Chapter 763: Launch Day!
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
Fat Sis called him.
Zhang Ye had just finished eating lunch at the cafeteria and was taking the elevator to go upstairs. In the face of several of his Central TV Department 1 colleagues who saw him as the god of plague while looking down and whispering to each other, Zhang Ye was not affected by it and did not bother them. When he reached his floor, he got out from the elevator alone and answered the call.
Zhang Ye: "Fat Sis."
The moment Fat Sis started to speak, she no longer addressed Zhang Ye the same as before. It was becoming even more casual now. "Zhang'er, the demo of our game has created a big splash!"
Zhang Ye laughed: "Haha, I saw it."
Fat Sis was very emotional. "Right now, the public media is promoting our game for free, I guess this is all down to your influence. Those reporters and media outlets all seem to shoot up whenever a story gets linked to you! The gamers are also giving you a lot of face. When they heard that you were the game's designer, they were all very supportive of it! In the past, Big Sis did not know how many fans you had, but looking at it now, it seems like you really have a lot of fans!"
Zhang Ye: "Everyone's just giving me a little face."
Fat Sis: "The game will officially be launched three days later!"
Zhang Ye: "OK. I'm just waiting for that day to come."
Fat Sis: "The entire company is looking forward to it as well! What are your expectations of the sales?"
Zhang Ye: "What is the distribution method?"
Fat Sis: "For the company's previous game, we did it the traditional way by distributing the game by physical CD-ROMs. As a result, we suffered a loss on our base costs, so let's not mention that anymore, fuck! This time around, we will definitely not do that again, since I can see that sales of physical media is just going to go downhill. This is the world of the Internet now, so the distribution of Plants vs. Zombies will be via Internet downloads. The download itself is free and will be free to play for three days, but after that, there will be a requirement to register to purchase a serial code. However, we've been thinking about what to set the price as for a long time now. We feel that a price between 5 and 15 RMB would be more suitable, but that has not been decided yet, so I would like to listen to your opinion about this."
Zhang Ye thought over it for a bit and replied: "Then let's set it at 5 RMB. A higher price would affect the popularity of the game, so why don't we go for quantity over profit margins? And lay the foundations for this game first? With a solid foundation for the game, there will be other ways to seek profit in the future."
"Eh, based on what you're saying, do you mean that there will be a Plants vs. Zombies 2?"
"That's a must."
"Let's not get too ahead of ourselves now. Nothing is confirmed as of now."
"I understand. We've already laid out all the preparations, so now, it all depends on this last step! The company has put everything on this; we even took out a loan for it. If Plants vs. Zombies does not sell well, then the company will have to be shuttered!"
"Damn, surely it won't come to that, Fat Sis!"
"I know, I'm just readying myself for the worst case scenario! But I, of course, have also made plans for the best case scenario, haha!"
After putting down the phone, Zhang Ye went back to his office and sat down, crossing his legs. In his mind, he went through the entire process once over. Generally speaking, he was quite optimistic and was full of confidence for this game, Plants vs. Zombies. He distinctly understood that this game had a good lead on all of this world's puzzle games, which had been verified by the video game market in his previous world. But even though the game was good, the sales figures definitely wouldn't mirror that of the original's. This world had its own rules and also slight differences.
For example, the distribution channels.
The debut country of the game's release.
The business model.
Both worlds had its differences and Zhang Ye could only guarantee a 95% similarity in game replication of Plants vs. Zombies from his previous world. But he could not dictate the distribution channels and regions in accordance to his previous world. He did not have the power to do so either. This was a game that was made by foreigners in his previous world, but he couldn't possibly choose to launch this game in an overseas market first, right? As such, Zhang Ye could only do his best and leave the rest to the market forces!
Have crossed into a new industry this time, Zhang Ye was undoubtedly placing great importance on this game, knowing that he couldn't afford to make a mistake. Having been put into the freezer for so many days now by Central TV Department 1, his popularity was already slipping. Right now, he could only depend on Plants vs. Zombies to help him achieve another rise in his popularity! In the B-list Celebrity Rankings, the competition at this level was so fierce that an industry outsider couldn't understand it. If a celebrity was a B-lister, their name would be very well-known to the people. Basically, more than half the country's people would have heard of or been able to say their names. This was a level of stardom that had an established fan base, so the unpredictability in standings was also greater. Who knew when one of these B-list celebrities might suddenly get a break in their acting career and star in a popular movie with a box office earnings of over 1 billion RMB? If that happens, their popularity would surely skyrocket. It wasn't an uncommon or unusual occurrence at all. Zhang Ye naturally knew this and understood the principle of not progressing but instead regressing in popularity. In the world of entertainment, what did people compete on? To put it bluntly, it was just a competition of popularity. Zhang Ye could not let himself have no progress at all!
A group of haters suddenly appeared out of nowhere, discussing about things that were about Zhang Ye but were targeted at discrediting Plants vs. Zombies instead!
"Are you all blind? What's so fun about this game!"
"Just look at the graphics and you'll know. It's such a rubbish game!"
"Plants fighting zombies? That's a bunch of nonsense!"
"Only a retard would play this type of games!"
"If this game's sales cross 500,000 RMB, I will jump off a building!"
"Haha, you're thinking too much. 500,000? If it even gets 200,000, they would be laughing already! Don't be taken in by those video game magazines that praised the game to the high heavens after trying out the demo. When it gets released and sold, not many people will bother to buy it! Even if anyone wants to play, everyone would rather download the game after it has been cracked and pirated!"
"When a person gets popular, gossip will fly." This saying applied to games too.
Quite a number of supporters of Plants vs. Zombies immediately launched a counterattack, and both groups of people started flaming each other!
It was bustling with activity online, but it was not quiet at other places either.
Like in the entertainment circle, many of the industry insiders were following this matter very closely. They talked about all sorts of things in private.
"I don't even know what to say anymore!"
"Why did this guy go and dabble in games now?"
"I've never come across such a disreputable celebrity before. He's totally unpredictable!"
"Hur hur, I think I already understand what's going on. Zhang Ye's main profession is actually being a jack of all trades. Starting from last year, I couldn't quite figure out what Zhang Ye's main profession is! But then again...this Plants vs. Zombies game is really very fun! Zhang Ye might have offended lots of people before, but he's still a really capable person, I gotta admit that!"
The gaming industry was also getting noisy.
"That Zhang Ye is already a big shot celebrity, so why did he still come over to try and take our jobs?"
"Who knows what that guy is thinking!"
"This game is being praised by everyone right now, but the sales might not necessarily turn out well. The market for our domestically produced games is rather weak right now, especially in the puzzle game genre which just built itself up not too long ago. Although everyone has said many good things about Plants vs. Zombies, and have built up a lot of anticipation, the domestic game market has always been rampant with piracy. It's mainly foreign video game companies and publishers dominating the market, so if we're hoping that a domestically produced puzzle game can stand out in this market? Difficult! It is going to be extremely difficult!"
"Indeed, the sales figures probably won't be too high."
"But it's still a good start. At least our country can still produce a puzzle game that we're proud to show off. Even if it is fails, it's fine. This is still a moral victory for us!"
"That's right. There definitely has to be someone to open up the market for our domestic games! Even if it gets loses money!"
"We can only wish them luck on their release!"
"The sales might not turn out badly either. Who knows? Our domestically produced game might be able to create a miracle this time! Who is to say that our domestically made games will always perform worse than foreign games?"
There were also some unfriendly voices against Plants vs. Zombies in the gaming industry, but the majority of the industry professionals still strongly supported it. In fact, the CEOs and game designers of several video game companies even publicly showed their support for Plants vs. Zombies on Weibo by giving Likes and forwarding it. It was very rare that Zhang Ye's crossover into another industry was not met with a call for boycott or doubt, but instead received the blessings of countless video game industry professionals!
The reason was simple. Due to the current state of the domestic gaming industry, domestic games basically weren't mainstream. They only accounted for about a quarter of the market share. The rest was dominated by foreign video game companies. Those who were selfish might think that Zhang Ye was here to steal their jobs, but anyone with a little bit of common sense would know that it wasn't the time for an internal conflict in the domestic gaming industry. For only a quarter market share, what was there to fight for? Even if someone won the fight, so what? What they needed to do now was get the market share back from the foreign companies, and with Zhang Ye's astounding puzzle game, this was their chance to carve out a bigger market for domestic games and also an opportunity to increase the size of the pie!
This battle was not only for Zhang Ye to fight alone.
This battle was between all domestic games fighting against the intrusion of foreign games!
The laypersons watched the buzz, while professionals examined the skills! Almost all the industry professionals in the gaming industry had given the demo of Plants vs. Zombies a try, while some of them had played it over and over to research it. Although this was just a demo and the full version of the game had not yet been seen by anyone else, just this tip of the iceberg had already given them a boost. If they had to pick a game to compete against the foreign games, then from the creativity, graphics, gameplay, and many other aspects of the game, it was without a doubt only Plants vs. Zombies that would stand a chance. All of the video game industry professionals had very high expectations for it and thoroughly anticipated the day the game would be launched!
They wanted to see what kind of results that famous and legendary Zhang Ye could bring after crossing over into their industry!
The industry professionals were all waiting to see what would happen!
The media was looking to fan the flames of hype!
The gamers were all gearing up in anticipation!
The focus of everyone, Plants vs. Zombies was about to usher in its launch day!