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Taptap can't be a Chinese mobile game version of steam

via:博客园     time:2020/7/28 18:18:12     readed:1030


By Zhou Xiao and Liu mi

Source: ID: Excel ers

And the river and lake, or not only the end result of gratitude and resentment, but also a kind of ecological collection to some extent, bringing together the same kind of people and the same kind of life.

Swordsmanship, happy love and enmity are the swordsmen's rivers and lakes, and the small pieces and small pieces of joy are your and my rivers and lakes. Steam is the world of PC / host games, and taptap is also their place for 17.9 million mobile game players.

Early pull new: fast drainage of popular games

Amway and grass planting platforms should rely most on the tireless and eloquent UGCS who share their lives, plant grass and weed, and make friends. However, when the platform is launched at the beginning, it has low popularity, few users and less content to share naturally; if there is less content, there will not be more new users that can be attracted later, which will form a negative network effect.

So the key of early operation is how to get customers quickly in a short time.

The answer is: hot money.

It is because of the first shot of these blockbusters that a large number of first batch of users will enter these grass planting platforms and begin to share their lives and views, thus the content ecology can be initially built.

Different from planting grass in daily life, the game distribution platform is actually more dependent on blockbusters. The reason is that hot pot barbecue, lipstick perfume is an integral part of life, and these elements will never be out of date. But the game is not the same, popular game although the short-term drainage ability is very strong, but it is always difficult to escape the life cycle.

The carnival of the post-80s players in dota and the youth memory of the post-90s has been replaced by lol, and even the popular games will fade out of the mainstream players' vision with the migration of the times. But for hotpot, there is no phenomenon that the post-80s love to eat and the post-00s don't like to eat.

Therefore, the game grass planting platform needs to continue to launch popular models to retain players with ever-changing tastes. In 2016, "dota" set a brilliant high point for steam with 1.29 million people online at the same time; in 2018, "survival of the Jedi" had more than 3.23 million people online at the same time. In addition, there are "csgo", "GTA" and other evergreen games to ensure the flow of the platform.

Similar to steam, taptap launched "Legend of the enchantress", "Legend of fairyland" and "sausage party" after "talking about the sword", which had a catalytic effect on the sharp increase of its users.


In 2017, the two "Legend of the witch" and "icey" were popular, which quickly injected more than 9.3 million fresh blood into taptap, and the monthly live data exceeded 10 million.

As an independent game community, taptap is hard to get popular

Seeing this, you may be confused. The former is PC games, and the latter is mobile games. However, the former's blockbuster games are always played or heard of. The latter seems a little strange compared with the real blockbusters in the market (King's glory and peace elite).

The reason is that the main directions of the two in the game market are different, which makes taptap hard to sell.

As a Post-00 generation, steam is in the era of transferring street games to PC / host games in its early growth period. In 2004, the emergence of world of Warcraft ignited the whole game market. In 2006, the emergence of DOTA accelerated the growth of the whole game market. At that time, the major game manufacturers were trying to develop popular mainstream games, trying to occupy more shares in this incremental market.

Blizzard, Yidian, V club, R star and other well-known game companies have risen in that era. As a result, steam benefited from this incremental market in the early stage, and basically promoted the mainstream games, and basically laid the gene for its mainstream games.

For taptap, the mobile game market in 2020 is quite different from the PC game market 20 years ago.

Under the pressure of competition, a large number of small and medium-sized manufacturers are more inclined to make independent games because of the cost. Taptap just meets the publicity needs of these independent games. At present, more than 80% of taptap's main push games are independent games.

Independent games pay more attention to novel stories and beautiful pictures, and rely more on the core R & D team rather than the huge operation team in the later stage. However, for players of this kind, they are not sociable enough and need to spend more time and energy immersed in them. Naturally, the number of players will not be particularly large. Taptap focuses on independent games, so it is more difficult for taptap to drain through the popular game catalytic platform.

For example, Tencent will release "dungeons and Warriors" mobile game this year, with more than 20 million bookings before its release. And taptap has always been the most lucrative main game "wonderland legend m", even in its mature stage, the monthly live users are only 5.3 million.

The number of the operation of the game is obviously insufficient

Not only is it difficult for independent games to become popular, but as the core content of taptap's community, the number games operated by taptap are also facing insufficient reserves.

The first is the existing core games. Of the 11 core games developed or authorized by taptap, 9 have entered the mature stage. What's more, the authorization period of eight of them will expire one after another in 2022 at the latest.


In addition, the number of mobile games in China is also a big risk. In fact, few of the new games that taptap is about to release have won the edition number. So far this year, only four mobile games, such as the land of evil consequences and the version number of the second season of vitality idol, have been awarded.


Compared with Tencent and Netease, which are all eight types of edition reserves, taptap's version number reserve seems to be too small. This will make investors can not help but worry that after the expiration of the existing game, if the new game has not been made up, it will fall into the situation of green and yellow.

As can be seen from the above, taptap, like other communities, needs to obtain a large number of users through hot money. However, taptap's main independent game is hard to generate, and its version number reserve is not as good as other Tencent Netease. From the present point of view, it is difficult for the 17.9 million monthly life to obtain a qualitative breakthrough.

Mid term preservation: content ecology is moat

For taptap, getting a large number of users through the game is only the first step. After having users, the more important thing is how to retain these users. In this paragraph, we also compare the operation mechanism of taptap and steam to analyze their retention in detail.

Game portal: taptap is more like a download tool

In the initial stage, the game platform attracts users through fun games. However, when users understand and like the game itself, whether they can leave it on the platform is a very important issue.

One of the major differences between taptap and steam is that after taptap downloads the mobile game, players can bypass the platform and directly enter the game app.

Taptap's role is a bit like a download tool in the vertical field of mobile games. As a result, its user retention is naturally not as good as steam. According to official data, steam users retained more than 30% in 2017, while taptap users retained less than 10% in 2019.

Taptap's game distribution: being both a referee and a player

In other words, the root cause of user retention is game recommendation.

In terms of game recommendation, taptap and steam logic are different, which also affects its later retention.

Unlike steam, the promotion of games on taptap is more by the hands of editors. Taptap editors play the role of gatekeeper in promoting the game to users, and are given more functions. This also makes the game push information received by users, which may have editorial subjective color.


But tachnet, taptap's parent company, is also a gaming company. Since we can be referees, we should give full play to the ability of referees. Editors are more willing to promote their own games, saving a lot of marketing expenses and generating revenue for the company. This makes taptap a bit like an information distribution platform for the heart network.


The absence of KOL in the community and insufficient incentive for users

In the Internet industry, UGC content production is often the best way for companies to produce. Today's traffic giants, tiktok and BiliBili are all the same, but without the use of UGC and incentive mechanisms without quality content, the whole community will be in chaos.

In the early days of taptap's establishment, there were relatively few independent game players. Taptap was like a gathering place for a small number of people. With the development of independent games, the scale of its users increased. According to the financial report, taptap's monthly life has exceeded 17.9 million as of 2019.

But taptap's operation and management of users has obviously not kept pace with the growth of users.

Taptap, unlike other platforms, weakens the role of KOL. According to feedback from some gamers in the forum, taptap did not actively identify and push high-quality content of early core KOL machines. The operation of creators is also obviously insufficient. The conscience content is suppressed by the water army's control and evaluation, which damages the new user experience and chills the old users.

In addition to the insufficient operation of KOL, there are also some problems in the incentive mechanism.

Here, due to the lack of specific information about steam creator incentives, we compare it to bilibilibili, which also owns the game community.

BiliBili has a more comprehensive positive plan of KOL. Small KOL will provide cash incentive by playing, liking and voting, and large KOL will sign a contract with the company. As a result, KOL, as a whole community, has been activated to the greatest extent and produced high-quality content continuously. Users are attracted by high-quality content and thus remain for a long time.

According to the financial report, as of 2019, the retention rate of bilibilibili is basically stable at more than 29%. According to questmobile data, taptap's 30 day retention over the same period was below 10%.


With the continuous expansion of community scale, KOL will play a more and more important role. How to find high-quality KOL and how to make high-quality KOL stay, so as to produce real high-quality original content on the platform to improve the user's process, which has become the main contradiction of taptap's current community operation.

Community play is not enough and immature

For users, what can attract them to stay for a long time is not only high-quality content, but also various addictive playing methods. Think about pinduoduo, Taobao is how to attract users to come back through the orchard, building games, you can understand this problem.

However, the current playing method of taptap can be roughly summed up as: some plates are missing and the existing ones are not in place.

Compared with steam, taptap is not as rich as the former.

In contrast, taptap players can only achieve a sense of accomplishment through truly high-quality recognized content output, such as game reviews, replies, and pushing Amway walls.

The transaction and badge collection methods of steam are not covered by taptap at present, which are also the aspects that taptap needs to transform into users' thinking.

From the perspective of taptap's existing playing methods, there are also many shortcomings. For example, in the video section, the content arranged in the current video plate is basically the image promotion video of the manufacturer, without high-quality original content, and the whole interface is more like an advertising wall.


In the game strategy plate, there is a serious lack of content, many games of this page shows a blank page.


As a mobile game community, taptap has been pushed to the top position in China. However, when we examine this platform carefully, we find a series of retention problems: if the KOL mechanism is not perfect, it means that the content output is not enough, and the lack of content will affect the retention of users. For now, taptap doesn't seem to have found the perfect route for operation and retention.

What does taptap rely on to make money in late liquidation?

Steam adopts the mode of intermodal transportation with game manufacturers. The revenue mainly comes from the share of selling games. However, if the share is too high, it will lead to the escape of game manufacturers.

After steam had a certain network effect moat, it began to squeeze the profits of manufacturers upward and increase the extraction cost. The proportion of extraction once reached 30%. In 2018, the number of games released by steam and the growth rate of the number of new issuers began to decline. The reason is that the publishers think that the draw is too high and turn to self built channels or other channels.

To this end, steam revised the draw rules after 2019. For games with revenue of more than $10 million, steam shares 25% and more than 50 million shares 20%. Behind this move, steam is actually inclined to large manufacturers, while small and medium-sized manufacturers are still dissatisfied with it.

Unlike steam, taptap is a non intermodal and non divided mode.

Taptap is only responsible for the online operation of the game, players recharge directly to the manufacturer, no middleman to earn the price difference. Taptap's main revenue comes from the second recommended advertisement on the home page, as well as precision advertising.

In other words, steam makes share fees, taptap makes advertising money.

According to the prospectus and financial report, taptap's advertising revenue in 2019 is 460 million yuan. According to the 17.9 million Mau disclosed by taptap, we can roughly calculate that the advertising revenue of a single user is only 25.7 yuan.


The reason is that the loading rate of advertising is still very low, and there is only one advertising recommendation position on the home page. According to the corporate growth baton we mentioned in our friend circle advertisement, taptap's current baton is still in the hands of Mau, the first runner.


On the other hand, under the business model dominated by advertising revenue, the fairness of platform recommended games is a great risk. The user centered community nature means that the promotion of advertising loading rate needs to be restrained.

Compared with steam, taptap does not do game sharing, which may continue to attract game manufacturers and is conducive to the expansion of their game library. As long as the game library is large enough, taptap will naturally attract many players. However, the company's control over its core revenue advertising is a risk factor that needs special attention for a long time.


Is taptap a mobile game version of steam?

In terms of user innovation, taptap is constrained by the edition number and competitive environment, and the opportunity for its rapid growth is not as clear as steam;

In terms of commercial realization, taptap is quite different from steam in the way of making money. The former seems to rely more on small and medium-sized enterprises, while the latter tends to favor large-scale enterprises.

Taptap, a seemingly small and beautiful destination, can we really find a benign development direction of content ecology, whether it will pay the price for accelerating the realization, or slow down the pace in order to maintain the style. The balance between these two aspects actually tests the control ability of the management.

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