed the dividends of political correctness in Europe and the United States. In recent years, Europe and the United States, influenced by political correctness, have kicked popular culture such as Shuangwen to the bottom of the chain of contempt, creating a public opinion that "there are suitors who disdain to consume low-grade cultural products". As a result, the producers of European and American cultural products (authors/screenwriters/artists) are under all kinds of pressure, and would rather suffer commercial losses than take the initiative to produce products that satisfy the sense of refreshment. And the rise of Korean comics such as "I Am Du" is to seize the vacancy of Europe and the United States ignoring the real needs of users, and kill a way. This is like Shift Up's "Sword Star" can sell well overseas, relying on breaking the prison of political correctness, which has been recognized by overseas players. However, South Korea's methodology for finding a "global common divisor" is not without cost. The biggest cost is the short life cycle of IP that has been spawned in this way, and it relies heavily on capital boosts. And even so, the success rate of incubating top IPs is still not high. Even Netstone, which has always focused on IP games going overseas, cannot guarantee success every time. Last year, the IP "Tower of God: New World", which was also adapted from Korean comics and had animated promotion, did not show off its performance, which dragged down Netstone's company performance in 2023 and led to losses. Netstone's previous products such as "The Seven Deadly Sins: The War of Light and Darkness" and "Marvel: Future War" can be profitable, relying on the influence of the IP itself enough. However, none of these IPs belong to South Korea, and Wangshi is just a worker. So for Netstone, and even for the whole of South Korea, they need local IPs like "I Alone" too much. In a sense, "I Alone" can also be said to be praised by South Korea's upstream and downstream enterprises "with all their strength". The capital side also knows that the IP that is held out in this way is like a tree without roots, and it is difficult to say how much influence it will leave in five or ten years. But for the capital side, instead of betting on genius authors to create masterpieces, it is better to cultivate a group of involution people of similar level, even if a single hit cannot last, as long as the involution continues, the next hit can always be held. And the creator is just a replaceable part. DUBU, the author of the comic strip "I Alone", died early due to continuous high-intensity work at the age of 37. And the intensity of work like DUBU is commonplace in South Korea. The Korean platform may really use the author as a consumable. If one doesn't work, replace the next.Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?

Study Korea? There is no need to write here, we can roughly see the success of "I Alone": extreme involution, capital boost, not output culture but accurate screening of users. For the capital and platform side, "I Alone" is not unique, but replaceable. is like the protagonist in the original comics, it can be Cheng Xiaoyu, or any ordinary person who is selected by the system. Whether the protagonist can win from the crisis tasks again and again depends on the protagonist's ability. However, the protagonist in the story has a plug-in and an aura, and the real people are just consumables. The reason why South Korea embarked on such a road to the king of the volume also has its helplessness, that is, South Korea's local market is narrow, and the country's population of more than 50 million is still extremely involuted. In such a context, going to sea is inevitable. And in order to get a piece of the global competition, there is no other way but involution. This kind of business model at the expense of squeezing creators may not be worth learning from. We already have a huge domestic market, which is enough to feed a large number of creators. Our online articles are "not active" because there is no need for that. Many of the needs of domestic readers have not been met, and many creators do not have to work hard to please overseas users. Taking a step back, at this stage, we don't need to prove our strength with an IP like "I'm Du" like South Korea. The model of using games to recover commercial value is actually very risky and unsustainable in the long run. And our online articles can take more diverse paths when they go to sea, such as the short dramas that frequently bloom overseas this year, and the script routines are born from online articles, isn't it also doing well? In the final analysis, China's biggest advantage is that it has a large market of 1.4 billion people. If a Korean creator discovers that he has 1.4 billion Korean speakers, he will probably wake up laughing from his dreams. However, if they don't, this anxiety will give birth to the extremely involuted pop culture, and "I Am Alone" is the product of this anxiety culture. In contrast, we have a larger market, a more diverse culture, and our online articles are now free from the anxiety of the early years and are presenting more diverse themes. Our creators have a choice, and they also have the confidence to refuse to be kidnapped by capital. When South Korea is using the power of the whole country to incubate an IP, our original two-dimensional game has been killed at the doorstep of South Korea, which scared the Korean people to talk about "restricting the distribution of Chinese games in South Korea". Of course, many of the methodologies used by South Korea to incubate global IP are still worth learning from in China. For example, when game manufacturers choose IP cooperation, giving priority to IP that can help screen users can obviously get twice the result with half the effort. For example, how to lower the threshold of understanding when the project goes to sea, and how to avoid burying mines in the product are also a science. The characteristics of Shuangwen determine that the IP of Shuangwen will inevitably iterate at a high speed. "I Alone" did win one round, but whether it can continue to win is the cultural production capacity of China, Japan and South Korea.Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?Game matrix, Korean games have robbed Chinese specialties again?

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