SKYMOONS CREATED THE JOURNEY OF THE FLOWER FROM THE HIT TV SERIES AND NOVEL
Most games publishers find that their titles seem to get stuck just outside the Top 20. However, the joint publishing of the Journey of the Flower by Chengdu Skymoons and iQIYI has demonstrated that their combined strength can change the industry. Downloads of the android version of the game exceeded the million mark, a week after its release. On July 1, it reached the top of the Free Download chart and a day later on the iOS chart it ranked at No. 5 on the Best-seller chart, where it stayed for 3 days. More recently the game ranked No. 4 on the Revenue chart. This is the first newly released game to enter the Top 10 Best-seller chart in 2 months since Miracle Nikki.
So why is Journey of the Flower such a success? Well in addition to the game’s graphics and playability and being part of the license of the TV show, the TV show is also synchronised to follow the show’s plot which is just one of a number of factors which have contributed to Skymoon’s success.
Licensing : the unification of novel and film and game.
currently the search terms related to the mobile game are roughly divided into 4 categories: pure fiction IP, variety show IP, original film IP and TV series IP adaptation from novel. From Baidu’s index, the average search volume for the top 3 IP is in the millions. An average 7 days search volume of Journey of the Flower reached 2.74 million per day, peaking on July 2 with 3.8 million searches. Such huge search volume has clearly reflected in the performance of the Journey of the Flower mobile game.
First of all, the TV series, which features a longer broadcasting duration, intuitive visual output and wider audience, provides a strong boost to the promotion of the mobile game. Something an average show can’t achieve. Variety shows are limited by their theme and the publicity and audience coverage of web fiction is smaller than that of the TV series.
The licensing of the film and TV show have their own characteristics. On one hand, the main aspect of the film is the campaign period before release and a month or so of being onscreen. While the broadcast cycle of the TV series is much longer the first time round. Journey of the Flower was broadcast 4 times a week for13 weeks in total, producing better publicity and a stronger popularity.
Movies have a ticket barrier, while the TV series are free to the audience, which also led to a larger audience for the TV series. Therefore the free online mobile game enjoyed a joint promotion effect by choosing a license from a TV series and a novel.
All mobile game companies want to do TV advertising, but how many of them can afford an advertisement of 1 – 2 hours a week?
Journey of the Flower is not the very first mobile game adapted from a film license, but why is it the first to achieve such great success?
The Empress of China mobile game is a very typical example of a film license adaptation to mobile game. It was released with its TV series at the end of last year. The game did generate millions in revenue, but why wasn’t it as popular as the Journey of the Flower?
The Journey of the Flower started out as web fiction before eventually being published as a novel and a comic book, and then adapted into TV show and mobile game. The franchise itself has a large number of fans, plus fans of the actors and the external audiences of all it’s separate media together constitutes a huge search volume. By contrast The Empress of China’s popularity is mainly supported from loyal fans turning it into a fan based mobile game.
Additionally, although there is a historical background in the theme of The Empress of China, most of the game relevant contents are palace fighting with limited battle scenes, which it’s difficult to adapt to a mainstream RPG game if you are forced to stick to the original work. A game which stuck to the formula would find it hard to attract enough paying players.
Free mobile games do attract higher numbers so as the Journey of the Flower is a free TV series, this further magnifies the attraction, producing a bigger connection between the game and the series which is turn imports a large number of fans as players into the mobile game.
Select a suitable franchise, a suitable time and a reliable publisher and the rest is history.
The popularity of the Journey of the Flower mobile game is due to many factors, in addition to the integration of film and TV show, the PC game (developed by Shanghai Jun) and mobile game going on-line at the same time with the TV series is also a key factor. Besides, the Journey of the Flower has attracted enough attention by simply being the most popular product over this summer, and the summer school holiday itself was the best opportunity for growth in both users and revenue for the mobile game vendors, Meaning the Journey of the Flower mobile game has properly landed on the download charts for both Apple and Android.
The Journey of the Flower is a fantasy themed concept, and there are large number of martial art contests in the original book and TV series, which is very suitable for mobile game adaptation.
A lot of TV shows are limited by their theme, and can really only be used as leisure games. This affects a lot of games like the aforementioned The Empress of China and the hit palace themed series Palace, and also the Legend of Zhen Huan in recent years which are more suitable for this type of game, and difficult to adapt to money making entities. There are all kinds of popular urban shows and it’s not the lack of popularity, but their themes which are restrictive. Just imagine the scene where the emperor hands you a cup of poisoned wine appearing in a battle themed mobile game, how would that work? So from the point of view of the types of franchise, the fantasy, martial arts genre of TV show, which are rich in battling content, are more suitable for adaptation in to mobile games.
However there are no mobile games for TV shows such as The Legend of Sword or Fairy and Swords of Legends and thanks to time constraints there’s no way to launch a game, which can benefit from being broadcast with the TV series and they have missed the opportunity.
At the beginning of this article we mentioned that the Journey of the Flower is the first new release game to enter the Top 10 Best-seller chart 2 months after Miracle Nikki. Unless you are Tencent and Netease, it’s very difficult for a new game to enter the iOS Top 10 Best-seller chart, but Skymoons did it. The CEO of Skymoons Tony Ho has a background in media marketing, and with his understanding of the rules of the domestic marketing channels and a good relationship with the marketing channels, he has laid down a good foundation for promoting games through the Android channel, a good indication of his strength as a publisher.
Above average game quality and taking every opportunity to evolve.
There is no huge difference between a typical ARPG mobile game and the Journey of the Flower. There’s the standard 3D perspective and a variety of cool character moves and the quality of the game is good. Strategy is an added element to the character building and battle scenes of the game, but the strength of the fighting is only part of the game.
In addition to restoring the original plot in the game, which is a more common practice, it also features the voice-overs from the actors of the TV show, which obviously can’t be done in a pure fiction concept, a further example of the advantage of novel + TV show becoming a game.
Of course, the influx of a lot of users into the game also produced a phenomenon. Something which has created a mixed of praise and criticism from the players. The players that came from the TV series, have a different opinion of the mobile game adaptation than traditional gamers, which is to be expected.
The popularity of the Journey of the Flower has allowed the industry to see the effect of a novel and a TV show and a summer series. And the summer season has only just begun. Tencent hasn’t published any new mobile games on the Wechat platform for more than a month and other manufacturers are all eager for action. the mobile game market is about to erupt as the post summer rush happens. It is expected that, all popular TV show franchises will create fierce competition amongst the vendors next year next year.