some days ago,”
The game industry is hesitant 2022
“This article has been hotly discussed by many practitioners and players. However, Grape Jun found that many people’s discussions were still focused on Mihayou and “Yuan Shen”. Some players even said some very disturbing words for practitioners-the same is krypton gold, it is better to give krypton to “Yuan Shen” than to give krypton to other games. This statement points directly to a harsh reality: your users may have been robbed by the top product.
“Yuan Shen” is amazing, but then again, no matter how praised the children of other people are, they won’t be able to carry them away. Therefore, rather than “Why Mihayou can still grow”, it is more worthy of our attention, perhaps “why is the growth of our own games weak or even negative” – this is not only a problem of few new users, but in the current stock market , most products may also focus on the retention and activation of old users.
Of course, this kind of question is a required course for every project, and any senior operation can summarize a set of methodology. But today’s game quality is getting better and better, but there are still a large number of players who are constantly abandoning the pit and lamenting the environment of “game shortage”, which always seems to make people feel that something is wrong.
Grape-kun couldn’t fall asleep. After thinking about it for a few days, he realized that the essence of the problem was actually four words – “user management”.
Game companies and players, can they still
Let’s start with a phenomenon: In the past, players always liked to scold “spicy chicken planning”, but now there are obviously more people who have begun to blame “spicy chicken operation” as the main reason for the failure of the game and quit the pit. This is certainly not entirely the fault of the operation, after all, many accidents are force majeure.
But the problem is that sometimes even if it is a normal feedback suggestion, or a small problem (such as the appearance design is slightly different from the player’s expectations), a large number of players may madly write bad reviews, write small compositions, P pictures, and even Gradually fermenting into a big rhythm of the top ten hot searches, it seems that players and game companies have been enemies for many years, and the latter often can’t have a temper.
On TapTap, some players even adapted classics
Lines to criticize game makers…
But things shouldn’t be like this. At this point, we should have understood that there is a problem with the communication between the game company and the players. On the one hand, this is because players’ aesthetics and cognition are constantly evolving. Chen Xiangyu, CEO of Dreamworld, mentioned a very interesting detail to us: as soon as some internal beta players of “Kara Picchu” got started, they just listened to the gun. The sound immediately pointed out that their gun sense was not in place, which shows that many players are hard-core enough and can even give developers some advice.
On the other hand, you will find that the source of many accidents is the lack of a position that is easy to manage and communicate – the old version of “Terraria”, which was once represented by Dreamworld, is a typical case. It caused dissatisfaction among players due to the problem of paid design, and the TapTap score dropped all the way to 3 points after its launch. At that time, the official team also hoped to solve the problem in time, but once an accident occurs on the platform, it is easy to fall into the whirlpool of rhythm, and it is difficult to achieve effective communication – most of the time, the more they explain, the more angry players are. They will be “light and gracious”; and outside the platform, where do they find a large number of users and how do they communicate? That’s the only way to get scolded and apologize.
This experience gave Dreamland a painful experience and had a considerable impact on the company’s subsequent strategy. They realize that all companies are talking about “user-centric”, but in reality many people don’t even know how to connect and communicate with users. In the final analysis, if you want to have a close link with players, you must have a suitable and efficient user management system.
The traditional way of playing has now shown fatigue
Of course, this does not mean that the current game companies are not good at managing users. As long as you find a play style that suits you, many projects can still get along very well with players. For example, most projects now have basic operations such as building groups, building Weibo, WeChat public accounts, and video platform accounts. To a certain extent, this has almost become the standard for game operations. But the problem is that these traditional user management methods have their own strengths and weaknesses, and to take all positions and operate well, the cost and effort will go to the sea.
Let’s start from scratch: the first move is to build an official WeChat/QQ group. This may be the most traditional and widely used method. It does not require too high a threshold and can quickly attract a group of core players in the early stage. But people who have done group chats have probably felt how troublesome it is – each QQ group can hold up to 2,000 people, and the WeChat group is 500 people, and more than 200 people have to be pulled one by one. If the number of game users is slightly larger, the first step of building hundreds of groups to attract people will take a lot of time; and the second step of managing group chats requires a lot of human resources to operate.
Even if you have enough people, it is still difficult to really manage users by group chat, because most group chats develop to the end, because the interaction form is too simple, the role will still be attributed to blowing water chat, and simple chat cannot solve users management issues.
The second trick is to establish official accounts on social and content platforms, such as Weibo, WeChat official account, Xiaohongshu, and video platforms such as Douyin, Kuaishou, and Station B. These platforms can indeed gather a large number of players, and they are not as troublesome as pulling a group, but they all have one hard demand – content. If you can’t create interesting content for users, the official account becomes a tool for publishing announcements.
And if the content is to be rolled up, it is also a very deep knowledge. I believe that everyone will always pay attention to a few official game accounts that can be revitalized. The operation team behind them is no less than a professional content production team. Zenyou Technology, which specializes in chess and card games, even spent more than a year starting from scratch as an MCN, recruiting hundreds of talented, or articulate anchors who are good at creating program effects. After building a live broadcast ecosystem on Douyin, Zenyou finally achieved a contrarian growth that doubled its overall revenue in 2021.
More importantly, even if the content can be done well, the operation of these positions is not essentially the same as user management. On the one hand, it takes effort to create, which makes content accounts destined to be unable to communicate and interact with high frequency; On the other hand, the platform is always someone else’s, and content must be produced according to other people’s rules and tonality on any platform. No matter how strong your operational understanding is, the ultimate value created belongs to the platform – you can say that they are your fans, but in the end they are still users of Douyin, Kuaishou, and Station B.
These characteristics of the first two tricks gave birth to the third trick: to develop an app/mini program for players of their own products, to create their own community platform, or to open a server to enclose their own cuteness.
The difficulty of self-developed applications is obvious – R&D costs and technical difficulties are there. Except for manufacturers such as Tencent, NetEase, and Mihayou, there may be few projects that have made this determination. And opening the server may be a kind of replacement – such as setting up your own official channel on Fanbook and inviting players to join.
These two channels may be the most comprehensive form of user management that game companies can currently achieve. Relying on the advantages of flexible development functions, they can meet the complex needs of players better than the first two moves, and will become irreplaceable. The most direct example – such as the King’s Camp allows players to find people to form a team, check records, and read strategies directly in the app… Miyou Club integrates functions such as social networking, fan creation, peripheral purchases and so on.
Fanbook, QQ channel and other channels for opening servers mainly focus on “channel-based collaboration” – in fact, it is a model similar to Discord. exist
As we have introduced, this mode not only provides a chat place, but allows managers to implement various functions of complex apps through channels similar to chat windows one after another to meet the needs of various operating scenarios. Taking Fanbook as an example, you can provide feedback as an internal beta player on the test channel, provide content as a creator on the Erchuang channel, and even have a complete growth system and points exchange mall.
Under this management form, not only users can find their roles in the community, but the official can also easily achieve modularization and digitization of user management-compared to group chats and platform accounts, server opening can be more comprehensive and detailed. Collect operational data so managers can review the overall picture.
Compared with simple chat, this kind of community form is a kind of dimensionality reduction blow – a real community should be where everyone gets together for one thing, and everyone performs their own duties to participate in co-creation. This creates a sense of engagement and identity for everyone, which leads to a deeper connection between the user and the product.
In the end how to do user management?
After sorting out these types of play, we can think about how to manage users well. In general, the core of this matter is to maximize “interaction” and upgrade the community to a more complete form – if you can reach users with the highest frequency and highest dimension possible, and Not just one-way output, but an atmosphere that can create co-creation is probably the right way to open it.
You might wonder, is it really necessary for most projects to go through all the trouble in user management? To put it to the extreme, if it is a project that has been silent for many years, is it possible that the dead tree can still bring spring? ——In fact, there really is such a case, that is, the old game “Subway Surfer” that returned to the top of the free list inexplicably a while ago.
During community co-creation programs, Subway Surfers recruited thousands of creators. After the influx of a large number of creators, the official also gave guidance in the Fanbook channel, such as dismantling the basic characteristics of popular videos and introducing creative ideas, so as to guide active users to create content more effectively. With the gathering of such a batch of videos, the content of “Subway Surfers” began to gradually form popular labels on the platform and were recommended, so the dissemination of related content topics formed a positive cycle, and finally this old game from ten years ago was sent to you. to the top of the free list.
According to insiders, the project team had never figured it out before, thinking that “Subway Parkour” became popular again because it was unintentional. But later traced back to the source and pulled the data of Douyin for verification, only to find that the UGC boom driven by old users on Fanbook played a key role.
Of course, this kind of success may not be stably replicated, but it can at least remind many people of one thing – good user management can really make a big difference. Nowadays, everyone is doing everything possible to find growth, but it is equally important to deposit public traffic into self-built private domains in the era of stock, and lay a solid foundation for old users. When the traffic dividend gradually subsides, it will be particularly important to solve this pain point. Because this is a more important “people’s heart bonus” after the traffic bonus.
Game Grape Recruitment Content Editor,