Wen Chen Yibo, Wu Kezhong
Looking back at 2021, for the game industry, there is a word from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, which is metaverse.
The 2021metaverse global development report (hereinafter referred to as the report) jointly released by Gamma data and newzoo, a third-party data organization, points out that metaverse will become the next stage of the game, integrate non game experiences, and be driven by the interaction between technology, consumers and games. This evolution makes the game a platform for multiple stakeholders to create and obtain value outside their core products.
In an interview with China business daily, Hu Jie, a professor of Shanghai Institute of advanced finance, said that with the arrival of metaverse, a significant impact on the game industry is that the role of large game operation platforms will be weakened, production relations will be reconstructed, and interests will be redistributed.
The next stage of the game
The Research Report of Anxin Securities pointed out that in the territory constituting the whole metaverse research framework, the first is the hardware entrance (VR / Ar / MR / brain computer interface) and operating system that provide metaverse experience, and the second is the back-end infrastructure (5g / computing power and algorithm / Cloud Computing / edge computing) and underlying architecture (engine / development tool / digital Twin / blockchain) that support the smooth operation of metaverse, Finally, the core production factor (Artificial Intelligence) in metaverse is finally presented as the content and scene of a hundred flowers in full bloom, as well as a large number of collaborators providing technology and services in the process of metaverse ecological prosperity.
The research report also pointed out that in the above layout, hardware and content first, while the content is mainly games.
As for why the content in metaverse is mainly games, the research report mentioned that this is because the virtual world built by the game or the first exploration leading to metaverse. On the one hand, games are the subdivision of the content industry and the epitome of economy, culture, art, community and governance in metaverse’s new universe. On the other hand, considering multi-dimensional factors such as technology maturity, user matching and content adaptability, the game is also an excellent way to explore metaverse.
In addition, in the report, newzoo said that it has recognized the importance of games in the future development trend of metaverse. It will be an important carrier to help human beings obtain alternative creative space and identity sharing experience through virtual (game) and digital world.
Ryan gill, co-founder and CEO of crucible, vividly compares the role of game developers as architects in metaverse (Web3.0) to the role and function of web developers as architects in the Internet (Web2.0).
The report believes that metaverse will become the next stage of the game and integrate non game experiences, driven by technology, consumer and game interaction. This evolution makes the game a platform for multiple stakeholders to create and obtain value outside their core products.
Game publishers are promoting people to accept this new interactive experience through these non game experiences, such as virtual concerts, virtual fashion shows, IP linkage, and media / Product Co branding. Non game experiences have a strong and broad appeal because virtual concerts and similar activities can attract non game players. At the same time, players will also regard the game as a platform for identity expression, social activities, or create their own game mode, so as to form an experience similar to metaverse.
Change the game business ecology
So, what changes will metaverse bring to the game industry?
The above report mentioned that the arrival of metaverse will usher in the next major change in the game industry: from games as a service to games as a platform.
The short-term and long-term evolution of metaverse will bring new business models, content production, interaction and new participation models, both for players and non players.
In the next decade, metaverse will bring new prospects and expectations to the game industry. Specifically, whether in game design, content, business model or marketing, future games will have more social content, more all-round immersion experience and richer creativity.
Among them, in terms of game design, in addition to the standard single player / multiplayer game mode, metaverse game will also develop a creative mode with social attributes; In terms of content, the game community will play a greater role in game development with the support of artificial intelligence and other code free tools that simplify creation; In terms of marketing, insert ads that interrupt the game experience may make it difficult for players to experience the immersive game world, so the original embedded ads in the game should grow. The integration / activation of original brands, real or virtual online Red roles, and various types of IP will become a fixed part of metaverse marketing tools. The release of limited edition NFT also helps to create a sensation among consumers.
In addition, in terms of business model, metaverse will open up more business opportunities inside and outside the game. The report mentioned that in metaverse, new business models that may appear in the game industry in the future include: paying for virtual concerts, lectures or other non game activities; Selling and trading non homogenous tokens or persistent digital items outside the game; With the support of blockchain, players can obtain game rewards by contributing to the game ecosystem. These rewards can be converted into real-world currencies outside the game through the secondary market, that is, play to earn mode.
In addition, there are play to collect mode and pay to socialize mode. Take nbatopshot and crvptokitties as examples. In the play to collect mode, collecting NFT items is a new way for players to participate in game IP, and may even attract some people who do not play games. The pay to socialize mode aims to encourage the commercialization of in-game social activities.
Some people believe that “decentralized network and innovative encryption economic system can have a great impact on the game industry”, “the new design space can realize the standardization and real ownership of in-game assets, new realization system, new buying tools, cross game economy, multi-directional value flow (from publisher to player), general identity, etc, “NFT will bring revolutionary changes to games and other digital economies.”.
In an interview with reporters, Hu Jie said that if a game is successfully invested in the market and can earn income from the current business model of free mobile games and prop payment, the game developers and operators will further share their own income, and the distribution mode of interests is very important. If there is a distributed ledger, combined with the use of some tools such as NFT, it may change the cooperation mode between stakeholders of game products in the past.
“In a non metaverse environment, if players want to sell virtual props with certain value to buyers and realize cash, they usually need a centralized organization to maintain the economic order in the game. If the game is operated internationally, or a small company with little credibility, (International) Players may not be able to trade. However, in metaverse’s world, even if a game is operated by a multinational company or a small company with little credibility, the distributed ledger supported by blockchain technology can form a trust relationship between interested parties who have no trust relationship, so as to realize economic activities. “
Hu Jie further mentioned that, in other words, with the arrival of metaverse, a significant impact on the game industry is that the role of large game operation platforms will be weakened, and even the platforms will gradually return to the collective control of many stakeholders. In the metaverse world, by introducing blockchain technology forms including NFT and multi person jointly managed ledger, for the game industry, production relations will be reconstructed and interests will be redistributed.
“For example, now a game product is successful and earns a lot of economic benefits. Its direct contribution comes from its game users; a game player can have a good experience in the game, which is also inseparable from the participation of many other players; however, players will not get any economic benefits in the business operation mode of the whole game, and game players used to be regarded as paying Only consumers participate in the game process, and centralized institutions are the biggest beneficiaries. And Web3.0 triggered by metaverse An important change in the 0 era is to tilt interests to users. “
What changes can NFT or blockchain bring to the game industry, Hu Jie said vividly: “In fact, NFT can be regarded as a piece of white paper. On this piece of white paper, you can write who the virtual props of a game belong to. It is similar to the real estate certificate that people now say they own the ownership of a house. Through it, you can see the ownership of the game props. When we try to establish the exchange relationship between virtual assets and real-world legal currency, NFT is not necessary. However, the introduction of NFT can relatively independently determine the ownership of a virtual prop in the virtual space, and cooperate with the ledger jointly managed by multiple people, which can make the circulation of virtual assets more convenient and lower cost. “