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Game-Time report/On February 10, QQ will celebrate its 25th birthday.

Although my daily online socializing is inseparable from this social software, I have never paid attention to its birth date. However, since the beginning of February, I have been constantly reminded from all directions: Tencent’s major games have recently launched joint activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of QQ, giving QQ a “big feast”.

“Honor of Kings” launched QQ birthday co-branded skins and mobile QQ group activities, “QQ Speed” customized QQ 25th anniversary racing cars and mechas, and “Yuanmeng Star” decorated the main square of the game with the new QQ image of the Year of the Dragon. Anchors Have fun with the “Lucky Goose” limited set… Including “CODM” and “QQ Dance”, a total of 14 games have launched various activities for the QQ anniversary.

This kind of grand occasion of joint participation can’t help but make people feel emotional. 25 years ago, Ma Huateng and Tencent’s entrepreneurial veterans were struggling with the server cost of this “Chinese Network Pager” in their cabin in Shenzhen SEG Technology Park; and 25 years later, this software has become irreplaceable among Chinese users. , a legendary social ecosystem that is also difficult to replace.

From the perspective of the gaming industry, we can say without exaggeration that the social network revolution triggered by QQ has completely changed the development path of the gaming industry. And with its interest-based social model in which everyone participates, this social application is still driving the rapid development of the national game industry on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Tencent QQ: A game-breaker in the era of “social + gaming”

Looking back at the history of game development, the relationship between QQ and games began in 2003, and it has been a magnificent journey since then.

At that time, Tencent’s team of entrepreneurial veterans chose “QQ Game Hall”, which focuses on chess, card and casual games, as the direction to break the game business. At that time, the gaming industry already had card and board game giants with over 10 million monthly active users, but Tencent, which relied on a large number of QQ users, was not afraid.

Through the QQ software interface, the integration of QQ game entrance, QQ account login without registration, user profile display of in-game information, one-click jump to game rooms and other functions have combined advantages, allowing the QQ game lobby that started from scratch to grow in less than a year. Within a short period of time, he became the leader of the track. This is the first time that the Chinese gaming industry has witnessed the infinite power of gaming + social networking.


Early version of QQ Game Hall

After the classic battle in QQ Game Hall, classic cases such as “QQ Farm” and “QQ Ranch” that relied on social networks to break through are still emerging. While China’s online game industry has entered a period of rapid development, this product has also grown with the game industry through continuous iteration of capabilities, and continues to consolidate its companionship with the game industry.

In the era of PC games, the “four masterpieces of online games”, “QQ Dance”, “QQ Speed”, “Dungeon Fighter”, and “Cross Fire” have brought game enlightenment to a generation of gamers; and those who want to meet up with guild friends to “open a game” “One game” cannot be separated from the much needed social link of QQ group. After entering the era of mobile games, the team announced the launch of the “QQ Game Center” product, which will connect game-side capabilities such as application distribution with social scenarios such as mobile sessions and QQ space to provide long-term and stable landing scenarios for game content on the platform.

After 25 years of hard work, the game content ecology on the platform is no longer the same as it was back then. A string of about ten QQ numbers can now be called an “online game pass” extending in all directions – whether it is the previous generation of client games or new generation mobile game products such as “Yuanmeng Star” and “Dark Zone Breakout”, only By entering an account number, players can seamlessly log in and play countless popular mobile games, and even integrate social platforms with the game content ecology.

Within the application, QQ groups, QQ channels (internal beta version) and other small ecosystems formed spontaneously among players based on their interests are now like stars in the sky, fully covering the social needs of games in various categories and scenarios. Whether they are seeking to form a team, looking for a “mate”, or finding people with the same interests and “going crazy” with them, or even discussing a little-known niche game, gamers can easily find connections with other people with the same interests here. Interest communities.

The solid social relationship construction allows QQ to occupy a key voice on the game publishing side: its huge traffic base gives it a significant advantage in attracting new users. With the help of community capabilities, users on this platform are more socially sticky. These features can naturally help many manufacturers attract more new users and exposure, and obtain higher distribution ROI. In addition to pure performance advertising purchases, it opens up another link for game marketing.

In addition, under a series of complete positions such as QQ Game Center, Goose Feather Market, QQ Group, internal beta channel community, QQ short video, etc., QQ can provide manufacturers with rich and complete full-link distribution capabilities, allowing players to Breaking out of the QQ ecosystem, you can complete the game content experience from testing, downloading, purchasing, chatting, finding hookups, watching videos, etc. in one stop. Taking into account the above-mentioned advantages, today’s QQ channel has become the first choice for distribution cooperation with a large number of manufacturers.

After more than two decades of continuous efforts, “use QQ account to log in to games, use QQ groups to chat about games, and use QQ Game Center to download games” has now become the collective mental consensus of QQ users. Standing at the juncture of 2024, QQ’s ecological flywheel is still spinning faster and faster with the continuous evolution of products.

An irreplaceable open social platform

In the ever-changing game industry, it is normal for people’s social relationships to be constantly shuffled with changes in top game products. However, Game-Time has seen that more and more young gamers are shifting their discussion to open community content scenarios such as the QQ channel, which is under internal testing, driving this new front to flourish; and the QQ group has also firmly maintained its enduring popularity. status, it is still the main place where countless game discussion groups are active.

After more than 20 years of ups and downs, why does this game ecosystem still stand firm? According to Game-Time, this is inseparable from the joint action of three major factors: the unique social positioning of “light acquaintances”, the inclusive ecological openness, and the diversified game-side functional support.

What is “socializing with light acquaintances”? In 2002, Zhang Zhidong, one of the founders of Tencent who was responsible for developing the QQ group chat function, wrote in the functional definition: “QQ Group is an instant messaging platform established for small groups of QQ users who have common characteristics… You are no longer alone. Instead of staying on QQ, we are in a close group to experience the excitement brought by the Internet together.” It points out the essence of this communication form based on common interests.

This commonality based on interests is like a natural “social glue”, allowing users to quickly open communication topics with their peers in QQ social networking, and then easily build “acquaintance-like” social relationships. In addition to relatives and friends in real life, whether it is a “game partner” met through games or an “expansion” through groups and other scenarios, it is possible to develop into a “dirty partner” or a “game partner” “This type of close friend has a long-term and stable relationship.

Under the “light acquaintance” model, users naturally have a high degree of resonance with each other, which makes QQ a high-value user base in the eyes of game manufacturers. Over the past many years, user research data conducted on countless game products have shown that recommendations from fellow fans are the most important basis for persuading consumers to make decisions about playing games. A friendship-building method similar to that of “light acquaintances” makes players more trustful in the recommendations of QQ friends. In the daily communication between players, word-of-mouth of the game can naturally spread across circles.

The openness of the ecosystem is another unique advantage of QQ. In this platform, a small ecology can almost eliminate the barriers to entry – as long as a line of QQ group number and a QR code are placed under the videos on each platform, it can help netizens from all over the world gather in one place. , helping game developers, brands, etc. quickly connect to a large number of users through extremely high communication effects.

The premise of openness and inclusiveness has also led many brands to use QQ groups as a safe choice for operating private communities. Whether it is products inside or outside Tencent, you can conduct cross-product and cross-ecological discussions, and even freely connect and place orders with creators. In fact, during the beta testing period of a mobile game, an official QQ group is established as a feedback channel to obtain player opinions. This is now a common operation method.

As popular as QQ groups is the updated QQ channel function. Although this function is still in internal testing, many leading products inside and outside Tencent, such as “Light Encounter”, “Identity V”, “Love of Light and Night”, have already set up official channels in it. Nowadays, community operation has gradually become an important means of user operation. The overall composition of the user group in the QQ ecosystem is biased towards young people, which highly overlaps with the currently popular ACGN users. This enables ACGN or two-dimensional game products to deeply explore the monetization potential around this valuable private community.

Finally, there is another advantage that must be mentioned: in the past two decades of development, this ecosystem has accumulated a large number of practical ecological functions that are well received by game players, which directly helps it maintain its reputation in the minds of gamers. status.

For example, in the Goose Feather Market, players can purchase skins and give them directly to QQ friends to give unexpected surprises to close friends on birthdays, festivals and other occasions; or quickly share the “five kills” moments through the QQ game album In QQ space; the chatbot that is popular in the ecosystem is a convenient and intelligent management tool, becoming an indispensable community management assistant in the game circle of channels and QQ groups… As long as there are social needs related to games, in Most of them can be satisfied here. It’s no wonder that gamers can’t do without the QQ ecosystem.

After fully understanding the help of these three key factors, it is not difficult for us to understand why QQ is still the most user-friendly, most capable, and highest-growth social network for game users in the country.

A quarter of a century later, QQ still wants to go both ways with young people

Standing at the 25th anniversary milestone, where will the next stop of this already fruitful social media ecosystem be? From the latest major version update of QQ, we can see some clues.

In the QQ9 version updated at the end of last year, the QQ team launched the slogan “Easy to be yourself”. The overall “dopamine-colored” official promotional materials and trendy functions such as “mini nest” and “close friends” seem to convey to us the direction of creating an atmosphere of “sense of vitality” and “expression of self”. It is not difficult to see that this team still chooses to delve deeply into the popular culture of youth and the interest circles surrounding it.

It is not difficult to understand that the youth group is chosen as the differentiated positioning. The portrait of QQ’s user group is naturally the most important positioning reference: for many years, young user groups have always occupied the mainstream of QQ’s user group. Driven by this group of people, the social ecology of the QQ platform is naturally full of vitality.

But on a deeper level, this positioning choice may better reflect the “easy” social concept that QQ wants to advocate: social factors such as work, interpersonal communication, and emotional relationships are too complex and realistic. We might as well focus on social relationships. Reduce the burden – On QQ, take the initiative to invite your friends to form a “game partner”, play black games together from time to time, and let pure happiness define the friendship between friends. Why not?

As the Spring Festival holiday is approaching, this is also a rare time for office workers to put aside work, reunite with their families, or enjoy entertainment. So, we might as well take advantage of this rare time to take a vacation for our brains. Game-Time found that during the Spring Festival, mobile QQ brought many exclusive benefits to users through the Goose Feather Market, from exclusive skin discounts to password red envelopes, allowing QQ users to have fun during the holidays.

In this winter and New Year, let us completely release the pressure in our hearts and have fun as a young person.

Conclusion

QQ has gone through 25 years of turmoil, and it must have experienced generational changes in users during this period. Whether they are born in the 80s, 90s, or 00s, every generation of Chinese people has their own unique memories of QQ.

But I think these memories all have something in common: whether what attracts you to stay on QQ is the black groups of “Honor of Kings” and “League of Legends”, or the friends you met in the console chat group, or QQ New games are constantly discovered and experienced in the game center. The carefree time we spend with games in QQ will be the most unforgettable memory in this life.

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