What made "Original God" become "the best game competitor never thought of"?
"The Original God" is still on fire.
Since the first promotional video was released in 2019, this open-world adventure game has attracted much attention and controversy: the stunning art performance and open-world gameplay are unique in the world; but some game mechanics, actions and other content are similar to the classic Switch game " The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is similar, plagiarism and accusations are endless, and it has been given the nickname of "recovering the work of God".
On the eve of National Day, the developer Mihayou officially launched "The Original God" to the global market. Prior to this, the number of reserved players for the game had reached 20 million, of which 5 million came from overseas markets.
Picture from Weibo "PlayStation China"
图片来自微博《 PlayStation China》
This young game company founded in 2012 has great "ambitions" for "Original God".
In addition to mobile devices, "Yuan Shen" has also landed on the PC and PS4 platforms at the same time. In the future, it will also land on Nintendo Switch. Players can experience this game on mobile phones, computers and game consoles at the same time. This grand posture is also rare in the domestic gaming circle.
Judging from the current results, "Original God" did not disappoint Mihayou.
In the first week of the game's launch, the single-week global revenue of "Yuan Shen" on the mobile terminal has exceeded the previous most successful overseas game "PUBG Mobile (PUBG Mobile).
在游戏发布的第一周，“元神”在移动终端上的单周全球收入已经超过了之前最成功的海外游戏“ PUBG Mobile（PUBG Mobile）”。
According to statistics from the data agency App Annie, the number of global downloads of the mobile terminal alone has exceeded 23 million after the launch of "Yuan Shen" within a week. According to the statistics of the data agency Sensor Tower, "The Original God" has reached 60 million U.S. dollars in the App Store and Google Play, ranking second in the world, second only to the national mobile game "Glory of the King" with 64 million U.S. dollars.
根据数据机构App Annie的统计，在“圆神”发布一周之内，仅移动终端的全球下载量就已超过2300万。根据数据机构Sensor Tower的统计，“原始神”在App Store和Google Play上已达到6000万美元，排名世界第二，仅次于国家手游《王者荣耀》。 6,400万美元。
Picture from SensorTower
Among them, only 58% of revenue comes from the domestic market, with Japan and the United States ranking second and third. And this statistics does not include the domestic Android platform, as well as the global PC, PS4 platform revenue.
App Annie analysts said in an interview with foreign media that it was a "miracle" to achieve such results in the US market when "Yuan Shen" was launched. Prior to this, only high-recognition IP-backed mobile games could quickly achieve such great success, such as "Pokémon GO" and "PUBG Mobile".
App Annie分析师在接受外国媒体采访时表示，“元神”推出后，在美国市场取得这样的成绩是“奇迹”。在此之前，只有高知名度的IP支持的手机游戏才能迅速取得如此巨大的成功，例如“PokémonGO”和“ PUBG Mobile”。
In China, the "Original God" market has performed strongly and has been recognized and "tap water" by some major anchors.
PDD, a former e-sports player and well-known game anchor, often plays "The Original God" on live broadcasts recently. The live audience questioned whether he had charged the endorsement fee, and he clarified that he had no cooperation with Mihayou. He also revealed that the Douyu platform would not let him live broadcast "Yuan Shen", and that it was not counted as the duration of the live broadcast. The reason was that the game is still in the promotion period and is not an official live broadcast project.
PDD曾经是电子竞技玩家，也是著名的游戏主持人，最近经常在直播中播放“ The Original God”。现场观众质疑他是否收取了代言费，并澄清说自己与Mihayou没有合作。他还透露，斗鱼平台不会让他现场直播“圆神”，并且不算作现场直播的持续时间。原因是该游戏仍处于促销期，不是官方的直播项目。
Live PDD of "The Original God"
However, on domestic social media, the word-of-mouth of "Original God" seems to have formed a huge gap with its successful market performance.
On the game community TapTap, "The Original God" is firmly ranked first on the hot play list, but the score is only 4.8/10. In addition to the previous plagiarism controversy, "less benefits" and "low shipment rate" have become the main incentives for bad reviews.
在游戏社区TapTap上，“原始神”在热门游戏列表中稳居第一，但得分仅为4.8 / 10。除了以前的窃争议之外，“较少的好处”和“较低的发货率”已经成为不良评论的主要诱因。
As a game that acquires characters by drawing cards, "Yuan Shen" did not send out too many drawing props at the beginning of the test, and the progress of acquiring resources in the game is also slow. The highest-level five-star items (characters and weapons) are obtained at a rate of 0.6%, and 90 consecutive draws can be guaranteed. Many people have not collected a five-star character after playing for a few days, making players call "cannot bear".
Although the currently gifted characters in the game are enough for players to play normally, there is no such thing as a “pass without spending money”. However, in an era when card games with “rich benefits” as a selling point are everywhere, the original The "pull" of "God" makes many players unacceptable.
Figure cut from TapTap
At the same time, "Yuan Shen" has also suffered a certain degree of controversy in overseas markets due to the "banned characters" and anti-plugging storms.
The former was attacked by some extreme players as "restricted freedom of speech" because the overseas version of "Yuan Shen" used the same sensitive word shielding mechanism as the domestic version when it was launched, plus its identity as a Chinese game. The latter is because the anti-plug-in tool of the PC version of "Yuan Shen" continues to run to obtain data after the game is closed, which is suspected as "spyware". After the "negative" broke out, Mihayou urgently fixed the anti-plug-in tool problem and apologized to the player.
"Fortunately", these controversies do not seem to have a direct impact on "Original God". In addition to the dazzling data, the overseas game media "Inverse" even praised "Yuan Shen" with 9/10 points, calling it "the best game competitor of the year never expected."
Figure cut from Inverse
App Annie analysts and some other overseas media believe that the game design of "Yuan Shen" is the key reason for its initial success.
Its design is embodied in two aspects. One is that "The Original God" provides an open world gameplay with a unique art style on the basis of the common free play and card draw in China. The other is that it provides a powerful picture performance close to a 3A masterpiece. .
"Open world" has been the most discussed word in the global gaming circle in recent years. With the popularity of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it has been recognized by more players. It corresponds to the traditional linear process mechanism. In the latter type of game, players usually follow the task route designed by the developer and experience a complete story, like a movie with a starting point, turning point, climax and ending.
But open world games are different. It usually has a big main line, but the developer will provide a larger and more free game world, allowing players to choose what type of content to experience.
When making open world games, "degree" is important. Once the developer does not grasp the degree of "openness", it is easy for players to lose their sense of purpose during the game, because the most attractive part of the game is the positive feedback gained after achieving small goals. Because the degree is difficult to grasp, to this day, there are not many successful open world games like Breath of the Wild.
Scarcity keeps players from all over the world enthusiastic about open world games. "The Original God" was released in a free form based on part of the open world experience of "Breath of the Wild", and its market appeal is self-evident.
Characters in "The Original God" / intercepted from the official website
But if "The Original God" had only plagiarism and imitation, players would also vote with their feet. There have been too many cases in the past. For example, in those years when "DNF" was popular, there were several imitators who were almost completely similar. Although the companies behind these games have spared no effort in making various marketing announcements, the players did not buy it in the end.
What really makes "Original God" the "Original God" comes from two aspects.
On the one hand, it stems from the improvement and innovation of the existing open world gameplay. Each character's attack in the game will have a kind of element attribute, there are 7 kinds of them, and different attributes will produce various effects when superimposed together. For example, using the wind element to attack an enemy with ice element will trigger a "diffusion" reaction, which will cause an ice element damage to all nearby enemies. If the fire element is used instead, the "melt" reaction will be triggered, doubling the damage of subsequent attacks.
Elementary Response Table of "The Original God"
This unique "elemental reaction" gameplay broadens the depth of gameplay and at the same time allows "Original God" to get rid of the shadow of other games to a certain extent.
On the other hand, "Yuan Shen" uses a combination of "two-dimensional cute style" and "open world", which is not common in the console game field. While this unique style of painting has attracted a large number of players, it has also spawned many secondary creations, intensifying the long tail effect of game spread.
On Twitter, the one-eyed male character "Kaiya" unexpectedly became popular, and a large number of fan works were born, although the female characters in "Original God" accounted for the majority. A Twitter netizen made a short video of Kaiya, claiming that it was his "boyfriend"; a Japanese netizen even put Kaiya and another popular male character Di Luke together to make a video 3D dance video (MMD).
在推特上，独眼的男性角色“ Kaiya”出人意料地流行，并且诞生了许多粉丝作品，尽管“原神”中的女性角色占了大多数。一个推特网民拍了一段Kaiya的短片，声称是他的“男朋友”。一位日本网友甚至将Kaiya和另一个受欢迎的男性角色Di Luke在一起制作了3D舞蹈视频录像（MMD）。
Fan creation of Twitter netizens
In addition to the quality of the game, the announcement of Mihayou is also believed to have played a role.
In the domestic market, the plagiarism controversy in the first promotional video has been enough to let enough players know the game "Original God". Other unbelievable news such as "After a man knew that Mihayou had cooperated with Sony, he ran to the CJ Sony booth to smash PS4 to show his contempt" and other unbelievable news, also made a lot of heat for this game.
在国内市场，第一个促销视频中的the窃争议足以让足够多的玩家知道“ Original God”游戏。其他令人难以置信的消息，例如“在一个人知道Mihayou与Sony合作之后，他跑到CJ Sony的摊位砸碎PS4以示对他的蔑视”，以及其他令人难以置信的消息，也为这款游戏带来了极大的热情。
As for the overseas market, Mihayou has also accumulated a lot of publicity experience, and its mobile game "Benghuai III" has achieved good results in the Japanese market. The maturity of various aspects makes "Original God" become popular on a global scale in the early stage.
在海外市场，Mihayou也积累了很多宣传经验，其手机游戏“ Benghuai III”在日本市场取得了不错的成绩。各个方面的成熟使“原始神”在早期就在全球范围内流行起来。
On domestic social media, many players have a negative attitude towards the early success of "Original God". According to this view, "The Original God" provides a shortcut: game manufacturers do not need to innovate in the future, they only need to move the model of classic console games to mobile games to achieve success. But from the perspective of the game industry, some market analysts believe that the current success of "Original God" may have a significant impact.
Analysts at App Annie believe that "Original God" proves that the core experience of a console game can also be obtained on the mobile terminal, which makes the distance between the two tracks of mobile games and console games no longer so absolute. This vague sense of distance may give birth to more interesting new things in the future.
In China, some people believe that the early success of "Original God" can make domestic game companies more confident in the development of open world mobile games.
In terms of game development costs, ordinary two-dimensional mobile games have successful business models, and development costs are lower. The characteristics of open world games require game companies to produce enough content and large enough maps so that players have the right to explore and choose freely. Therefore, the development cost of open world games is relatively high.
Characters in "The Original God" / intercepted from the official website
Liu Wei, the president of Mihayou, once revealed that the research and development investment of "Original God" has exceeded 100 million US dollars, and the research and development cost of a master mobile game on the market is often between millions and tens of millions of US dollars. Comparing the two, this makes many game companies cautious in investing in open world games. The success of "Original God" undoubtedly brings certain expectations and references to investors' future investment psychology.
On the other hand, the success of "Yuan Shen" has also been discussed in the market and may affect the layout of the existing domestic mobile game channels.
In the gaming industry, the channel party that owns an app store is usually the strongest party. After a mobile game is on the app store, it needs to pay the channel party a certain percentage of the turnover. The App Store’s share ratio is 30%, while the domestic Android App Store’s share ratio is as high as 50%.
在游戏行业中，拥有应用商店的渠道聚会通常是最强大的聚会。在应用商店上移动游戏结束后，它需要向渠道方支付一定比例的营业额。 App Store的份额为30％，而国内Android App Store的份额高达50％。
In view of this, "The Original God" and Lilith's new game "The Awakening of Nations" abandoned the mobile app stores of Huawei and Xiaomi, and instead only landed on third-party app stores such as TapTap. The reason is that as an app store and game community, TapTap does not charge a small amount of revenue, and only relies on advertising to monetize, and the platform has accumulated many hard-core mobile game players.
In this way, the strong market performance of "Original God" makes the market position of the Android app store embarrassing: they seem to be less necessary.
However, no matter how "popular", as an online game that requires long-term operation, whether "Yuan Shen" can become the next "game evergreen tree", there are still many problems, and the most important thing is to keep the content changing quickly. One ring.
In the world view of "Original God", there are a total of 7 city-states, each enshrining seven gods with different attributes. Today's game only launched two city-states, Mond City, which enshrines "Aeolus" and Liyue Port, "Rock God", and the progress has not yet reached half of the set. After players reach level 35, they lack enough new content to continue playing.
Intercepted from official website
During the National Day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, "Yuan Shen" did not launch any festival activities, which caused dissatisfaction among many players. To this end, the official issued an apology, mentioning that all the energy was spent on anti-plugging, bug fixes and other work to maintain the stability of the game, and promised to update a major version every 6 weeks in the future.
Several years of research and development by Mihayou have made "Original God" the first step right. Looking at the world, the combination of the second dimension and the open world is sufficiently innovative. But if Mihayou wants players to continue to linger in this world, they must continue to produce game content that rivals the public beta quality. "Original God" is different from competitive games, all content is often no longer attractive after being consumed by players.
Persistence is often the most difficult. It's time to witness Mihayou's R&D internal strength together.
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