Inventory at the end of 2021: The game industry is “moving forward”: stricter regulation, slower growth, and “metaverse games” are still in their infancy

Overall, the so-called “metaverse game” is still in the initial stage of speculation in 2021, and there is still a long way to go before it matures.

In the second half of 2021, the game industry ushered in the popularity of the concept of “metaverse”. Many game companies took this express train, and their stock prices continued to rise. But at the same time, the suspension of the game version number has cast a shadow over the development prospects of the industry. In terms of market size, the game market is still expanding in 2021, but the growth rate has slowed down, the growth of game users has peaked, and the entire market has tended to be a stock market. Under this circumstance, the game industry will also face more diverse challenges as it develops in “high-quality products”.

Inventory at the end of 2021: The game industry is "moving forward": stricter regulation, slower growth, and "metaverse games" are still in their infancy

In the second half of 2021, the game industry has ushered in the popularity of the “metaverse” concept. Many game companies have taken this express train with certain relevance, and their stock prices have continued to rise. 

But at the same time, the suspension of the game version number has cast a shadow over the development prospects of the industry. Until the end of 2021, the game company has not waited for the release of the latest game version number. 

In terms of market size, the game market is still expanding in 2021, but the growth rate has slowed down, the growth of game users has peaked, and the entire market has tended to be a stock market. Under this circumstance, the game industry will also face more diverse challenges as it develops in “high-quality products”. 

The growth of the industry slows down, and the game version number is suspended

The “2021 China Game Industry Report” shows that in 2021, the actual sales revenue of China’s game market will be 296.513 billion yuan, an increase of 17.826 billion yuan over last year, a year-on-year increase of 6.4%. Although the income still maintained growth, the growth rate decreased by nearly 15% compared with the same period last year due to the gradual weakening of the home economy effect and the decline in the number of popular products. 

Among them, mobile games still occupy the mainstream of the domestic game market, accounting for 76.06% of the total revenue. Data shows that in 2021, the actual sales revenue of China’s mobile game market is 225.538 billion yuan, an increase of 15.862 billion yuan over last year, a year-on-year increase of 7.57%. Since the launch of new mobile game products has decreased significantly this year, and the source of income is mainly supported by the original products, the growth rate has decreased by 28% year-on-year. 

Behind the decrease in the number of new game launches is the suspension of the game version number again. 

Since August 2021, the issuance of game version numbers has been at a standstill, and as of January this year, game version number approvals have been suspended for more than 5 months. The suspension of the game version number has directly resulted in the inability of new games to be launched and further revenue generation. 

It has only been more than three years since the last game version number was issued and the pause button was pressed.In March 2018, the former State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued the “Notice of Important Matters for Game Application and Approval”, suspending the approval and issuance of game version numbers.In June of the same year, the former Ministry of Culture also closed the filing channel for domestic online games; two months later, imported games also stopped updating new filing numbers. The suspension at that time lasted for more than nine months, and many small and medium-sized game companies also withdrew from the market. 

At the 2021 China Game Industry Annual Conference held at the end of 2021, Yang Fang, deputy director of the Publishing Bureau of the Central Propaganda Department, pointed out, “Next year, the State Press and Publication Administration will implement a positive energy independence plan for online games, stick to the bottom line of content, and resolutely prevent unauthorized changes to content. , online operation without a version number and other illegal acts.” 

This is also a signal that the review of game content is becoming more and more stringent, which will force enterprises to move towards the road of high-quality game research and development, and also increase the survival pressure of small and medium-sized enterprises to a certain extent. Once the online game is taken off the shelf, its anti-risk ability will be damaged. . 

It is often removed from the app store for unknown reasons, making itdifficult for small and medium-sized enterprises to move forward

According to Qimai data, in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, more than 16,000 games were removed from Apple’s shelves, and about 17% were re-launched after that. In addition, some companies reported that the reason for the game’s removal from the shelves was unknown. 

The reporter learned from Kingsoft Games that the two games operated by it have been removed from the Apple App Store twice, and the reason for the removal is still unclear. The first game was considered by Apple to be at risk in user information. The team then launched a self-examination and submitted new game packages for review several times, but the review always failed, and the reason for the failure was not told; within 20 days, the game was released. Take down.The second game was stopped by Apple, and the specific reason was also not told, and the game has since been removed from the shelves. According to the Apple Developer Agreement, the developer has a 30-day appeal period. During this period, Kingsoft Games communicated through the developer’s appeal channel. Apple officials never gave the reason for the game’s interruption of settlement and removal, and rejected the appeal. 

In fact, many game manufacturers such as Junhai Games and Lilith Games have suffered from Apple’s “no specific reason” removal from the shelves, which caused serious losses to the companies that obtained the game version number. Some game manufacturers said that because of Apple’s monopoly, everyone dared not speak out. 

In addition to games, there have been more and more Chinese app makers in recent years that have suffered Apple’s “unreasonable removal”. As early as 2017, due to Apple’s abuse of its dominant market position, 70 Chinese app manufacturers anonymously reported Apple’s alleged monopoly to the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. In 2018, a total of 718 apps, including Pinduoduo, Xunfei, Zhuishu, Sogou, Tuhu, etc., which have a good reputation in China, were also “unreasonably removed”, and “Apple will not develop The author explained the reasons for the removal in detail, and the developers need to check themselves.” 

In the face of the strength of the Apple App Store, domestic game companies are also quite helpless. Third-party developers have often criticized Apple’s overlord clauses for developers, which limit developers’ rights and reduce Apple’s own responsibilities. If developers, including games, put products on the shelves, they must accept relevant agreements.When Apple removes certain apps, it is based on unilateral judgment and does not explain specific reasons or give reasonable explanations to developers. It is also common in newspapers. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is committed to safeguarding online freedom, has criticized some of Apple’s developer agreements, pointing out that its terms unilaterally favor Apple’s interests and are suspected of hindering competition and innovation. At present, Apple’s behavior has led to anti-monopoly investigations by government agencies in many countries. In early 2022, India’s antitrust watchdog ordered an investigation into how Apple operates its App Store, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Chinese website. 

The game’s “strictest ban” was released, and minors took a key step in preventing addiction

In recent years, the competent authorities have paid more and more attention to the protection and anti-addiction work of minors in the game industry, and issued a series of relevant regulatory notices. 2021 will also usher in the “strictest in history” ban on minors’ anti-addiction game. 

At the end of August 2021, the National Press and Publication Administration issued the “Notice on Further Strict Management to Effectively Prevent Minors from Indulging in Online Games”. The notice requires that the time for providing online game services to minors is strictly limited. One-hour service is provided to minors from 20:00 to 21:00 every day on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. This means that under normal circumstances, underage gamers play a maximum of 3 hours a week. 

In addition, the notice requires that the real-name registration and login requirements of online game user accounts should be strictly implemented, and game services should not be provided in any form to users who have not registered and logged in with their real names; publishing management departments at all levels should strengthen measures to prevent minors from indulging in online games The supervision and inspection of the implementation situation, and the online game enterprises that have not been strictly implemented shall be dealt with seriously in accordance with laws and regulations. 

According to data released by the Game Working Committee of the China Audio and Digital Association, as of September 7, 2021, a total of 64 units have expressed their attitudes and responded to concerns through official channels through announcements, notices, etc. 

On September 8, 2021, the relevant persons in charge of the Central Propaganda Department and the National Press and Publication Administration, together with the Central Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other departments, conducted an agreement on key online game companies such as Tencent and NetEase, as well as game account rental and sales platforms, and game live broadcast platforms. Have an interview. The above-mentioned departments require to strengthen the review and control of online game content, consciously resist unfair competition, strengthen the management and control of “Krypton Gold”, regulate and restrict celebrity endorsement of game advertisements, strengthen the management of game live broadcast, and prohibit high rewards, minor rewards, etc. . 

The day after the notice was issued, several game companies implemented it in their games. 

On September 23, 2021, the Game Working Committee of the China Audio and Digital Association and 213 member units jointly issued the “Convention on Anti-Addiction and Self-discipline in the Online Game Industry”, formulating several targeted provisions to strengthen the game industry’s awareness of respect for rules and self-discipline. At present, 411 game companies in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and other places have voluntarily signed the “Self-discipline Convention” and formulated implementation plans as required. 

At the same time, game companies have also released the latest data on the proportion of minors at that time. Judging from the data, most of them do not exceed 1%. It can be seen that the contribution of minors to game companies is not high. 

Judging from the impact of this ban, the stock prices of game stocks have generally not been affected. The implementation of this policy can be said to be a win-win situation for game companies and parents. 

The “2021 China Game Industry Report” shows that the scale of Chinese game users in 2021 will be 666 million, an increase of only 0.22% year-on-year, and the number of users will gradually become saturated. With the implementation of the new anti-addiction regulations and the gradual deepening of uninsured work, the user structure will further become healthy and reasonable. 

The second dimension and IP have become the main force, and the“metaverse game” is still in its infancy

Gamma data research found that several new elements and new markets have emerged in the current game industry, which will support the continued growth momentum of the game market. These new elements and new markets are specifically the overseas market, the two-dimensional game market and the IP-adapted mobile game market. 

In recent years, with the slowdown in the growth rate of domestic users, game companies have been continuously strengthening their overseas development and deployment to push their products overseas. 

The above report shows that in 2021, the sales revenue of my country’s self-developed games in the overseas market will be 18.013 billion US dollars, an increase of 2.563 billion US dollars over last year, a year-on-year increase of 16.59%, and a year-on-year decrease of about 17%. Overall, judging from the development trend in the past five years, my country’s game overseas has shown a steady upward trend, and user downloads, usage time and payment quota have maintained steady growth. 

In terms of the two-dimensional game market, “users aged 20-25 are more than 90% interested in the two-dimensional game, and their loyalty and diffusion ability to the two-dimensional game are amazing.” Co-founder and chief analysis of Gamma Data Shi Wangxu said that in 2020, there will be 46 two-dimensional games with revenue exceeding 100 million yuan. 

As for the IP-adapted mobile game market, data shows that it will exceed 100 billion for the first time in 2020. IP has become the darling of game companies, and many overseas IPs have been acquired by major game companies. 

In September 2021, NetEase Games launched “Harry Potter: Magic Awakening”, and the popularity remained high for a while. This card game backed by the “Harry Potter” IP has more than 5 million downloads on the day it was launched on September 9. Previously, the mobile game “Moore Manor”, an IP-adapted game that relied on “feelings” to win in June 2021, received a lot of attention as soon as it was launched, and the share price of game publisher Gigabit also rose to 561 yuan per share. 

In addition to the above-mentioned market segments that already have a certain scale, the explosion of the concept of “metaverse” has also prompted the birth of the so-called “metaverse game”. 

For example, Zhongqingbao released an introduction to the game “Brewer Master” on its WeChat public account, saying that the game involved the concept of the metaverse, which attracted wide attention, and the company’s stock price also rose. According to reports, “The Brewmaster” is a fully immersive social management product based on the concept of the metaverse, with relatively high freedom and high social level. The game is based on the Shenchu ​​Burning Workshop. Players simulate the operation of the “Jinsha Ancient Wine” winery, and manage the winery in the virtual world. Relying on cloud computing, computing power and social networking and other metaverse technologies, from value interaction, content carrying Integrate with data network transmission and immersive display to build a metaverse. 

On January 3 this year, Li Ruijie, chairman of Zhongqingbao, shared a demonstration video of the H5 version of its metaverse concept game “Brewer Master”. He said that the game had been overturned five times before this version, but had “started to get close” to his demands. 

Inventory at the end of 2021: The game industry is "moving forward": stricter regulation, slower growth, and "metaverse games" are still in their infancy

However, as far as the video is concerned, its so-called “metaverse” is not very clear, and it is still doubtful whether the final effect can withstand the test of users and the market. 

In addition to Zhongqingbao, China Mobile Games also announced that it plans to launch the “Xianjian Metaverse” game “Code: World” in 2023. This product is a high-degree-of-freedom immersive game built on the “Legend of Sword and Fairy” IP world view. open world RPG game. 

Overall, the so-called “metaverse game” is still in the initial stage of speculation in 2021, and there is still a long way to go before it matures. 

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/inventory-at-the-end-of-2021-the-game-industry-is-moving-forward-stricter-regulation-slower-growth-and-metaverse-games-are-still-in-their-infancy/
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