Metaverse will land on Tencent Games?

Tencent, more in line with the meta universe than Meta

Following the official listing of Roblox on the New York Stock Exchange in March this year and becoming the first stock of the meta universe concept, this vocabulary that was once only in science fiction and fantasy has quickly become one of the world’s most popular technology concepts.

After several months, NVIDIA , Microsoft , LG, byte beating and other major domestic and foreign companies have incoming digital technology, related to the dollar universe of start-up companies is endless. In October, Facebook changed its name to Meta, betting on a market value of nearly one trillion US dollars to endorse the meta universe, directly pushing this technological concept to a new level and becoming a phenomenon-level cultural symbol.

Although under the ever-increasing cultural wave of Metaverse , there is always the embarrassment that the concept is difficult to land, but since Meta, which has no “face”, dares to use its own signboard and commercial reputation as a bet, I believe that the relatively mature Metaverse products will be released. Not too far away.

Generally speaking, Meta’s exploration of the meta universe can easily be interpreted as similar to the hype relationship between Musk and Dogecoin. Moreover, looking at the development of the meta-universe concept at this stage, at least in the Chinese market, Meta’s biggest competitor in the Facebook era, Tencent , is to some extent more like the optimal solution of the meta-universe.

Liu Yexi and online games, who can represent Metaverse?

Before talking about the meta-universe related industries, we must first figure out what the meta-universe represents.

In fact, even if the capital market is about to become enthusiastic amidst the concept of hype, no one or any company can accurately define what a “meta universe” is.

After the recent popularity of various channels, many people know that the term “meta universe” comes from the 1992 American science fiction novel “Avalanche”, which is an artificial virtual reality space jointly built by AR, VR, 3D and other technologies. But what really paints the beautiful picture of the meta-universe for the world is the 2018 sci-fi adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg-“The Number One Player.”

In movies, with the help of holographic images and real tactile simulations, people can interact and entertain themselves in various virtual scenes with well-known games as the background of various “cyborg” identities through virtual reality enhancement. Although in terms of design concepts, the oasis of “Ready Player One” does not match the ideal meta-universe, but with the current level of virtual technology, perhaps the architecture presented by the oasis is the most likely to appear.

From a technological perspective, the “meta universe” is more in line with the integration of various technological concepts such as cloud computing, blockchain, digital twins, etc., and the resulting conceptual groups are projected into reality and fantasy. The emergence of various films and cultural works can be seen as people’s subjective complement to the meta-universe-related ecology. Strictly speaking, they are only an extension of the meta-universe concept, not the meta-universe itself.

It’s like a short video, Liu Yexi who has gained 5 million fans, Axi who is more popular than a live star, Ling who got a variety show on Tesla’s advertisement, and so on. the concept of the universe and metadata related to science and technology, to become the eyes of many people that some cosmic yuan appearance, but in reality, virtual people were exhibited by the scene, just the concept of the universe yuan tip of the iceberg.

In other words, all the concepts and products related to the meta-universe that we are currently exposed to belong to the filling of content under the background of the meta-universe. In the true sense, the framework for constructing the meta-universe world is still similar to the interaction and design of online games.

The promotional video released when Facebook changed its name to Meta can be regarded as the most detailed description of the meta-universe scene at this stage. It is not difficult to see that cartoonish character images, wild virtual modeling, social interaction that simulates reality, etc., all have obvious traces of online games.

Metaverse will land on Tencent Games?

In addition, as the entrance to the meta-universe connecting reality and virtual space, the main application scenarios of VR equipment are mostly based on the game environment. It can even be said that the current development of VR technology is driven by the stimulation of game-related needs. Therefore, there is a high probability that Metaverse products and platforms in the early stage will be presented in the form of virtual enhanced online games.

This also means that compared to Meta, which is more inclined to the “Facebook” social platform in its industrial structure, Tencent, whose core business is games and social interaction, is likely to perfectly fit the needs of the meta-universe ecological logic at this stage.

Set up early, Tencent has an advantage

At the end of the third quarter of 2021, Tencent micro-letters and WeChat monthly active accounts totaled about 1.26 billion people, with the number of active QQ accounts for nearly 574 million people, the total number of users exceeded 18 million. Although there is still a big gap between Facebook’s more than 3 billion global active users, Tencent undoubtedly owns the largest social network in the Chinese market.

At the same time, according to the public financial reports of major game companies in the world in 2020, Tencent also ranked first in the world with a total revenue of 23.924 billion US dollars, far surpassing well-known game manufacturers such as Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, NetEase , and Blizzard.

The leading advantages of the social network and game industry have provided a stable user traffic and transformation soil for Tencent’s incubation of Meta universe products. No matter what kind of meta-universe ecology, Tencent has built a business structure for many years, and it can provide resources and traffic support for the first time, and launch a large number of similar products in a short period of time to seize the domestic market.

In fact, when the concept of Meta Universe was catalyzed by film and television products, major technology companies had already started the layout of Meta Universe for the first time. Tencent, which has been voted as the fifth in the global brand value ranking this year, naturally has not let go of any possible vents.

In 2019, Tencent formed a joint venture with Roblox, an American game company that had not yet become the “first share of the metaverse”, and built a related metaverse game development team based on popular games “Robless” and “Fortnite”.

Later, Tencent continued to invest in the US game development and sales platform Epic, a new player that is almost on par with Steam, the world’s largest game platform. This year, thanks to the development blueprint of the Metaverse business, it received nearly $1 billion. Financing. From the database of Tianyan Check , it can be seen that Tencent’s investment in game companies in 2021 is as high as 48, second only to corporate services.

Metaverse will land on Tencent Games?

In addition, since September, Tencent has successively applied for “QQ Yuan Universe”, “Tencent Music Yuan Universe”, “Peace Elite Yuan Universe”, “King Yuan Universe”, “Oasis Yuan Universe”, etc., almost all of them are compatible with each other. The popular IP in Tencent’s hands is related to nearly a hundred trademarks related to Metaverse, which clearly shows Tencent’s ambitions in the field of Metaverse games.

Relying on the huge amount of IP reserves and the channels for rapid conversion and realization of IP through entertainment methods such as film and television, culture, etc., Tencent naturally has the operational logic to realize the concept of meta universe.

In particular , the business ecosystem jointly constructed by many products such as Reading Group , Tencent Video, etc. also gives Tencent the advantage of standing in advance in terms of Metaverse technology products. It can also enrich the cultural ecology of Metaverse in the shortest time and dig out more. Many related businesses. At the same time, it also provides content soil for the construction of social meta-universe, further consolidating Tencent’s social advantages.

However, in addition to various advantages, Tencent is also facing many major or minor problems in developing the meta-universe business.

Advantages and challenges coexist, the meta-universe road is hindered and long

Even without Metaverse, Tencent, which is gradually entering the bottleneck period of development, cannot avoid the fact that it is overly dependent on the domestic market. Due to many reasons, including cultural differences, Tencent’s core social services, WeChat and QQ can hardly replace the status of social apps such as Facebook and Twitter in the international environment.

At the same time, because Tencent’s overall business structure is based on the realization of traffic, the development of most of the new businesses is inseparable from continuous traffic support. Tencent’s internationalization strategy mainly focuses on investment and acquisition of overseas companies. The “unacceptable nature” of core social products also makes Tencent lack sufficient traffic in overseas markets and greatly compromises its ability to incubate new products.

At a time when the Internet dividend has disappeared and Tencent’s domestic business growth is slowing down, if the international market cannot be opened up, Tencent’s meta-universe plan may be difficult to compete with Meta in the long run. Even, it is very likely that the old rival Bytedance will seize the opportunity to “overtake” in the international market.

Whether it is to deploy around the meta-universe business or to obtain the social empowerment brought by popular games, ByteDance has become Tencent’s most direct competitor in the game field, and the competition between the two for various game resources is also increasing. frequently.

In April of this year, Bytedance invested in the mobile game developer ” Code Qiankun “, with a total financing amount of nearly 100 million yuan; in August, Bytedance acquired the VR startup Xiaoniao Kan Pico. In addition to the game business, ByteDance has also applied for the meta-universe trademarks in scientific research, education, entertainment and other fields through the bird look, which overlaps with Tencent’s meta-universe plan on multiple levels.

Coupled with the continuous catch-up of Internet giants such as NetEase and Baidu, the competitive pressure facing Tencent is increasing. Moreover, in the face of pressure, Tencent itself has continuously exposed various problems.

Such as the decline of QQ users and popularity year by year, WeChat product design continues to arouse user dissatisfaction, the tepid content platform, the proliferation of low-end mobile games with low originality, etc., have all been left over from history. More recently, in order to expand the number of eco-penguin as “dawn plan” purposes, for alleged copyright fraud was resisted entire network, although Tencent has apologized, but has been caused by the product brand letter reputation damage, is likely to seriously affect the next The first stage of the promotion of Meta universe products and the construction of related content ecology.

Previously misjudged the development prospects of “Yuan Shen” and missed the phenomenon-level mobile game, which also exposed Tencent’s shortcomings in project management evaluation. This is likely to cause its own defects to continue to magnify under the pressure of competitors, and thus lose more meta-universe resources.

In addition to Tencent itself, there are also a lot of uncertainties in the current meta-universe concept. The temporary advantages and foundation may not be able to form a real competitiveness.

After all, for a technological concept that cannot be accurately defined in a short period of time, even if a cultural atmosphere has begun to form, its business logic is difficult to stand up. The layout built on this basis will have a high probability of becoming a sky garden, and it will eventually be falsified by facts.

In particular, due to the lack of key functions and the high price of VR equipment, the current Meta universe platform is temporarily in the stage of “niche virtual chat rooms”, even the level of online games cannot be reached, and it is even more distant from the theoretical Meta universe. Very long.

Although challenges still exist, Tencent is still one of the few leading Internet companies that has a natural fit with Metaverse. In any case, I still hope that Tencent can hold on to its advantage and let the seeds of Metaverse take the lead in the Chinese market.

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