In 2021, the second dimension is still a popular track for the game industry’s battle investment. At that time, among the 176 investments and financings of known investment categories in the industry, the second dimension accounted for nearly 30%. However, in less than a year, the two-dimensional track craze has subsided, not only the number of investment and financing has decreased, but also the number of two-dimensional games that have been discontinued or terminated from development are gradually increasing.
According to the rough statistics of the game top, as of now, there have been nearly 30 two-dimensional products or projects that have been discontinued, planned to be discontinued, or discontinued in development in China, such as “The Labyrinth of the Moon God”, “Empty Box Man”, “Amber Effect” and “Magic Book” Revelation, Apocalypse of Eden, From Deep Space, etc. The reason is nothing more than policy, version number, cost, competition, etc.
As a result, although the distribution of version numbers this year has entered the norm, the number is still less than the same period last year. In the case of limited resources, game manufacturers need to “cut” and focus on projects with controllable income; secondly, the phenomenon of oligopoly in the domestic two-dimensional game market has emerged, the core-oriented two-dimensional game market has become saturated, and the threshold for new products to enter the game High, difficult, iterative tasks for old games are heavy, and marketing is “invoked”.
In the ever-narrowing environment, the test is not only the ability of new games to break through, but also the long-term vitality of old games. Especially for old games, how to refine purchase volume and long-term operation has become a topic that major game manufacturers must think about.
In the field of two-dimensional games, Shanghai’s game manufacturers undoubtedly have more say. Recently, Game Top contacted CY, who is in charge of the online launch business of Yingjiao, the developer of “Tomorrow’s Ark”, to exchange views on the market overview of two-dimensional purchases, the marketing ideas of “Tomorrow’s Ark” and the creation of launch materials.
In his view, the competitive pressure of the big environment will eventually return to the game content itself. If game manufacturers have enough high-quality content, or game products are ahead of similar competing products, they can also “gain” in the stock market and get users ‘s approval. At present, the game “Tomorrow’s Ark” is based on the content management idea, and it is also based on content marketing.
“Tomorrow’s Ark” has been online for less than three and a half years, and the total cost of purchases has increased by about 30%
The “difficulty” of the game industry in the past two years is not only reflected in the peak user bonus and the scarcity of version numbers, but also in the purchase volume. The cost is high, the competition is great, the transformation is difficult, and individual tracks are even more “involutionary”. This can be clearly seen from the increase in marketing expenses and even erosion of profits of listed game companies in the past two years. Therefore, this year, many game manufacturers have begun to adjust their marketing strategies and explore diversified marketing forms.
As for the competition in the buying volume market and the rising cost, CY bluntly stated that the investment cost of the entire track has increased in the past two years, and everyone is in a stock market, and they are placed in the volume. In this case, costs are bound to rise, but not all tracks have risen significantly. “Currently, the Legend, Three Kingdoms, and SLG tracks have a relatively high degree of involution, and the investment costs of other game categories may be stretched by these tracks.”
In CY’s view, the buying competition of the two-dimensional track is not as high as that of Legend and SLG. The reason is that most of the two-dimensional games are content-based. With the support of content, the production of materials and ideas will be more. At present, there are few new games in the two -dimensional market that can suppress the traffic of old games in the early stage of launch. On the whole, the competition for buying volume within the second yuan is still at a relatively flat stage.
“Over the years, the launch cost of “Tomorrow’s Ark” has been relatively stable, and it has always been within a reasonable cost range. Since its first release, in less than three and a half years, the total purchase cost has increased by about 30%,” CY said. From the perspective of the general market, the increase of 30% in three and a half years is really not high, so how does “Tomorrow’s Ark” do in terms of volume marketing?
According to CY, “Tomorrow’s Ark” was launched in May 2019. At that time, the launch team of Eagle Horn Network had only been established for less than half a year, and it was built by him. “Tomorrow’s Ark” happened to be their first investment product.
Since it is the first self-developed product, their team basically uses the head vertical media and communities in terms of media budget, including Weibo, Tieba, Bilibili, TapTap, etc. The overall play is effect-oriented. As long as the effect is that they believe that the cost can be recovered or the LTV meets the expectations of the entire delivery cycle, they will not limit the consumption of media advertisements too much.
Customize the delivery strategy in stages, and use the platform to achieve the established goals
At the purchase level, they adopted the idea of customizing different delivery strategies in stages.
First of all, during the warm-up period, Eagle Horn Network found the difference between “Tomorrow’s Ark” through its own observation of similar products in the market.
From the beginning of the test, they chose to use the overall art style of the game as the base tone, such as cool tones, warm tones, etc., and conducted multiple rounds of material tests, and then made different design effects based on the preferences of the media and the community. CY said that at this stage, “Tomorrow’s Ark” has really enjoyed high-quality art dividends, and the overall test period has achieved good results.
Secondly, during the launch period, Eagle Horn Network did not carry out full media delivery throughout the day, but conservatively chose the core media of the two-dimensional track for maximum possible exposure.
In the process of exposure and delivery, the back-end effect is strictly controlled. “Other manufacturers can only put ROI at 5% on the first day, but we were quite stuck at that time. Basically, the ROI on the first day should be 10%, the second stay should be more than 45%, and the seventh stay should be more than 20% before considering the whole day. The full amount, so only the head media delivery is guaranteed in the early stage.”
Finally, during the outbreak period, based on the accumulation of a large amount of data in the above two stages, the delivery team carried out full-scale delivery on the entire platform.
During the delivery process, the delivery budget and strategy are continuously adjusted according to the feedback effects of the front-end and back-end data. It is worth mentioning that, in addition to the self-developed back-end data platform, the front-end data platform of Eagle Horn Network adopts the TrackingIO mobile advertising effect monitoring platform of Hot Cloud Data.
CY said that the reason for choosing Hot Cloud Data is that it has a wider coverage on the game track, and the technical cooperation and data presentation are in line with their positioning at that time. In the process of using the TrackingIO mobile advertising effect monitoring platform, CY really felt the advantages of the platform in channel monitoring, data and user behavior analysis.
First, TrackingIO has connected with various channels, opened up the whole link data, and can objectively evaluate the quality of channels.
Second, it can provide full-link data support in the stages of new customer acquisition, retention analysis, old customer recall, advertising monetization, and counterfeiting reduction.
Third, the presentation method of the data-based report is very intuitive, and the data report can be displayed in multiple dimensions such as ad group, ad design, and ad creative. In addition, there is a special 24-hour service, which is quite timely for the settlement of appeals.
From CY’s point of view, TrackingIO can effectively help manufacturers connect to the head monetization platform, and measure the advertising monetization revenue of users who purchase through major channels, so as to avoid the leakage of manufacturers’ core data. In addition, it can also screen various fake devices and fake data for manufacturers at the anti-cheating level, so that manufacturers can measure the real delivery effect and reduce the risk of mobile marketing.
With the help of this tool, Eagle Horn Network has a more precise control of various data, which may be one of the reasons for its relatively good cost control. Of course, the creation of materials is also indispensable.
Focus on content, design and produce materials according to media attributes
During the launch of “Tomorrow’s Ark”, the design of its materials was also different from the traditional mainstream.
Traditional mainstream materials may be based on market popularity, current events, and popular Internet memes, while “Tomorrow’s Ark” is mostly based on content settings. It is mainly divided into several major directions: first, highlight the art style of the game; second, combine the theme of the product to visualize the content of the product world view; third, explore the gameplay and camp characteristics of the product; fourth, fit the media attributes.
Regarding the media attributes, CY explained that the launch of “Tomorrow’s Ark” covers almost all platforms, but the core is still focused on media and communities with strong two-dimensional attributes, such as Weibo, Tieba, Bilibili, TapTap, etc. Therefore, corresponding material content will be produced based on media attributes, account types, and user portraits.
In addition, “Tomorrow’s Ark” is also exploring more diverse forms of delivery, such as producing serialized materials based on the game content, creating continuous advertisements through the main game storyline, mission camps and other content, or delivering KOL content.
CY said that if a product can be purchased continuously for two or three years, and considering the effect recovery, it must be inseparable from the content and story of the product.
Only content and stories can support long-term purchases. From the perspective of long-term product operation, game manufacturers must be familiar with the attributes of media users, and localize product content and stories on the basis of users, and then continue to iterate. Good effects are retained, and bad effects are reviewed. . Constantly do A/B side adjustments and output material content.
“I think that the entire domestic purchase volume will be in a stock state in the future, and the growth trend will not be large. Everyone may try to fight for material content and creativity. Of course, from the perspective of the whole track, there are also celebrity traffic play and KOL’s soft advertising placement. Wait.”
In short, at the level of purchase volume, we need to focus on core users on the basis of content, and then slowly penetrate into a wider group of young users. In the form of marketing from the core of the circle, and the explosion of purchases outside the circle, the audience of the product is as high as possible. At the level of material creation, it is necessary to design and produce according to the content, media, various channels, etc., and then observe the effect of materials and delivery through mobile advertising effect monitoring platforms such as TrackingIO, and analyze and formulate different strategies.
For content management-oriented manufacturers such as 2D games, it is undoubtedly more in line with the combination of content creation, content marketing, regular publicity, and purchase volume to form a closed loop, and then slowly grow their loyal user base. Manufacturer’s demands.
Of course, no matter how superb the marketing methods are, the improvement of content research and development capabilities is still the foundation for game manufacturers to break through the stock market. While thinking about marketing strategies and material production, we also need to strengthen the output capability of content. After all, the “content” battle in the future game market is inevitable.