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GameLook Report / In recent years, IP games have always been the mainstay of promoting the development of the mobile game industry.

Gamma data shows that since 2017, the revenue of domestic IP adaptation products has increased year by year. Especially in an environment where global user dividends are ebbing, marketing expenses are surging, and market competition is becoming increasingly fierce, as cost reduction and efficiency increase become the main theme of the industry, IP games are more valued by manufacturers.

When GameLook took stock of new products launched in July 2023, it was discovered that IP mobile games will usher in another small climax in that month. If the timeline is extended to the entire first half of the year, it can be found that new faces based on IP adaptations will emerge in the market almost every month.

Among them, a new IP game has quietly achieved better-than-expected performance within more than a month of its launch. The mobile game “Mortal Cultivation: The Human World”, a well-known web-based IP adaptation of China Literature, entered the top 5 of the domestic iOS best-selling list after its first release, and its estimated turnover in the first month was around 600 million.

Generally speaking, IP itself has brand influence and a large number of loyal users. After gamification, it can bring high exposure and new users at low cost. However, according to GameRefinery data, the proportion of IP games in the Chinese mobile game market ranks the highest in the world, reaching 70%. This means that the conventional IP game play has been difficult to cause a big splash in the market.

So, what kind of secret is hidden behind the popularity of “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation: The Human World”?

It is true that the outstanding performance of the product is inseparable from the excellent quality of the game and an effective distribution strategy. But after further in-depth understanding, GameLook found that the combination of “animation + web text IP” is the key to the game’s rapid breakthrough and even comparable to the current industry’s “Leader Huadan” two-dimensional game.

600 million in the first month, what is the basis for “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation of Immortals”?

In 2009, “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation of Immortals” created by the platinum writer “Wang Yu” was officially born. Relying on the text alone, this majestic, exquisitely designed world view and interlocking plots have left a deep impression on the readers. The IP has entered the “Hurun Original Literature IP Value List” for two consecutive years, and will also be included in the “China Internet Literature Influence List (2020) IP Adaptation Influence List” in 2021.

As one of the most popular online articles at the beginning, the unconstrained imagination and text narrative of “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation of Immortals” provide a perfect blueprint for IP gamification. Today, thanks to the high degree of restoration of the original work and the reshaping of the game’s strong interactivity, “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation: The Human World” has completed an extension of IP, and has also been recognized by players and the market.

On May 24, “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation: The Human World” airborne on the App Store free list, and it was not squeezed out until the 30th, dominating the free list for a week; in terms of best-selling list, the game performed equally well, once rushed to No. 4 on the iOS best-selling list, and remained stable in the TOP20 of the iOS best-selling list a month later, and even occasionally reached the top ten.

According to GameLook combined with third-party data estimates, the game’s first month turnover was 500-700 million yuan, and the entire June turnover was 400-500 million yuan, which has achieved quite outstanding results.

The correct relationship between IP and games should be complementary and complementary. A good IP needs a lot of high-quality game content to support it; but at the same time, the siphon effect brought by the top IP can not only provide a stable user scale for the game, but also allow it to maintain good stickiness in the long-term operation in the future.

Therefore, a good IP adaptation product is inseparable from the technical strength of the R&D team, and choosing a good IP is the key to success. Different from other IP games, the uniqueness behind the success of “Mortal Cultivating Immortals: The Human World” lies in the fact that before gamification, it was not only an online novel, but also a year-end animation broadcast on Bilibili, and a highly popular cross-media IP.

The development path of multiple content forms provides IP with different channels and different levels of users, which further enriches the audience and at the same time provides the possibility of breaking the circle for “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation of Immortals”. And this seems to be used to explain the rare popularity of “not mainstream” after the launch of “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation: The Human World”.

The new pusher behind the explosion: How powerful is the Internet IP + animation?

To put it simply, the success of “The Legend of Mortal Cultivation: The Human World” is not only due to the content and high popularity of the work itself, but also attracts a steady stream of new fans. More importantly, it promotes the continuation of IP vitality and the improvement of user activity through multimedia adaptation across ACGN.

An increasingly obvious phenomenon is that in recent years, more and more headlines have become important inspirations for content creation such as games and animations.

The multi-field development of literary IP has become the norm in the industry, and from the perspective of income sources, games and film and television can constitute the main way of IP revenue. Under this trend, directly combining animation and games to achieve the effect of 1+1>2 has become a new idea for manufacturers to create phenomenal games.

Generally speaking, due to the long period of development, webtext IP not only has a huge amount of content, but also has accumulated a large number of users of different age groups. And when IP relies on animation to occupy the head market for a long time, it continues to expand the circle and attract traffic, and its influence has been upgraded. It not only accumulates highly active core users in advance for the game to go online, but also can continue to form a linkage effect with animation after the game goes online, further pushing up the popularity of IP.

After all, compared with live-action film and television, the extremely tense animation performance is more suitable for restoring the grand world view and unrestrained imagination in web articles. And this can also create a favorable space for gamification creation. For example, character design and scene design games in IP animation can be reused, effectively reducing research and development costs. At the same time, on the basis of completing the network IP visualization in advance of the animation, the quality of the game produced based on this can also effectively respond to the expectations of players.

Therefore, the practice of “animation + web text IP” across the ACGN field is undoubtedly the best solution for the current head web text IP adaptation.

In fact, not only the recent “Mortal Cultivation of Immortals”, this type of play across the ACGN field has long been verified by another headline IP: “Douluo Dalu”.

Relying on the combination of “Internet IP + animation”, in recent years, the gamification of “Douluo Dalu” has created a cumulative turnover of over 10 billion, ranking first in the “Xinhua·Cultural Industry IP Index Report (2022)”, and has been praised by the official media many times.

Not only that, AIGC is also improving the efficiency and production capacity of IP development, bringing stronger user stickiness, wider user groups, and more efficient value conversion. China Literature has just released the first large-scale model in the domestic online literature industry, “Yuewen Miaobi” and the application product “Writer Assistant Miaobi Edition” based on this large model. Hou Xiaonan, CEO of China Literature, said that China Literature will fully explore AI applications in the development chain of audio, comics, animation, and derivatives.

“Last year’s readings added 950,000 works, but less than 0.5%of the IP adaptation. For a web article to enter the follow -up adaptation, it is often over. The development of different chains such as anime and derivatives is lagging and separated. It will inevitably occur with user loss and value damage.” Hou Xiaonan revealed that “the first step in the first order,” the first step in the first order. Duan, we have applied the AI ​​to the webmons. In the past, the coloring link of about 2 hours in the past has been shortened to within 1 hour. “

Adapted across ACGN into the biggest potential stock, what other IPs deserve the attention of the game circle?

According to GameLook monitoring and statistical data, as of June, the total revenue of new games has accounted for 30% of the entire market, and IP games including “Mortal Cultivation: Human World Chapter” have played a considerable role. Under the dominance of new games, especially IP New Games, for a long time to come, products that rely on the “animation + web IP” style of play may become the biggest potential stocks in the market.

This also means that online IPs such as “Fights Break Sphere”, “Full-time Master”, “Lord of the Mysteries”, “Ring of Fate” and “Deep Sea Embers” are in progress or have clear animation development plans. From the perspective of popularity and content, they all have quite high potential for game adaptation.

For example, “Fights Break the Sphere”, another work of “National Comic Shuangdou”, has repeatedly broken broadcast records since its animation adaptation was launched in 2017, with a cumulative broadcast volume of over 20 billion. On July 16, Year 2 “Fights Break the Sphere: Battle of Clouds” was launched after Year 1, and the popularity of Tencent Video exceeded 26,000.

“Full-time Master”, born in 2011, is the first “Thousand League” work in the history of online literature, and is also regarded as the first IP of e-sports online literature. In the past ten years, IP development has covered radio dramas, comics, animations, animated movies, film and television dramas and other dimensions, and has been loved by a large number of fans. It is even sold overseas in multiple forms, such as animation movies are being released in Japan.

Therefore, although “Full-time Master” has been completed for nearly ten years, it still maintains a very high popularity. As of this year, fans have celebrated the protagonist Ye Xiu’s birthday for ten consecutive years, and “Ye Xiu’s birthday” has become a “holiday” among readers.

Not only is it popular, but from the perspective of content, “Full-time Master” also has gamification potential: with over 100 characters, massive monster designs, and a complete upgrade path for weapon skills, the IP is undoubtedly suitable for adaptation into card gameplay; the overall setting of the novel refers to DNF, animation works have a high degree of restoration of battle scenes, and can also be made into ARPG gameplay; the protagonist group is designed as a team manager or coach, and simulation management is also a good choice.

Let’s take a look at the 2020 phenomenon-level web novel “Lord of the Mysteries”, which has broken the starting record many times and became the first work with an average order of more than 100,000 when it was serialized. This year, the second part of the “Secret” series “The Ring of Fate” began to be serialized. Within 24 hours of its launch, it broke the collection record on the first day of the book with a score of over 820,000, and topped the starting point reading monthly ticket list.

It is reported that the “Lord of the Mysteries” animation produced by Shimei Pictures is under development and will be launched on Tencent Video. Not long ago, Kuaishou’s self-developed RPG product “Code: Mystery” has been exposed. Of course, as the most popular fantasy IP in China Literature in recent years, the “Secret” series has a complete and detailed world view setting, and leaves a lot of room for divergent creation. The gamification potential naturally does not stop there.

First of all, the “Secret” series was born out of the background of Western Fantasy, with a sufficient number of characters and different personalities, which can provide a story template for the current popular open world gameplay; secondly, there are more than 100 main characters in the two novels, with skills, props, and 22 independent sequences… These detailed designs are conducive to the development of card gameplay; fantasy characters such as warriors, mages, warlocks, and priests and rich map elements mean that IP is also suitable for ARPG.

I have to mention “Deep Sea Embers”, which just won the “Best Science Fiction Online Novel Award” at the 33rd China Science Fiction Galaxy Awards. The novel tells hard sci-fi themes in a “light” way, and quickly became Qidian’s eighth novel with 100,000 subscriptions after it was put on the shelves.

With the popularity of works such as “Three-Body Problem” and “The Wandering Earth”, there has already been a wave of sci-fi film and television animation in China. Although the animation news has not been made public yet, in the “Xinhua·Cultural Industry IP Index Report (2022)”-IP Adaptation Potential Value List released last year, “Deep Sea Embers” ranks among the top three in the animation adaptation value list of sci-fi IP, and has quite high potential.

Its value is also reflected in IP adaptation games. Based on the grand and solemn era of great voyages, “Deep Sea Embers” with rich scene resources, the open world will naturally be the first choice; in the novel, the ship upgrade system of different players and rich map exploration elements can obviously be compared to the simulation business gameplay;


Since the beginning of this year, with the normalization and stable distribution of version numbers, the total number of version numbers in the first half of the year is basically the same as the number of version numbers for the whole year of 2022, injecting vitality into the rebound and recovery of the domestic game market.

Indeed, the emergence of blockbuster new products from various companies has directly promoted the rebound of the entire game industry market. Under the current general environment, the excellent performance of “Mortal Cultivation: The Human World” not only further proves the importance of the head IP, but also provides a successful template for other IP adaptation products: the combination of “network IP + animation”.

As the value of web-text IP is further tapped, more successful products may appear in the future. Even though it is a big category that has been involved for six years, IP mobile games are still a big business worthy of attention.

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