GameLook report/As offline entertainment returns to normal, many Chinese people have been in a state of retaliatory consumption in tourism in recent years. Many tourist attractions and theme parks that were divided into off-season and hot season in previous years, such as Disney in Shanghai, were once in a state of continuous rotation this year.
The popularity of “theme parks” related to the tourism industry has also attracted many intentional or unintentional people to this field. Just recently, there have been reports that “Disneyland” is being negotiated in many domestic cities, including Chengdu and Guangzhou.
Although the authenticity of the current relevant news is open to question, many netizens believe that this is a rumor deliberately or unintentionally created by some people in order to promote real estate. After all, even in the United States, Disney’s hometown, there are only two Disneylands.
But the fact that the rumors sparked heated discussions on the Internet is proof enough that tourism, especially theme parks, is slowly coming back to life, at least domestically.
Many Chinese companies are already full of ambition and trying to expand the park business, such as the blind box brand “Bubble Mart”.
“Bubble Mart”, which recently released a performance forecast, said that its “Bubble Mart City Paradise” located in Beijing Chaoyang Park is expected to meet the public on September 1 this year.
However, it is precisely because of the recent theme park rumors that GameLook also discovered that although there have been domestic game products that have been linked with large theme parks, such as Tencent’s “Glory of the King”, it has joined forces with Beijing Universal Studios twice to carry out themed activities.
However, the current domestic game companies that have an advantage in original IP reserves seem to be less willing to enter the asset-heavy field of cultural tourism.
You know, according to the data of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, my country has developed nearly 3,000 theme park tourist attractions, and has surpassed the United States to become the country with the largest number of theme park visitors in the world.
If you want to daydream, in GameLook’s view, two-dimensional companies, such as Mihayou, which has global user appeal, are very suitable for theme park business, not to mention that compared to Disney’s US company, Mihayou is still a Chinese company.
The prosperity of the second yuan, the construction of ACG theme park is an opportunity
What qualities should a game company need to possess if it wants to build its own theme park?
First of all, money is certain. From land to amusement facilities to personnel operation and maintenance, theme parks are typical capital-intensive projects.
However, according to the classification standards of the National Development and Reform Commission, theme parks are also divided into super-large, large and small and medium-sized. According to data from the Academy of Social Sciences, there are currently 93 large and super large theme parks in China.
Relatively small theme parks, like Bubble Mart’s “City Paradise”, according to financial report data, are similar to Bubble Mart’s annual revenue of 4.62 billion yuan in 2022, and the adjusted net profit is 570 million yuan. In fact, there are not many domestic game companies that meet this standard.
But if it is a super-large theme park, like Shanghai Disneyland, I am afraid that only the top companies in the game industry can meet the relevant conditions.
Statistics show that the overall area of Shanghai Disneyland Resort is about 3.9 square kilometers, and the theme park covers an area of 1.16 square kilometers. The investment in the first phase alone has reached 34 billion yuan.
Even if the Shanghai government has invested and supported the project, according to historical reports from The Paper, it is estimated that the Walt Disney Company’s investment in the first phase will already be close to 15 billion yuan, which will be spread over the five years of construction, and the annual investment will be about 3 billion yuan.
Secondly, the theme of the theme park must also be able to attract tourists. This is the key reason why two-dimensional game companies such as Mihayou are more suitable for theme parks than other companies.
On the one hand, the domestic two-dimensional market has achieved considerable development in the past few years. According to the data from iResearch, in 2020, the number of pan-two-dimensional users in China has reached 420 million, and this figure is expected to exceed 500 million this year.
Along with the growth of the user scale, there are also various derivative content and business models around the two-dimensional IP, and the gradual maturity of platform channels. From blind boxes, peripherals, West Lake utensils, calendar cups and other daily consumer products, from Pizza Hut linkage to CP and other exhibitions, the two-dimensional sports has not only broken the circle, but has even become a “venture” favored by capital.
On the other hand, the reason why theme parks can attract tourists for a long time is largely due to the “theme” in the park, that is, the emotional value and influence of IP.
Among them, the important source of emotional value is the story and world view of the IP, which means that IPs with weak narratives such as shooting and Moba are difficult to support a theme park, and this happens to be the comfort zone of the second dimension.
But not all the big IPs of the second dimension are suitable as the theme of the park, especially in China. In addition to the necessary story, the second dimension has long been regarded as a children’s play house, and the game was once regarded as a scourge. Therefore, whether it is art or story, an IP with a more friendly, relaxed and family-friendly style, such as “Yuan Shen”, will be more suitable as the composition of IP in theme parks.
Of course, if the game company is willing, they can also choose their own unique IP, but they need to relax their expectations and wait for a few more years before the park returns.
With rich experience, the game company can give the second dimension an attribution
Finally, and quite importantly, the two-dimensional game company has always been an active participant and organizer of offline events such as comic exhibitions and carnivals.
For example, in May this year, we will go to the offline CP station. Almost all domestic second-gamers who are somewhat well-known, released and scheduled to go to the exhibition site. The active performance of the two-dimensional users has given the CP exhibition the title of “two-dimensional Olympic Games”.
Not long ago, the “Honkai 3” 2023 Summer Carnival held by Mihayou at the Shanghai Automobile Exhibition Center just ended. At the conference, gamers not only gathered together to witness many famous scenes in the game, but even waited for Viagra to cry.
Similarly, second-game players are also very willing to spend on their favorite content.
In the “National Performance Market Annual Report 2021” released by the China Performance Industry Association at the end of April last year, the “Ark of Tomorrow” held in May 2021 “Special Performance for Synesthesia 2021” was even ranked in the top ten of the year in terms of box office revenue.
To sum up, back to Mihayou, which GameLook was looking forward to at the beginning, in terms of funds, according to third-party forecasts, the current profit of Mihayou last year was around 15 billion, and this year’s new game “Henghuai: Star Railway” also achieved success with an almost exaggerated momentum.
Strong game research and development capabilities and a very high hit rate allow Mihayou to be able to transfuse blood for large theme parks in the early stage.
Secondly, in terms of IP, although the plots of many Mihayou games are a bit black and dark in the second dimension, in terms of art and performance, most of Mihayou’s current games are relatively close to the people, not too aggressive, or they will screen out the user’s personalized features.
You should know that according to the Data.ai report, the user penetration rate of two-dimensional games globally, even in Japan, the user penetration rate of two-dimensional games whose MAU is in Top5 in 2020 is only 4%.
Therefore, relying solely on IP players to enter the park is absolutely not enough commercially. Pan-users are the market that theme parks must strive for.
As for the possible location of Mihayou’s “HoyoLand (the name compiled by GameLook, which has nothing to do with Mihayou’s official)”, GameLook has even thought about it, at least in Shanghai, the capital of the second dimension in China, GameLook thinks that the Shanghai Jinjiang Paradise is a good land, although the area is slightly smaller (only 100,000 square meters).
On the one hand, like Akihabara in Japan, the second dimension paradise must be in the urban area. Compared with the suburbs that may need to be driven to, urban areas are more suitable for the most important young users of the second dimension.
Many writers like this two-dimensional otaku can go downstairs for holidays. After various public transportation transfers, they go to an amusement park in the suburbs. This is almost a proposal that will be rejected at the conception stage.
On the other hand, the current annual number of tourists received by Jinjiang Park is only 1 million, an average of less than 3,000 per day. In contrast, Disneyland received an average of 50,000 tourists per day in 2019.
With such a good location in the urban area, it is better to be taken over by a company that is more attractive to tourists.
Of course, many of the above contents are purely GameLook’s personal imagination. Operating a large theme park is a very risky business for any enterprise without relevant experience.
Even if the IP influence and family carnival level are as high as Nintendo, they only cooperated with Universal and opened a small park in Japan.
But from online to offline, it is a process that all two-dimensional IPs that can develop in the long-term must go through. Perhaps no two-dimensional company can embark on the path of Disney offline from the very beginning, but someone must be able to take the first step.
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