IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE 4399 | SKYMOONS’ CEO TONY HO DISCUSSES THE SUCCESS OF JOURNEY OF THE FLOWER MOBILE GAME AND TELLS US THAT THE SECRET IS BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME… AND AMONG THE RIGHT PEOPLE
The popular mobile game the Journey of the Flower by Skymoons has had an outstanding performance ever since its launch and is still a major focus of the industry. The trio of the hit show, novel and mobile game has opened up a new concept in the mobile game market. 4399 Mobile Game Network (4399 MGN) interviewed the CEO of Skymoons, Mr. Tony Ho about the continued rise of the Journey of the Flower and his plans for the rest of the year for Skymoons.
Skymoons’ CEO Tony Ho
4399 MGN: The mobile game of the hit TV series Journey of the Flower has achieved great success since its launch. What’s the secret of success for Skymoons publishing?
Tony Ho: The success of the mobile game Journey of the Flower is a combination of several factors. Basically it’s due to a perfect match of time, location and people. Firstly it was a matter of timing. The majority of our users were born after 1990 so our fans include a large selection of the student population. The TV show is broadcast on Hunan Satellite TV during the summer time, which means that we had to quick in launching our product during this summer period. Additionally, we chose to launch the Journey of the Flower mobile game a week after the broadcast of the TV show, because we know the audience usually peaks 5-7 days after the broadcast. The popularity of the Journey of Flower TV show meant we didn’t need to spend a huge amount of time, energy and money on marketing.
Being at the right place really means choosing the correct marketing approach. First of all, the Journey of the Flower mobile game is officially authorized by the TV show, so since the beginning of the project we have been accurately following the plot of the TV show. At the same time, we were able to invite the lead actress Zhao Liying to be our champion and we engaged the original author Fresh Guoguo to help us create the game. This ensured the similarity of the product in terms of plot and design details, thus providing the audience with a deeper sense of connection. Secondly, we conducted a full range of three-dimensional advertising. We placed ads at more than a dozen mainstream video sites like as Hunan TV, Focus Media and iQIYI etc. to ensure the coverage rate of the video users.
In terms of having the right people. We chose IQIYI as our partner, because IQIYI has a natural advantage of understanding the Intellectual Property value of the Journey of the Flower series. The strength of Skymoons product distribution is well-known in the industry and our operational marketing team and business team are very experienced, coupled with development and publishing, we can ensure the efficiency of development and synchronization of market trends. Based on these reasons, the Journey of the Flower mobile game did exactly what it needed to after launching.
Question No. 2
4399 MGN: The collaboration of licensing between the hit TV series + novel + mobile game of the Journey of the Flower is an important factor in its success. What’s the difference between this innovative model compared to the traditional model of licensing?
Tony Ho: Firstly, the original novel of the Journey of the Flower has more than 700 million fans and its TV audience (including celebrity fans) has reached more than a billion. With the subsequent broadcast of the Journey of the Flower network show by iQIYI, the licensing deal has brought about an audience base that can’t be compared to any other traditional franchise. The uniqueness of this franchise also allows the users to be more effectively connected to the mobile game of the Journey of the Flower without being lost along the way. Secondly, the Journey of the Flower mobile game is synchronized with the storyline of the TV series, which is not commonly seen in the mobile game industry. In past licensing deals, we’ve been lucky if the game has done more than sticking the to the names and characters in the show. These games ignore the plot and content play of the game and therefore turn potential ARPGs into nothing more than a parlour game.
We have chosen a number of different ways of delivery. We made the video advertising plan the main marketing strategy when we first made the marketing plan, taking into account all the different platforms of the Journey of the Flower, we knew this would be the most powerful.
Question No. 3
4399 MGN: There are a lot of cases that use the License of TV show to create mobile games, but few of them end up as successful as the Journey of the Flower. What do you think companies can do to make their products more successful?
Tony Ho: Firstly mobile internet users tend to be younger with the mainstream users being born in or after the 90s or even the 00s, therefore, the choice of license should fit in with their interests, and their preferred platforms are mainly images, video, etc. So if you choose a video license, then we should use video marketing to reach them. Knowing the user’s operating habits, we should be able to create a more targeted coverage. Also the combination of the product and the parent show’s plot should also be done properly, if not then the actual game’s plot and game play will have no relationship with the original and the players will not be able to build a relationship with the game.
Question No. 4
4399 MGN: Speaking of licenses, Skymoons has many marketing channels and partners, would you still consider investing in another license?
Tony Ho: Yes, we currently have two mobile game products to launch in the second half of the year, a 2D action card game “SEER, Superheroes” and a 3D action game “My Own Swordsman“. We will still be using the same method of integrating film and gaming to help us promote the games.