For 15 consecutive days, "Get Together with the Demon" is the free app list for the Apple App Store.
This mobile game launched by Tencent used the blockchain as the biggest selling point at the beginning of the promotion. The aura of the big factory also attracted the attention of the entire blockchain game industry.
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But from the results, this is more like a small test of Tencent's blockchain game. In "Catch the Demon Together", the exclusive cat that was born in the game will be preserved in the blockchain and will never die. But unlike other blockchain games, Tencent's blockchain games are not open source, and people in the game can't verify the transactions on the chain, which makes the industry questionable.
The game produced by Dachang, no matter how many blocks of the show, is also a luminous vane for this industry. Although Tencent is conservative, people are still looking forward to being driven by giants to bring out really valuable blockchain games.
From "pushing to blockchain" to "deblocking chain"
As early as 2018, Tencent's mobile game with blockchain elements revealed the wind.
This year, the blockchain's enthusiasm is flourishing, and a large number of peripheral companies are rushing to the blockchain to seek new profit points.
Thanks to the explosion of the blockchain game encryption cats, players are eager to raise tens of thousands of encrypted cats, and the Internet giants in the industry have also set off an encrypted pet fever. Blockchain-based encrypted pet games have become the blue ocean market that big manufacturers are competing for during this period.
In order to quickly circulate users, Baidu, 360, Xiaomi and other big manufacturers launched a series of blockchain pet games such as “Litz Dog”, “Block Cat” and “Encrypted Rabbit” around March 2018. The market responded enthusiastically.
As the overlord of the game industry, Tencent has not let go of this small vent, "to catch the demon" is the product of the blockchain boom period. In the initial announcement, the blockchain was also the biggest selling point of "Catch the demon together."
On April 12, 2018, Cai Weige, general manager of the blockchain business of Tencent District, released the news for the first time, revealing that Tencent is about to release a blockchain game codenamed "Z". The blockchain game "Z" is now "Catch the demon together."
11 days later, "Catch the demon together" officially unveiled at the UP2018 Tencent Wenchuang Ecological Conference. Tencent Games official said that "Together to catch the demon" is Tencent's first attempt in realizing the virtual content value of the game. The exclusive cat born in the game will be saved on the blockchain and will never die.
It is not difficult to see that Tencent did have the ambition to make a blockchain game together.
At the time when the blockchain game financial property was too strong, the category was single, and the playability was not high, Dachang Tencent announced that it launched a combination of AR, LBS (location based service), PVE (player battle environment) and blockchain maintenance. The blockchain game, which has become a variety of gameplays, has earned the expectations of the industry.
One year later, when the "Catch the Demon" was officially launched, the industry found that it was no longer classified as a blockchain game by Tencent.
In the official website of catching the demon, there is almost no mention of the blockchain, and more is to promote it as an AR mobile game. In the game, the part of the blockchain is not as heavy as imagined. Only after the player has reached the 22nd level can they play the blockchain cat's link. Developing and breeding the blockchain cat is not the main task of the game.
Media evaluation, the blockchain became a pendant in this game.
"At the time, the whole blockchain industry was very concerned about this (to catch the demon together). In propaganda, Tencent was also completely launched with the blockchain, but after the Spring Festival, they did not say the block. Chain." An industry insider told the Odaily Planet Daily.
He believes that Tencent is no longer willing to mention the blockchain. There is two possibilities. First, everyone has already approved the blockchain attribute of the game, so it will not be repeated. Second, it may be concerned about the domestic regulatory situation. Dachang is not willing to touch the regulatory red line too much.
Not open source chain
Tencent began to embrace its “open” strategy after 2012.
In the Internet world, Tencent uploaded open source code for dozens of projects on GitHub, and launched Tencent's open platform to embrace open source. But in a blockchain world that needs more open source, Tencent has tightened.
"Tencent's alliance chain is more like a black box for developers, neither open nor open source." An industry insider analyzed Tencent's current blockchain technology.
"To catch the demon together" is based on Tencent's alliance chain, which stores the game props blockchain cats in the system.
In the game, after the player has chained the blockchain cat, it can get the block information about its block height and the latest transaction hash. After the chain, we know that the blockchain cat will stay forever, but there is no more way to find the specific transaction information of the blockchain cat.
Whether in the Tencent blockchain platform or in the game "Catch the demon together", Tencent did not give a specific blockchain browser or wallet, and the data of the alliance chain displayed outside is even rare.
In the official website of the blockchain platform of Tencent, only the “micro-gold” section made a demonstration of its own blockchain. The demo section shows that there are 4 nodes, and only the block information of nearly 100 transactions is displayed on the trade show area.
This also caused blockchain practitioners to raise more questions about Tencent's blockchain.
If Tencent's blockchain is a mysterious, private, and non-open source chain, people can't verify every transaction in the chain, and how can they trust that the chain really has something to prove?
In the "Catch the Demon Together" white paper, Tencent has said that under the premise of legal compliance, Tencent will provide users with a digital wallet that is independent of the game, including client APP, WeChat applet, and H5 page. One or more. In order to facilitate users to view the contents of the collection that have been saved on the blockchain at any time.
But these promises are almost never fulfilled.
After learning that the blockchain attribute has weakened, many blockchain game developers expressed disappointment with "Catch the demon together."
"Get a cold meal two or three years ago, and people who played Pokemon Go at the time should not play this game." A senior DApp developer believes that "the game itself is not fun." And have to force the experience of the winding process."
Reed, the chief technologist of the game engine Cocos-BCX team, also admitted that "coming together to catch the demon" does not meet everyone's expectations: "From the game design point of view, the blockchain is used a bit reluctantly. The blockchain cat system is completely After the removal, the whole game is also very complete. (This) is a system that adds a cat to the hardest, and hangs up the concept of the blockchain."
"If it's a blockchain game, Tencent should first put all the game items on the chain and open up their API interface." Reed thinks that if you play "Catch the Demon" together into a complete blockchain game, Its scope of application will be broader and more powerful.
He analyzed that when Tencent put all the game items on the chain, these items will become a common asset in this ecology. Once Tencent chooses to open its own API interface, more developers will rush to the game, based on the common assets of the game ecosystem, to create a variety of peripheral applications or new gameplay, such as the item trading platform.
“Big companies should be a big game,” Reed said.
Developers expect that Tencent will be able to chain all the items such as the demon in "Catch the Demon" together, or to link the points in the game ecology, so that the blockchain and "Catch the Demon" together are more closely linked.
But Tencent clearly chose a more conservative path.
In this regard, a person close to Tencent commented that "in terms of Tencent's personality, doing things will be more conservative, not so radical. It will be too radical to put all the props on the chain, so first use a subsystem to block the block The concept is brought first to try. Tencent is more inclined to step by step, each step will not be too big, which is consistent with its consistent style, from the perspective of large companies, this decision is indeed no problem."
Expectation of big factory
Even if the blockchain elements are not strong, the gameplay model of "Catch the Demon Together" brings a lot of positive views.
"This catching demon game has opened up online and offline. In the process of online game, players can find strangers around them anytime and anywhere, hit the social point of strangers, and may be able to fight the next stranger, explore At the same time, the current gameplay also accesses coupons for offline shops, which is also a business model with a lot of imagination." Someone commented.
At the same time, as Tencent expects, the game props of "Catch the Demon Together" are constantly being given asset attributes, and players are also exploring the possibility of "getting together to catch the demon".
Due to its special asset attributes, a rare high-qualification demon in the current "Catch the Demon" can be sold for nearly 500 RMB, and the blockchain cat with rare attributes in the game is also clearly marked in the cat market. .
Therefore, a large number of "snapping booths" and "virtual positioning" plug-ins appearing together to "catch the demon" together, are publicly sold on the e-commerce platform at prices ranging from 15 to 30 yuan. At the same time, some people started the business of the game props "Diamond", and bought "Diamonds" for 1 yuan per 200 diamonds.
All this reflects that players want to get more valuable assets in this game in various forms and realize it.
As a blockchain practitioner, Reed is also very optimistic about Tencent's blockchain attempt.
“The big factory out of the blockchain game can be used to educate users, let users gradually have the concept and feeling of blockchain + game, and other blockchain game development teams can better advance in the later stage. There is no big factory to do it, it is difficult to educate users by our small team," he said.
The game, this is the most relevant section of Tencent's main business. Compared with other manufacturers, the 2018 game circle winter event seems to have little impact on Tencent.
In the 2018 global game company's TOP25 list given by research firm Newzoo, Tencent won a six-year winning streak with a revenue of $19.7 billion, and its revenue has increased slightly. There are reports that in the mobile game, "Glory of the King" is still Tencent's revenue trump card, in addition to a variety of role-playing new games are also continuing to pull Tencent revenue.
Objectively speaking, Tencent launched such a mobile game based on AR+ blockchain technology in 2019, which is more like a test of water for new technologies.
The appearance of the encrypted cat in 2017 made everyone have a blockchain cat, and turned the blockchain technology into a game pet kitten, so that a small number of people understood the asset attributes given by the blockchain. And what about the blockchain chain game that comes with the blockchain element that stands on the larger traffic side?
Some people expect that this may bring a new fund for the blockchain game that is in the blue ocean period.
After seeing Tencent’s admission, developers seem to see the dawn again. I believe that the attention of capital will be drawn from the blockchain game that makes quick money, and more invested in the strategic nature of playability. Blockchain game goes.
The big factory itself is willing to try a variety of new things, even in the face of the immature technology such as the blockchain, the big factory is willing to risk the risk of landing behind other competing products.
But the fact is, for big factories, investing all their energy to specialize in an immature technology is a risky and uneconomical thing. Practitioners have expectations of the big factory all in blockchain, but they are not always realistic.
So what can we expect? At least, the march of the big factory must bring more traffic, capital and attention to the industry.