Tencent is a company that sells skins. This is ridicule.
But if you look at the development history of Tencent from the beginning, from QQ, WeChat to the glory of the king, you will find that this may be part of the fact. This penguin, whose mascot has changed skin wildly in recent years, may be the most skin-conscious Internet company in the world.
▲ The mascot penguin also changed skin
Relying on skin to make money, this is Tencent’s "traditional art"
When it comes to skins, everyone will start with "Zelda Kaitian", because the 1986 version of the original "Legend of Zelda" supports players to customize character names. When you can decide on the name of the character, the relationship between you and the character will be deeper, and the sense of substitution makes it possible for you to pay for the skin.
But the real appearance of skins in the game world was in 2006. "The Elder Scrolls IV" allowed players to spend $2.50 to purchase vest DLC, that is, skins. However, since the vest did not increase any attribute value, the DLC of this kind of texture was slammed by players. Of course, this may be unexpected to players with crazy "Krypton Gold" skins today.
But "The Elder Scrolls IV" is by no means the creator of the skin. After all, no one stipulates that the skin can only be in the game, so it can appear in the chat room earlier?
In 2002, Xu Liang, the early product manager of Tencent, saw a new social gameplay on the South Korean social networking site sayclub-using virtual avatars and clothing to give online users more personalized expressions. Affected by this, QQ show came into being. For Tencent, this is also an epoch-making product because they are starting to make money.
▲ Personalized expression of sayclub
As Tencent's first profitable business, QQ Show and QQ Fans together supported the initial commercialization of Penguin and brought dawn to this young company. And young people are also fascinated by this online skin, they change the match, change their expressions, and spend a lot of money to choose a luxurious background.
Friends, do you remember the distinguished Red Diamond members? Do you remember that QQ show is your fashion inspiration?
It is said that first love is always the most memorable, and the first pot of gold is also the most precious. Perhaps because the QQ Show had too much influence on Tencent, the business model that Tencent later chose was very similar to the original QQ Show-providing services for free and making money through paid props. This is not a game skin, but the gold-absorbing ability of this skin may be even stronger than the game skin.
▲ QQ show. Picture from: Coolplay Lab
The game skin is only useful when you choose the corresponding character when playing the game, but in QQ, the skin is not only used for your own personal character, but also used in QQ space. In this space to show their lives, users can decorate their homes. As long as you open a QQ yellow diamond, users can choose various pendants and themes, and even have exclusive music to show to friends.
That was the highlight of Tencent's PC-side business. This method of making money is simple and straightforward, allowing them to have good operating conditions.
But the times are rolling forward, and the once only profit point will be forgotten by more and more users as users change their habits. Beginning in 2016, the value-added services from the PC era such as Qzone and QQ Show no longer appeared in Tencent's annual report.
▲ Today's QQ space page is still very “age of the times''
But in another social software, the skin still exists.
In WeChat, even though you don’t need to spend money, you can change your profile picture and decorate your circle of friends. There seems to be little room for skin to play. But in the small details, the skin can still flex its muscles. The Nike shoebox base in "Jump"; McDonald's custom level in "Dancing Line"; enter the egg dropped by "Milinda" in the chat box.
▲ In order to buy this game skin, Nike spent 20 million. Picture from: Fortune Insight
These skins are not customized by users, but the cooperation of major brands has been well accepted by many users. The user knows this is an advertisement, but the user does not dislike it and behaves very positively. This B-side skin ability is most obvious on the cover of the company's red envelope. Users generally collect red envelope covers, from Gucci to cats and mice, from Xinhua News Agency to aliens, more and more brands have joined the red envelope distribution battle.
The brand is pleased to see the popularity of its promotional red envelopes, and users are delighted to see that the cover of the red envelope has one more choice, and WeChat can also hear the pleasant "WeChat payment is one yuan". With a product that satisfies all three parties, Tencent has proved that it is the penguin who knows the best red envelope skin.
▲Who doesn't have a few red envelope covers this Spring Festival?
This time, Tencent made corporate money, not user money. Personal customized red envelopes give you 10 free red envelopes, and a customized red envelope for one yuan for a company. From making user money to making business money, the goose has also grown.
Who said Tencent does not have 2B genes? Under the influence of skin DNA, Tencent's 2B business is also shining.
Propaganda routines are familiar, skin is fashionable
After talking about the skins of QQ and WeChat, I have to mention the "Glory of the King" that MOBA games can't get around, because its ability to attract gold is terrifying.
In 2016, "King of Glory" exploded. According to legend, the highest daily turnover of the game reached 200 million , and the monthly turnover exceeded 3 billion. This is the first year of "Glory of the King". In contrast, the veteran game "League of Legends" in the same year also made only 1.8 billion US dollars from the skin.
▲ Although the assassin Qiyana and LV have joint skins, in terms of skin sales, "Glory of the King" seems to know better
That was the first year of "King of Glory", and more skin records will be refreshed in the future. For example, Zhao Yun's "Engine Heart" skin, which is a collaboration between King Glory and BMW, is said to have sold 150 million. During the epidemic quarantine last year, the news that "King Glory" had a single-day revenue of more than 2 billion .
There is no doubt that skin is an important revenue point that cannot be ignored in the revenue of "Glory of the King". Tencent's understanding of skins is also inseparable from selling well.
How did a trendy fashion product become a hit? Scarcity, lottery, expensive, fashion elements, and internet celebrity endorsements, they may all have them. And this mode, "King of Glory" played very skillfully.
▲ Special discount event for King Glory-Mystery Store
Skin breaking news has become a habit. Before the official launch, players already knew how this skin special effects are, satisfying curiosity while leaving room for modification.
Before the skin goes on sale, the head anchor will carry the goods. This is the online celebrity carrying goods that fashion brands are looking for, and the goal of carrying goods is very accurate.
The limited skins have to come several times a year, and the limited sale stimulates the desire to buy, so that you will miss it no longer.
There is also a vote for the skin to return to the scene. Players turn into fans to solicit votes for their favorite hero skin.
If you replace the aforementioned Glory of the King with Nike, you will find that the logic of the two is almost the same, returning, voting, lottery… It’s just that Nike sells the "skin" you wear, while the Glory of Kings sells it. The skin on the screen.
▲ In order to get the chance to buy skins, players have to canvass for votes. Picture from: Official Weibo of King Glory
There is also a joint name for the same routine. Perhaps most players will not "double cook ecstasy", but an ordinary skin with an IP overlay has more value.
The DC movie "Wonder Woman" and the hero Athena are co-branded; the characters in "A Westward Journey" cooperate with the heroes of the Canyon; Bandai official designer Akutsu Junichi personally designed the skin of the mecha Monkey King. On the skin, IP fusion cannot be bought at a loss and cannot be fooled.
▲ The skin of collaboration between Monkey King and Luna
There are also skins that are automatically gifted by buying a certain noble level. Isn't this a brand member? Buying Noble Eight can get exclusive luxury limited leather. May I ask what is the difference between this and the ladies buying and matching goods at Hermes, only to buy Birkin bags?
In order to get a beloved skin, someone will really swipe the lottery pool, just to get a noble level.
Points lottery, limited discounts, "Glory of the King" even succeeded in creating fifty-five black festivals relying on skin, all of which show the importance of the skin system to this game. Of course, the skin rollover is also fatal for such a game. This year, the outrageous protests of the king players against the skin put a lot of pressure on the game planner.
▲ This skin is exclusive to the eight nobles in the picture. It is a non-sale product that can only be obtained by spending 5000 in the glory of the king
The world’s largest fashion apparel company, this is Tencent
The cornerstone of Tencent is social networking. IDs such as WeChat ID and QQ account are just like your "ID number", which is the pass to our online life. We can show our image and share our lives here, and Tencent is responsible for giving you some small eggs and providing some new charm bonuses. The bonus point is probably the skin-a value-added service that spends money to buy happiness.
Free products, value-added services, how do you understand these two words?
It means that everyone has the right to be born (registered), but what kind of clothes you wear and what kind of gifts you get after birth are realized by "money ability." Since everyone can choose freely at this stage, the bonuses of "money ability" are also limited, and the fairness of the game has not been destroyed. There is no compulsory consumption in this link. Its existence is just to please others and to satisfy a possible desire to show off.
When you spend more and more time living in social applications, the functions provided by the application do not need to be as meaningful as each one. Fun can be fun, fun enough, it doesn't need to be so purposeful, only you and your friends can play.
▲ The cover of the red envelope that I have been grabbing this year, there is no special bonus, just more fun
A year ago, the Dutch digital fashion company The Fabricant and a digital artist jointly designed the world's first blockchain clothing, priced at $9,500. Buyers can wear it and display it on social networks. At that time, many people in the fashion industry believed that virtual fashion clothing might be a new outlet and opportunity.
But perhaps, companies that have social platforms and are good at selling skins are more likely to seize this trend.
▲Comparison before and after putting on virtual clothing
As a world-famous sports brand, Adidas's best-selling shoe is Stan Smith, with a cumulative total of more than 50 million sales in the past 40 years. As a well-known game, the skin of "Engine Heart", a collaboration between "Glory of the King" and BMW, sold 150 million in a few days.
The two audiences are different, but compared with the physical fashion industry, Tencent's fashion skin has fewer stores, storage, and transportation costs. Once the design is completed, the way to wait for the payment is obviously more promising.
It can be said that the clothing items sold online by Tencent today are already on a scale that most offline fashion brands cannot expect.
▲ It is said that 150 million yuan of "Engine Heart" was sold
Tencent, which has multiple skin products such as QQ show, collection skin, red envelope cover, etc., may be the most skin-conscious Internet company in the world. Of course, you can also think of it as an online fashion clothing brand.
Whenever someone in a corner of the earth says: "Let's wear a piece of clothing!" A certain Tencent product manager may realize that this functional module seems to be able to wear a piece of clothing (add a skin)?
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