When magic core stops publishing digital collections, take a look at the meta universe layout of goose factory

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Source:China Electronic News

Author: Zhang Weijia

Compared with the big technology companies such as meta, apple and ByteDance, Tencent's metauniverse seems to come later. At the end of June this year, Tencent XR department was announced to be established, formally entering the field of virtual world metauniverse. In early August, the news that Tencent planned to increase its stake in Ubisoft and become its single largest shareholder spread widely, giving the industry more room for imagination.

But in fact, although Tencent has not announced its entry into the meta universe in a big way, it has quietly laid out its plans in related fields such as games, social networking and hardware for a long time. Tencent, in fact, is an old player of the meta universe.


Covert and diversified layout


As early as the concept of meta universe was not popular, Ma Huateng, chairman of Tencent's board of directors and CEO, put forward the concept of "all real Internet". He described in Tencent's internal special issue "Sanguan" in 2020: "it means the integration of online and offline, and the integration of physical and electronic methods. The door of the virtual world and the real world has been opened. Whether from virtual to real, or from real to virtual, we are committed to helping users achieve a more real experience." This view coincides with the concept of the meta universe.

Since then, Tencent has comprehensively launched the construction of "all truth Internet", and has made a comprehensive and extensive layout around the dimensions of games, social networking, hardware, etc. in the form of investment and cooperation.

Source: not born, live & amp; Vague

The game is the nearest "entrance" to the meta universe. Tencent has made early layout to seize the first mover advantage. Behind roblox, Epic Games and mini games, which are closest to the concept of meta universe, there are Tencent. As early as before the listing of roblox, the "first stock of the yuan universe", Tencent and it established a joint venture in 2019 to jointly create roblox's Chinese version of roblox. At the same time, Tencent has become a shareholder of Epic Games with a 40% shareholding, and has laid out the game content of Fortress night and the AR / VR content development engine.

Not only that, Tencent also added several VR game developers around the world, such as Shanghai tihe Network Technology Co., Ltd., willow blade studio, Weimo era, and Australian game UGC platform mod IO, haegin, the developer of the mobile game "everyday paradise" of the "meta universe amusement park" in South Korea, and Hadean, the British meta universe game start-up company, have also released such meta universe games as "manual planet", "our planet" and "island of Ireland".

Based on the game IP, Tencent has also launched a series of virtual digital people. At present, the more vocal ones include the infinite king group of the glory of the king and the star pupil of QQ dazzle dance.

Social metauniverse is also the focus of Tencent's layout. In 2017, Tencent spent US $2 billion to buy 12% of snapchat, and applied the AR filter and bitmoji virtual image technologies developed by the latter based on social networking to super qq show, helping QQ show complete the transformation from 2D static to 3D dynamic. Nowadays, super qq show is based on the experience of pinching face and changing clothes, matched with a variety of small entertainment games, and spread through social relations bound by QQ itself. It is considered to be one of the most complete, playable and fluent metauniverse concept products in the market. In addition, QQ music launched the VR album function, creating the VR music room function for Jay Chou, Jane Zhang and Wang Yuan. Tencent is also the largest shareholder of soul, the "meta universe social platform".

Super qq show

In terms of hardware, Tencent developed the first VR head display device - tenvr in 2018, and in 2021, it invested in ultraleap, a British manufacturer focusing on AR / VR meta universe tactile simulation technology. This year, Tencent once announced that it would acquire the hardware manufacturer Black Shark technology. Although it failed to do so, it is reported that the two sides have switched to cooperation through investment. At present, black shark technology and Tencent are making VR head displays.

Tencent has also tested the water in the field of NFT. It has not only invested in immutable, an Australian NFT startup, but also launched the digital collection platform "magic core", and launched the limited edition 13 invitation vinyl record NFT. [Babbitt note: on August 16, Tencent digital collection platform magic core announced that based on the company's focus on core strategy, magic core would make business adjustments. Since August 16, 2022, magic core will stop publishing digital collections. From now on, all users who pass through this platform (including Tencent News Digital Collection) Users who have purchased digital collections can choose to continue holding or initiate a refund application. During the refund period, the user's access and use will not be affected. After the refund is completed, we will recycle and destroy the refund collection.]

In addition, the data shows that Tencent has applied for more than 24000 metauniverse related patents, of which invention patents account for 99.74%, involving 126 countries or regions.

Thus, to some extent, Tencent can be called an old player of metauniverse. The establishment of the XR department is also seen as an effort to further establish the hardware and software foundation of the metauniverse.


Game master, content first


Compared with software, hardware and services, content is the core selling point of metauniverse industry. "Whoever has more wonderful content will probably get more hardware users and master the entrance traffic of the metauniverse." Yuan Yu, senior analyst of CCID Consulting, told China electronic news. For this reason, large scientific and technological enterprises have laid out high-quality content in an attempt to establish a sustainable content ecology.

Source: Peking University HSBC business school, Anxin securities

Take metauniverse games as an example. In January this year, Microsoft announced the purchase of Activision Blizzard for us $68.7 billion. This is the largest acquisition transaction in Microsoft's history, aiming to promote its meta universe strategy.

Tencent has publicly stated that it will increase the research and development investment of virtual reality products in the game sector from 2022 to 2023. Not long ago, Reuters reported that Tencent planned to increase its stake in Ubisoft and become the single largest shareholder of the latter. The cooperation between Tencent and Ubisoft can be traced back to 2018. At that time, Ubisoft was facing a hostile takeover by Vivendi, a French company. Tencent joined the battle with its capital and took a 5% stake in Ubisoft, forcing Vivendi to give up the takeover. It is worth mentioning that in this investment, Tencent did not seek the seat and actual control of Ubisoft's board of directors, but only proposed to obtain the distribution rights of some Ubisoft games in China. This seems to be a "loss making business", and Tencent's investment seems only to "help others".

Source: Ubisoft

However, it has been pointed out that Tencent's consistent pattern of investing in game companies is not to seek investors to change the original style, but only to obtain the issuance rights of relevant games in China. This can help Tencent win good reviews in the overseas game industry, make it easier to gain the trust of investors, and thus obtain high-quality content.

Yuan Yu believes that Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Tencent hope to increase their shares in Ubisoft, with the same goal. In addition to enhancing technical exchanges, they also hope to open up content channels through the acquisition of high-quality content. However, there are also differences between the two. Microsoft is a comprehensive enterprise with excellent software and hardware. After the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it can soon launch relevant software and hardware products. Tencent is software driven and needs to increase its holdings of more hardware manufacturers to achieve the same effect.

Industry experts suggest that rich content is a necessary factor for hardware consumption. "No play" is still an important factor that restricts the hardware capacity of metauniverse. However, after purchasing hardware, there is not enough wonderful content support, and users will also be lost. If you want consumers to pay for hardware, you need to constantly enrich the content ecology. At present, the manufacturers are making great efforts to layout the game content, and also want to strengthen the users' attention to the metauniverse and its related fields through different forms of content, so as to improve the sales volume of hardware.

In addition to game content, Tencent's film and television, music, IP, Internet text and other resources can also become content sources in the meta universe.


Bold exploration and careful evaluation


Although Tencent has a relatively clear layout in the aspect of metauniverse, it still needs time for the real implementation of metauniverse based on the consideration of the maturity of relevant technologies. Ma Xiaoyi, senior vice president of Tencent, once said that it is too early to discuss the details of the meta universe if a road map is planned for the meta universe. "If I look at the short-term 1-3 years, I (my attitude towards the metauniverse) will be more pessimistic than most people. If I look at the long-term 10 years, I will be more optimistic than most people. I will think that these new technology scenarios will bring great changes to the entire human society." In his opinion, some key technologies for realizing the meta universe will be launched in large scale between 2025 and 2027, and the real deployment will wait until 2030.

In Yuan Yu's view, Tencent's meta universe development faces a major problem, that is, the contradiction between the underlying logic of the "decentralization" of the meta universe and the "high concentration" of Tencent's products. The "decentralization" of yuanuniverse advocates breaking the platform monopoly and establishing a user dominated network ecology. Tencent's products have strong user stickiness and are monopolistic. "If the relationship between the two can not be properly handled, Tencent's current giant status may be challenged and may even become a 'stepping stone' for the development of the meta universe." Yuan Yu said.

The "ebb tide" of digital collections has also frustrated the development of Tencent's meta universe. At present, Tencent's digital collection platform "magic core" has stopped updating, and all collections on the platform are in the status of finished, sold out or collected. It is reported that Tencent plans to shut down the "magic core" business. In this regard, Cai Weide, Professor of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and honorary president of CCID blockchain Research Institute, said that NFT and digital asset technologies launched abroad are not suitable for China. China needs to use non-homogeneous rights (NFR) to bind digital assets instead of NFT.

Yuan Yu predicted that in the short term, Tencent's meta universe layout will still focus on games, mainly focusing on three parts: one is the VR of existing IP; the other is to launch a real game platform by benchmarking steam; and the third is to launch hardware products such as head displays and all-in-one computers. In the long run, Tencent's cloud technology, financial technology and IDC related services have great advantages, which can serve as Tencent's important strategic layout in the underlying technology and support the development of various businesses in the upper layer, including the concept of "meta universe".

Source: Peking University HSBC business school, Anxin securities

In Ma Xiaoyi's view, the game is not an isolated industry. It has always been driven and symbiotically developed with cutting-edge technologies, and has accumulated a series of unique technical capabilities. These game technology bases can create many non game products and form solutions that are directly helpful to the real society. This may expand the application scenarios and boundaries of the meta universe. For example, in the iron and steel field, Tencent and Baosteel joined hands to build a "full truth connected digital factory" with holographic 3D naked eye effect around the 1580 hot rolling plant of Baosteel Baoshan base, combining real-time cloud rendering, visual dynamic capture, virtual real interaction, AR / VR interaction and other game technologies.

Industry experts say that the development process of the meta universe is not linear, but a long, gradual iteration and continuous boundary expansion process. Although the challenges still exist, Tencent is still an Internet enterprise with natural advantages in harmony with metauniverse, and is a force that can not be ignored in the era of metauniverse.


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