8 years of unabated popularity, 800 million people never get tired of it

How Xiaoxiao Le mini-game leverages big revenue

  "What are some things that young people should never touch?"

  This is a question from a netizen on Zhihu. There is a high praise answer in the comment area: "Xiao Xiaole".

In addition, the Red Star Capital Bureau noticed that there are many related topics on "how to quit Xiaoxiaole" on Zhihu, which has attracted many discussions.

  These senior players of Xiaoxiaole seem to have "love and hate" for this game.

  In 2014, "Happy Xiao Xiaole" was launched, and it quickly became a national game after its launch.

In scenes such as buses, subways, or dining tables, you can always see figures of men, women, young and old looking down and playing with their mobile phones, and the cheers of small animals can be heard from the mobile phones from time to time.

  Today, "Happy Xiao Xiaole" has been launched for 8 years, but it is still popular.

For most games with a life cycle of only 2-3 years, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" is undoubtedly the "longevity god" in the game industry.

  So, what is the longevity code of "Happy Xiaoxiaole"?

small game

  Xiaoxiaole is simple to play and does not seem to be difficult.

The cost of playing games is not high, and the annual recharge amount of paid accounts is mainly concentrated in 0-30 yuan.

big revenue

  From 2015 to 2017, the revenue of "Happy Xiaoxiaole" was 651 million yuan, 1.144 billion yuan, and 1.458 billion yuan, respectively, accounting for 58.20%, 61.88%, and 64.4% of the total revenue of Le Elements.

The world's most popular elimination game

  In 2000, American game maker Popcap came out with Bejeweled.

It's also known as the "source stream" of modern elimination games.

Gems of various colors and colors will appear on the game screen. The rule of the game is to eliminate two adjacent gems by exchanging two adjacent gems to connect 3 gems of the same color.

  The match-3 games since then are all derived from this mode.

  This kind of small game with simple gameplay and seemingly no difficulty is loved by many players around the world.

  In China, the overlord of the match-3 game is undoubtedly "Happy Xiao Xiaole".

  At the beginning of 2014, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" developed by Le Element Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Le Element") was launched.

After the game was launched, it was highly sought after by netizens because of its cute and fresh scenes, simple operation, and relatively novel gameplay and experience.

  Today, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" has shown a long life cycle.

  According to App Annie data, in the first year of its launch, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" achieved the second place in the iOS free list; in the second year, it also won the first place in the iOS free list.

  According to QM data, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" ranked first in terms of user scale, activity rate, and user stickiness of omni-channel apps in 2016.

  Until now, 8 years later, the total number of players of "Happy Xiaoxiaole" is about 800 million, and the monthly active users still remain at about 100 million.

  Overseas, elimination games are also popular among gamers.

  According to the GameRefinery report, in 2020, elimination games are the largest segmented game category in the United States and the United Kingdom, accounting for 19% of all games, and about 27% and 24% of the overall market revenue.

  One of the most famous match-3 games is Candy Crush Saga, which was launched by game maker King in 2012.

Once the game was released, it achieved explosive growth of users through Facebook social fission dividends.

  According to Sensor Tower data, "Candy Crush Saga" has 46 million monthly active users worldwide in just half a year since its launch, and ranked first in the Google Play game download list in 2014.

As of September 2021, Candy Crush Saga has reached 823 million total downloads for the year.

Mini-games have super strong gold attraction

  Most of the match-3 games like “Massive Match” are free to download, and players can download and play without paying.

However, the game adopts an in-game charging model. For example, when players want to improve the game experience and speed up the customs clearance process, they can recharge to purchase corresponding game items.

  In August 2017, Le Elements disclosed its prospectus for the first time, intending to land on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

In April 2018, the company updated the prospectus.

According to the prospectus, from the perspective of the payment rate and payment amount of "Happy Xiaoxiaole", the payment rate of the game in 2017 remained at about 6%, which means that for every 100 players, only 6 players recharged this game. .

  In terms of the payment amount, the prospectus shows that the annual recharge amount of the paid accounts of "Happy Xiaoxiaole" is mainly concentrated in the range of 0-30 yuan, and the number of accounts with the recharge amount in this range in each year accounts for more than 80% of the number of paid accounts in that year. .

In other words, players' consumption on this game is also more rational.

  It seems that the payment rate and payment amount of this game are not high, but this does not affect the profit of Le Elements at all, and its ability to attract money even exceeds that of many 3A productions and end games.

  After all, "Happy Xiao Xiaole" is better than more people.

  According to the prospectus, from 2015 to 2017, the revenue of Le Elements was 1.119 billion yuan, 1.849 billion yuan, and 2.264 billion yuan, respectively, and the net profit was 335 million yuan, 517 million yuan, and 765 million yuan respectively.

  Among them, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" has always been the main source of revenue for Music Elements.

From 2015 to 2017, the revenue of "Happy Xiaoxiaole" was 651 million yuan, 1.144 billion yuan, and 1.458 billion yuan, respectively, accounting for 58.20%, 61.88%, and 64.4% of the total revenue of Le Elements.

  That is to say, in the third year of its launch, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" has already made an annual income of over 1 billion.

  In 2017, the average monthly active accounts of "Happy Xiaoxiaole" reached 121 million, and the average monthly recharge flow reached 171 million yuan.

  According to the 2021 iOS revenue list, the revenue of "Happy Xiaoxiaole" still ranks first in the "puzzle and puzzle" category of games.

  The lower learning threshold and lower payment threshold allow the elimination game to have a huge user base, and it also creates its strong ability to attract money.

  Why is it so "addictive"?

  To talk about how addictive matching games are, we first need to understand who the users of matching games are.

  Taking "Happy Xiaoxiaole" as an example, the survey results of Le Elements show that "Happy Xiaoxiaole" is loved by players of almost all ages, from students under the age of 18, office workers in their 20s, to 50-year-olds. above groups.

Among them, the proportion of user groups from 31-40 years old and 41-50 years old is relatively large.

  Another specialgamez data also shows that from the perspective of age distribution, the age group of match-3 game users is concentrated in 35-54 years old.

  At the same time, middle-aged and elderly users also have a strong willingness to pay.

The mobile game report released by OPPO in 2019 clearly stated that the per capita recharge amount of post-60s players of “Happy Xiaoxiaole” is three times that of post-00s players.

  It can be seen that the "middle-aged and elderly group" is one of the "main forces" of the elimination game.

  From the perspective of gender, according to Aurora Big Data statistics, as of 2017, 66.1% of the users of "Happy Xiaoxiaole" are female users.

As of February 2018, the most preferred mobile game app for female mobile game users is also “Happy Xiao Xiaole”.

  So, why is Xiaoxiaole addictive?

  The first is that the game progresses quickly.

Each round takes a short time and requires less time and energy investment. Players can take out their mobile phones to play games in a lot of fragmented time.

Therefore, the elimination game has become a tool for users to kill time when waiting for the bus or taking the subway. Over time, it has also formed a habitual entertainment method.

  The second is to eliminate the thrilling experience brought by the game.

Elimination games require players to recombine chaotic elements to achieve the purpose of eliminating them. This mechanism captures the player's habit of tidying and the pursuit of perfection.

  In addition, the simple elimination action itself may be boring and repetitive, but each operation in the game will also get quick feedback. For example, when the elimination is successful, there are visual and music special effects, which can give players the most direct elimination pleasure experience.

  Finally, there is anticipation.

As of March this year, "Happy Xiaoxiaole" has exceeded 5,000 levels and is still being updated.

Each updated level will set different obstacles, which not only bring difficulty and challenges to the level, but also bring a constant sense of expectation and satisfaction to loyal players, which enhances the playability of the game itself.

  In general, the reason why the elimination game can be addictive is that it is easy to use and has a wide range of scenarios, which satisfies people's desire to get a sense of pleasure through sorting, and makes players have long-term expectations for this "organization challenge". .

  However, the IPO road of Le Element is not going well.

In September 2021, the China Securities Regulatory Commission decided to terminate the review of Le Elements’ IPO application.


  Now "Candy Crush" has been born for 10 years, and "Happy Xiao Xiaole" has also been born for 8 years.

Small games drive big revenue, and match-3 games may be regarded as a unique existence in the game field.

  As for the future of match-3 games, the times are progressing, and these game manufacturers are also constantly exploring new ways to play based on the elimination game itself, such as IP linkage.

If the psychological demands of players are still there, the market will reserve a piece of land for match-3 games.

  In contrast, for small games with low technical thresholds, perhaps peer competition is more worthy of concern for leading companies.

  Chengdu Business Daily-Red Star News reporter Yu Yao and Liu Mi