The Life of the Disgusted Penguin Gaming

 After the internal staff meeting in December 2018, led by President Liu Chiping, Tencent laid off 10% of its middle-level cadres in one go. In this management change that shook the industry, Ma Li, a veteran of OMG, resigned sadly.

 Before that, Ma Li served as the vice president of Tencent for a long time, responsible for researching and pushing high-quality news to users through big data. In the frontal battle with Toutiao, Ma Li once became the head of Tencent's Interested Reading Product Department, and was in charge of the Daily Express, which Tencent gave high hopes. However, Tencent's late-movement efforts failed, Tiantian Express was integrated into QQ Kandian, and Ma Li was eliminated.

  Ma Li is one of the three founders of Penguin E-sports, representing Tencent OMG's media support for e-sports products. The other two are Hou Miao, deputy general manager of IEG's marketing department, and Liu Xiankai, general manager of SNG's value-added product department. They represent IEG's high expectations for the marketing of e-sports products and QQ's efforts to find traffic scenarios.

  However, with the personnel changes of the founders, Penguin E-sports’ abandoned status has become more and more prominent. Liu Xiankai was transferred to the general manager of the commercial advertising department of Tencent Music, and no longer paid attention to the commercial realization of Tencent QQ; Hou Miao was promoted to the general manager of Tencent e-sports, and no longer pinned his hopes on the content output of the Penguin e-sports live broadcast platform, but focused his attention. On Tencent's Douyu and Huya.

  In the restructuring agreement signed on October 12, 2020, Tencent expects to transfer the Penguin e-sports game live broadcast business to Douyu at a price of US$500 million. At the same time, the market value of Douyu is US$5 billion and Huya is 5.4 billion. In US dollars, Penguin E-sports has instead become a gift of Tencent's "big live broadcast" system.

  From beginning to end, Penguin E-sports is in the vertical and horizontal game between SNG and IEG. Even in the golden age of Penguin e-sports users soaring, Tencent is still keeping an eye on other players on the live broadcast track. As the State Administration of Market Supervision stopped Tencent's merger of Huya and Douyu, Tencent's dream of integrating game live broadcast was awakened, and the historical mission of Penguin's e-sports live broadcast business came to an end.

  horse race loser

  On the last night of Panda Live's sad exit, the entire platform fell into a disorderly and anti-intellectual carnival. A screenshot is widely rumored on the Internet - the female anchor is broadcasting content with soft pornography, and a platform superman enters the live broadcast room and leaves a message saying: "Please increase the intensity of the anchor."

  Today, a similar doomsday scene is being staged on the Penguin e-sports live broadcast platform.

  Since March 1, Penguin E-sports and a group of top anchors have successively terminated their contracts, and some anchors have made parting speeches on Weibo. Penguin E-sports anchor Han Paopao wrote: "5 years, 4 months, 22 days, 1972 days and nights, although there is a day of parting in life, landscapes should meet. Goodbye in the rivers and lakes, the best Penguin E-sports." Live on Penguin E-sports On the platform, some anchors typed the titles of "Accompany you to the end" and "Penguins can't stop broadcasting".

  The difference is that, unlike Panda Live, where the capital chain is broken, Penguin E-sports, which is backed by Tencent, did not fall into the vicious scene of disputes and salary demands, and brought a romantic atmosphere like an idol drama to the breakup.

  From beginning to end, Penguin E-sports cannot avoid the “horse racing” with Tencent-based live broadcast platforms such as Douyu and Huya.

  From the perspective of the product background, the SNG attribute of Penguin E-sports is stronger, and the label of "Penguin" is destined to be the platform's QQ gene. At the 2016 Penguin E-sports press conference with the theme of "Zoom in", Liu Xiankai defined Penguin E-sports as the connector of Tencent's mobile e-sports ecosystem. For the upstream, Penguin E-Sports provides event-based solutions for IEG mobile game products; in the downstream, Tencent QQ and provide Penguin E-sports with community and media traffic to ensure that the influence of the event reaches more players.

  The investment in external live broadcast platforms shows IEG's will in many places. During the US$260 million increase in Huya’s holdings, Tencent COO and IEG President Ren Yuxin undertook the work of making external statements and interpretations. In addition, Linzhi Lichuang Information Technology Co., Ltd., of which Ren Yuxin is the major shareholder, led Tencent's investment in Douyu. Today, Linzhi Lichuang Information Technology Co., Ltd. holds 18.9753% of the shares of Wuhan Douyu Network Technology Co., Ltd., second only to the major shareholder Chen Shaojie.

  "Tencent saw that Douyu and Huya were popular, so they started a penguin e-sports, but they didn't do it." Huang Ji, a game live broadcast practitioner, said to "New Entropy". In March 2016, before the founding of Penguin E-sports, Tencent once tried to integrate Douyu and Dragon Ball Live, but the efforts eventually aborted. Only 4 months later, Penguin E-sports was established and entered the game live broadcast market.

  During this process, Penguin E-Sports, who ate royal food, enjoyed Tencent’s top resources. Huang Ji said that Penguin E-sports enjoyed Tencent’s competition resources, Tencent QQ’s drainage resources, and even Tencent games and other products have joined the live broadcast window to drain traffic. The live broadcast content is provided by Penguin Esports.

  However, on March 8, 2018, Tencent invested US$630 million and US$460 million in Douyu and Huya respectively. Before that, the conflict between Penguin E-sports and Douyu and Huya for the anchor has been made public. Tencent's will behind it has gradually become clear-eggs cannot be put in one basket.

  Penguin E-sports is also losing its backers. The traffic capabilities of Tencent and QQ mobile games are being replaced by short videos and WeChat. As of July 2021, QuestMobile data shows that the number of monthly active users of the Penguin e-sports live platform is 3.22 million, while Douyu and Huya were 41.17 million and 28.2 million respectively. With the suspension of the merger of Douyu and Huya, the Penguin e-sports live broadcast product lost its final value. Just as WXG replaced SNG as the social pillar of Tencent, the Penguin e-sports live broadcast business has also become a victim of this Tencent horse racing game.

  Boiled frog in warm water

  "Penguin E-sports is a frog boiled in warm water, and a good hand is broken."

  To this day, Huang Ji still regrets the Buddhism and inaction of the Penguin E-sports live broadcast. Born with a golden spoon in his mouth, Penguin E-sports Live is immersed in the dream of Tencent's direct line resources to dominate the live broadcast market.

  In Huang Ji's view, Penguin E-sports does not have a strong operation team, nor does it recruit a strong live broadcast project leader from outside. The platform focuses its energy on undertaking Tencent-based mobile game events, but does not know how to become a large platform's monthly active users. base.

  One of the important manifestations is that Penguin E-sports does not have proper operation methods in the field of live broadcast, but focuses on completing the promotion in the existing resources. To some extent, this is the result of Tencent and QQ Mobile Games transferring the pressure of traffic realization to Penguin E-sports.

  Taking the product functions of Douyu Live as an example, the platform has formed a complete set of operation system, including users' guessing, exploration, redemption of rewards, pets, fan titles, props redemption, built-in mini-games, fish bar community and many other functions. This provides more room for user retention.

  In contrast, Tencent and QQ have undertaken the marketing and growth tasks of Penguin E-sports respectively, and related products have huge traffic pools. In the first two years of its launch, Penguin E-sports has achieved good user growth by relying on the strong drainage of Tencent-based products, but the lack of user gameplay features has caused Penguin E-sports’ traffic to plummet. A Penguin e-sports anchor broke the news on social media that the popularity of Penguin e-sports was seriously distorted, and the top anchor could not receive a plane reward worth 500 yuan even for one day of live broadcast.

  Game anchors have become the beneficiaries of Penguin E-sports. In the early days, the rapid accumulation of popularity made a group of top anchors quickly break the circle, but in the face of the poaching of external platforms such as Douyu and Huya, Penguin Live fell into the dilemma of the loss of top anchors, and its huge user traffic turned into wedding clothes. . Among the game live broadcast users contacted by "New Entropy", there are many cases of uninstalling Penguin E-sports due to the departure of the head anchor. Huang Ji said to "new entropy":

  "At present, it is not recommended to go to Penguin E-sports for live broadcast. The development prospects are not good, and the popular anchors have all left. The original head was Leng Yanhua, and now most of them go to Douyin."

  In the field of short videos, Kuaishou, Douyin, and Station B are competing for market share as rising stars. Compared with the closed loop of media + social + game live broadcast business formed by, Tencent QQ and Penguin E-sports, the closed loop of game video + game live broadcast of short video platform is obviously more advantageous. The former can bring a large amount of startup traffic to the live broadcast platform, while the latter's dual-service mutual drainage ensures the long-term retention of live broadcast users.

  Although in the new live broadcast war, Kuaishou and Station B bear the label of Tencent, but out of coveting e-commerce traffic, they have no intention of worsening their relationship with Alibaba. In the field of game live broadcast, both parties are not satisfied with being a pure downstream of Tencent games, but hope to use live broadcast to deepen user stickiness and announce their advance to upstream games, which is undoubtedly far from the original intention of Tencent to deploy game live broadcast .

  The embarrassment of "tool man"

  In July 2021, the merger plan of Douyu and Huya was suspended, causing the market value of the two companies to fall to the bottom. With the growth of the single market for game live streaming peaking, both sides are trying to diversify their businesses to break the game.

  For example, Douyu regards live broadcast, video, and community as the three major product ecosystems of the platform, and has planned a batch of IP-based products for anchors, aiming to strengthen the platform’s e-sports community attributes; while Huya launched the live broadcast distribution business last year, the first The agency advantage is the space shooting game "Frontier" developed by Lancet Technology. For Huya, game anchors will become an excellent game marketing channel.

  And the above business, the Tencent Empire has long been involved. It’s hard to imagine that there will be so many border expansion moves in Tencent’s integrated big live broadcast platform.

  For Tencent, the game live broadcast platform is the downstream product of the game after all, and its core value is reflected in bringing the publicity influence to the game, increasing the user stickiness, increasing the life cycle and improving the paid conversion rate, making a short video by yourself. , to open a user community, and to publish a live broadcast platform for games, which means repeating the creation of wheels within Tencent, resulting in a huge waste of resources.

  And this explains the awkward positioning of the Penguin e-sports live broadcast business itself. For the upstream, Penguin E-sports is the content platform that undertakes game products; for the downstream, Penguin E-sports needs to be responsible for the retention of QQ users. A product bears dual KPIs - game retention KPI and QQ retention KPI.

  This is doomed to the intermediary and tool attributes of Penguin E-sports. Although it is widely rumored in the outside world that Penguin E-sports is a direct line of Tencent, and its resources are far superior to those of its collateral line, the identity of the direct line also hinders Penguin E-sports. However, for Penguin E-sports, it is difficult for the live broadcast business to independently support the platform, and it has to rely on the blood transfusion of upstream products or other products. Under the dual pressure of IEG and SNG, Penguin E-sports is more defined as an exporter. Users can see the live content provided by Penguin E-sports in any Tencent game, but Tencent does not want users to discuss games here - they should go to QQ group, QQ official account and QQ interest tribe, these products will undertake users interest, and realize the precise marketing capabilities of e-sports teams and anchors.

  In 2021, Huya Live will upgrade the platform for live broadcast interaction. Users will give a reward in the live broadcast room, and there will be a cartoon image provided by the applet to thank you, which may trigger the drop of treasure and even affect the game process. On the Penguin e-sports platform, users can easily feel the gap in the platform's operational capabilities. With the departure of a group of representative stars such as De Yunse and Zhang Daxian, the demise of the Penguin e-sports live broadcast platform is doomed.

  One month after the "big live broadcast" dream was broken, Tencent IEG resolutely adjusted the organizational structure of Penguin E-sports. Among them, the newly established Penguin E-sports Product Center will be responsible for the product development and operation promotion of Penguin E-sports, while the game live broadcast The business department was cancelled. Together with Yin Ting, the general manager of the original game live broadcast business department, the Penguin e-sports live broadcast products will be transferred to the Penguin e-sports product center, T product center, and IEG strategic management center.

  This means the "death penalty" for the Penguin e-sports live broadcast business. Up to now, the main position of Tencent's game live broadcast business has been transferred from Penguin E-sports to WeChat video account. For the Penguin e-sports live broadcast product, the past glory is like a cloud of smoke, and there is no longer a place for it to live broadcast the big game.

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