The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

Recently, many companies that have been forgotten by everyone have suddenly returned to people’s field of vision. Many netizens exclaimed: So this company hasn’t closed down yet? Such an interesting thing naturally attracted Xiao Lei’s attention. Next, Xiao Lei will take a look with everyone to see which companies that have “disappeared” from everyone’s vision are still silently existing.

Speaking of the name “Legend”, many post-80s and post-90s readers will not be unfamiliar. This unremarkable game was once popular all over the country twenty years ago. At that time, Internet cafes in the streets and alleys were basically all players playing “Legend”. The popularity of this game was absolutely no less popular than today’s ” Glory of the King ” and “League of Legends”.

Behind this game is a name that may make contemporary people feel a little strange-Shanda Network. Ten years ago, in the era when Tencent had not yet risen, Shanda Networks was the first generation of Internet giants in China. The smashing online games such as “Legend”, “Bubble Hall” and “Aion” were all produced by Shanda Networks. The agency launch also established Shanda Networks’ position in the domestic game industry.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

In the first ten years of this century, when talking about the Seven Heroes of the Internet Warring States Period, they generally referred to Tencent, Ali, Baidu , Sina, Sohu , NetEase, and Shanda. Nowadays, Shanda, which once flourished, is no longer among the seven heroes, and the once infinitely brilliant Shanda literature and Shanda games are also gone. This can’t help but sigh, what happened to Shanda Network? What is the face of Shanda Network today?

Debut is the pinnacle

In December 1999, Chen Tianqiao, an ordinary securities officer who was unknown at the time, felt the business opportunities that the Internet era would bring, and resolutely resigned from Jinxin Securities Co., Ltd., and founded Shanda in Shanghai with his brother Chen Danian and his wife Luo Qianqian. Interactive entertainment company, this is the origin of Shanda Network.

Interestingly, the original Shanda Interactive Entertainment Company was not a gaming company. According to Chen Tianqiao, the initial business direction of Shanda Interactive Entertainment was to be the earliest animation community in China, to create cartoon magazines, and to purchase animation copyrights to create a “Disneyland” in the Internet world. Chen Tianqiao’s idea was indeed unprecedented at the time, but the network environment at that time was unable to support the maintenance costs of the genuine animation community. The grand day naturally flew very tightly, with no people, no money, no money.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

In 2001, Shanda Networks officially announced its entry into the online game industry. In the same year, Chen Tianqiao invested 300,000 US dollars to win the domestic operating agency rights of the Korean online game “Legend of Blood”. At that time, in order to win the agency rights of this game, Chen Tianqiao even turned his face against investors who disagreed with each other. Forced to a dead end, he decided to give it a go and bet on the game field.

In September of the same year, Shanda’s “Legend” was officially launched. Unexpectedly, the game swept across the country as soon as it was launched, attracting countless players to immerse themselves in the game. For a time, vocabulary such as national warfare, PK, red name, attacking sand, etc., became keywords that countless players talked about. According to statistics, “Legend” has only been in operation for half a year, and at the same time online game players have exceeded 100,000; in just one year, “Legend” has brought more than 100 million yuan in game net profit to Shanda.

This is an amazing gamble, and the existence of “Legend” brought Shanda back to life.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

Earning a lot of grandness through “Legend”, I decided to continue to increase investment in the game industry. Subsequently, Shanda not only acted and independently developed a series of popular online games, but also took the lead in introducing a customer service call center in accordance with international standards in 2002 to provide professional customer service to the huge user base and online dealers of “Legend”. It is also the first time that the domestic online game industry has introduced a standardized comprehensive service mechanism.

In 2003, Shanda successively launched a number of online games such as “Rainbow Island”, “Bubble Hall” and “Blood Hero”, hoping to expand the audience of the game. And this year happened to be the year when Xiao Lei came into contact with the Internet. Xiao Lei still remembers the scene of lying next to the computer at home every day when he comes home from school , pestering his parents to turn on and play two “Bubble Hall”. It is really a happy childhood .

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

Relying on the great success of games such as “Legend” and “Bubble Hall”, Shanda received an investment of US$40 million from SoftBank in 2003 and successfully listed on the Nasdaq the following year. The stock price went up all the way and once became the national market value. The second-ranked Chinese Internet company. It can be said that Shanda Network at this time has become a well-deserved overlord in my country’s online game industry in the early years, and this company has only been established for five years.

Shanda Network, debut is the pinnacle.

The beginning of decline

Interestingly, although Shanda Network has made a fortune because of games, Shanda CEO Chen Tianqiao has always looked down on games. Chen Tianqiao has stated in public many times, “Legend is a bad game, and Shanda is a good company.” For Chen Tianqiao, Shanda will always have only one future, and that is to create a “Disney” in the Internet world. paradise”.

However, Chen Tianqiao’s remarks are too harsh for players who are the parents of game companies. To this day, we can still see former “Legend” players expressing their dissatisfaction with Chen Tianqiao and Shanda Networks on major forums. For Internet companies, losing the trust of users is often the first step in the collapse of a skyscraper.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

In order to get rid of the constraints of the game business on dreams, Shanda Networks has made many attempts. In 2004, Shanda acquired at that time the most influential network text learning network station – the starting point of Chinese network, then turn red armbands Tim Hong, Xiaoxiang College and other read novel stand together in the bag, integrated into a “grand literature.” As the largest online literature platform at the time, Shanda Literature once occupied 72% of the market share of the entire online original literature market.

However, the development of Shanda Literature has not been as smooth sailing as expected. In 2012, Shanda Literature planned to go public, but in the end it gave up because of its low valuation. One wave has not settled, another wave has risen. After experiencing a listing stranded, Shanda Literature fell into an “infighting” again. The core team of led more than 20 well-known authors to leave Tencent Literature. The listing is stranded, the core resigns, and the opponents are pressing harder. The once-in-a-lifetime Shanda Literature is battered by successive business crises.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

(Source: Sohu News)

Not only that, Chen Tianqiao, who always has the dream of “Disney Online”, in order to realize the transformation of Shanda Networks from a game company to a full-platform entertainment company, came up with a transformation strategy that everyone strongly opposes-Shanda Box . According to Shanda’s description at the time, this is a product that can upgrade the TV to a network terminal so that users can enjoy interactive entertainment and information through the TV.

If you look at it now, Chen Tianqiao’s vision does not seem to be a big deal. However, under the circumstances at the time, this idea was absolutely advanced, and the amount of money needed to realize this idea was incalculable. In 2005, the $450 million grand box was officially released. The machine uses Intel processors and is equipped with a customized version of Windows. The market price is as high as 6,850 yuan.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

Chen Tianqiao’s vision may be advanced, but it is even more impractical. Slow home broadband speeds, high pricing, relatively scarce content, and a ban on the radio and television department made the Shanda Box project a joke that came to an abrupt end.

While Shanda was obsessed with the dream of “Internet Disney”, its gaming business, which it regarded as a cash cow, has encountered more and more opponents. In 2003-2009, the sudden emergence of Tencent games, in addition to actively copying other successful popular online games through the “QQ series”, also successfully won the agency rights of popular games such as “Cross Fire”, “Dungeon and Warriors”; on the other side; , Netease Games’ self-developed “Fantasy Westward Journey” and “Dahua Westward Journey” are also popular all over the country. At the same time, Shanda Networks did not launch any explosive online games, but continued to eat legendary roots.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

In 2009, the painful Shanda Network spent huge sums of money to win two Korean top-selling online games, “Dragon Valley” and “Aion” in one fell swoop. In terms of quality, these two games are both excellent works. However, Shanda’s careless operation has caused the slow update of these two games and the flying of plug-ins. The player experience is extremely poor, and Shanda’s reputation has plummeted. Expected profits have plummeted.

In November 2014, Shanda Network announced the overall sale of Shanda Literature, and Tencent took over. In January 2015, Shanda Literature and Tencent Literature were merged into the ” Reading Group ” we are familiar with today . At the end of the same year, Chen Tianqiao announced that he would step down as a director of Shanda Games, and Shanda Interactive Entertainment Group also sold all Shanda Games stock. Since then, Shanda Network ceased to exist and Shanda Group became a private investment company.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

In just a few years, the vast territory of the Shanda Internet empire has been dismantled and sold. It can be said that there is no operation business left for itself. China’s earliest big game player and once the largest game company in China,, just left the game.

Shanda Network Today

Why did Shanda Games fall from the leading position to the bottom? In my opinion, the following three points are not unrelated. First, the company blindly develops its business. According to incomplete statistics, since 2004, Shanda has made comprehensive investments in online literature, Shanda Box, video entertainment, film and television companies, etc., but in the end there has been little return. Shanda has huge ambitions, but it does not have the ability to manage these mergers and acquisitions.

Secondly, perhaps because Chen Tianqiao is still not very concerned about games, Shanda’s game operation attitude can be described as quite perfunctory. According to player feedback, the operation team of Shanda Networks basically does not deal with bugs and plug-ins in the game, and often delays updates or even makes incorrect updates. This irresponsible attitude not only affects the player’s gaming experience, but also makes many players feel disgusted and angry.

Finally, unlike other game companies, Shanda Networks lacks game development capabilities. You know, Shanda once fell out with South Korea, and tried to launch its own research and development “Legend World” to replace “Legend”. However, due to the immature technology of Shanda, the image quality of this self-developed “Legendary World” is not up to the original standard, and the content is basically pieced together with the original game. When other manufacturers used self-developed games such as “Dream” and “Zhengtu” to seize the domestic game market, Sheng Nature, who lacked self-developed capabilities, was divided among a large number of players.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

The downfall of Shanda, in the final analysis, was because the company’s CEO only used games to make money, but forgot the game company’s due responsibility. Guo Yiqiang, director of the Publishing Bureau of the Central Propaganda Department, once said that in addition to economic benefits, online game operations should pay more attention to social benefits and focus on creating high-quality products. Game companies must always adhere to high-quality development, insist on innovation and creation, and put social benefits in the first place, so that they can achieve sustainable development and not fall on the road of Internet development.

After the transformation of Shanda Group and the merger of Shanda Literature, the former Shanda Network actually only left the Shanda Games line. In 2014, Shanda Games delisted from Nasdaq and began to seek A-share listing; in August 2017, Century Huatong directly and indirectly held 100% of the shares of Shengqu Games through three acquisitions, and became the new owner of Shanda Games; In 2019, Shanda Games announced the launch of a new brand, Shengqu Games, and waved goodbye to its past self. As an online game developer, operator and publisher, it will continue to operate steadily.

The tortuous fate of Shanda Networks: After many twists and turns, come back to life

Today’s Shengqu game, although it can not be said how moist to live, but there is basically no risk of bankruptcy. Its main game series, in addition to the self-developed “Legend” and “Dragon Nest” IP derivative works, the agency-operated “Final Fantasy 14” and “LoveLive!” “School Idol Festival” “LoveLive! “All Stars” are all well-known game works. It is hoped that the new Shengqu game can be played steadily, and with years of accumulated IP, R&D and publishing experience, it will move towards the third place in the domestic game company.


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