Shanghai,China-On July 28th, 2021 TapTap Developers Workshop comes off at Lujiazui, with hundreds of developers on site sharing the latest news of TapTap Developer Services and deep insight of gaming industry.
“We are now coming to the 5th year of TapTap,” said Huang Yimeng, XD’s CEO at the workshop, “It is not just collaborative relationship between developers and TapTap, beyond which is a mutually respective, supportive and progress-making connection.
“For the past 5 years it turned out to be a fact that the business mode of TapTap has not been changed.” Said Huang Yimeng, “We fully accept and respect the value of developers and the contents, they are the most valuable treasure of TapTap. High quality contents are credit to the increase of production value and growth of player group. We sincerely appreciate all of them and looking forward to doing more for the developers.”
Developer Services is a significant part of business of TapTap. At the workshop Huang Yimeng, together with Dai Yunjie, co-founder of XD and lead of TapTap, Jiang Hong, founder of LeanCloud, shared the new updates and roadmap of the Developer Services.
These services contain game developing, testing, live operation and user acquisition, which covers the entire life cycle of a game project. The idea is to help developers focus on the game content creation itself rather than “reinvent the wheel” in the purpose of releasing higher-level innovation and production capacity – the more TapTap does, the less developers need to do.
Huang Yimeng said, in the past 6 months, some developer services have been early tested in XD’s in-house developing and licensed games in advance. Rather than a pre-access to XD’s games, it is the way we find problems to avoid further issue for the developers. After a period of feedback and tweak, there are certain number of developer services have been or will be officially released to the public.
Speaking of the overseas business, he reveals that TapTap Global Version has seen significantly growth in distribution and hope that developers will pay more attention to the Global Version with the vision of supporting developers release their games at other regions as easily as they do domestically.
“Although the total volume of TapTap Global Version is still small in scale, it can already bring practical help to developers in testing and localization,” he said, “XD hopes to utilize its experience of global publishing, localization and operation to help more developers go global via TapTap Global platform.”
At the workshop, marketing head of Genshin Impact, Mai Kou, lead level designer of Call of Duty Mobile, Fu Yu, producer of Flash Party, Liu Jiali, producer of Unheard, Zhang Zhechuan, CEO of ChillyRoom Game, Li Zeyang, producer of Moore Manor mobile, Zheng Zhouli shared their insights on game development and live operation through keynote speeches and panel discussion.
Huang Yimeng said he hopes to deliver the message to developers through this workshop that TapTap is not only able to help game developers solve problems during distribution, but also has the confidence and capability to provide with more support in development and live operation.
“The market is always desperate for high quality contents regardless to domestic or oversea. TapTap is willing to work with more developers to produce more preeminent products.” he said.
Campfire Test: A Great Tool to Make Better Games Together with Community
Over the past 6 months, XD’s self-developed games Flash Party, T3, Torchlight: Infinite and Sword of Convallaria have passed the TapTap Campfire Test, achieving the goal of “meet players ASAP in the early phase of development” and obtaining a great number of high-quality feedbacks, which tremendously helps game development and live operation.
On basis of integration of Campfire Test experience in the past 6 months, Huang Yimeng officially introduced the “Campfire Test 2.0” service to developers at the workshop, with the core objective of allowing developers no longer to worry for “debuting a game on TapTap like an exam”.
“In the past years, XD encountered various challenges and learned lessons of our game developing,” Huang Yimeng said frankly, “We should rather bring the game to players sooner the better than work quietly. You’ll understand what players truly need when you have a close relationship”.
“Campfire Test 2.0” summarizes the common pain points of developers in early testing phase of games and provides specific solutions: hide rating, anonymous developer, access to TDS user system, game-platform close beta test permission unification, and gain high-quality Players by matching interests.
“It is more preferable for a game with potential to meet its players earlier, no matter for developers, players or TapTap.” According to Huang Yimeng, “Campfire Test is seeking a better way to create an exceptional tool for developers to collaborate with players for their games, which allows developers to receive more quality feedback from players, and grant them the opportunity to participate in the game development process”.
As for developers’ concern about the source of Campfire Test user group, he introduced that, compared with the App Store or Google Play, games enlisted in TapTap Campfire Test will be included in the same library of games that can be displayed on the home page of TapTap with natural exposure and recommendation feature applied.
“As a developer, XD has undoubtedly gained plenty of feedbacks and supports from players for its games from Campfire Test. We look forward to having more developers engage with their players, gain great feedback from them from the friendly testing environment provided by Campfire Test,” said Huang Yimeng.
TDS: Dedicated to Lower the Cost of All Lifecycle of Games
Last year, TapTap Developers Workshop revealed TapTap Developer Services (TDS). According to Huang Yimeng, during the R&D phase of TDS they encountered with enormous challenges. However, the efforts and resources has not been vacillated at all. He appealed to developers for more attention and feedback.
In April this year, XD acquired LeanCloud, a one-stop back-end cloud service provider, the team joined XD for the development of TDS. LeanCloud was founded in 2014, and most of its team members came from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Baidu, Alibaba, NetEase, Sohu and other well-known Internet companies. Last year, the percentage of revenue contributed from game developers in LeanCloud’s revenue structure has hit 50%. XD has also been an important customer of LeanCloud for many years.
Jiang Hong, head of TDS and founder of LeanCloud, said at the Workshop that the mission of TDS is to leverage the value of TapTap to developers in the full lifecycle of games and reduce the time and financial costs for small and medium-sized developers.
“We don’t believe that the future of game industry will tend to winner-takes-all,” said Jiang Hong. “More small and medium-sized developers will bring us the high-quality games players really love”.
“TDS is to release 4 major features: Game Feature, Testing Tool, Operation Tool and Basic Service. So far, TDS has deployed features like Embedded Moments, TapDB, Data Storage, Instant Messaging, Cloud Engine; Some features are in their internal testing phase such as Friend System, Customer Support System, game testing tool “TapCanary”, global text filter; Cloud Save Data, Achievement System, Leaderboard System, Matchmaking services are under developing now.
Speaking of games with Embedded Moments feature, Jiang Hong said that more than 50 games are using this service, enabling developers to not only reach users with official content more effectively, but also to further engagement and conversion, allowing players to access community content in the game.
Amongst the games use Embedded Moments, 2/3 of Sausage Man’s active users are using Embedded Moments, with approximately 40% percentage thread posts in the forum; T3‘s official message reach rate has increased significantly, and the recovered number of player questionnaire has increased 400%; 40% of weekly active users in Flash Party are using Embedded Moments.
Jiang Hong also indicates that TapTap has co-initiate the establishment of the “Anti-online Dark Patterns League” to support small and medium-sized developers from technical and legal perspective. On this basis, the Alliance provides free anti-DDoS attack services for TapTap exclusive games, hoping to build a healthy industry ecology with developers.
TapTap: to Build a Healthy “Quadratic Ecological Cycle”
Shared at the workshop, Dai Yunjie, co-founder of XD and head of TapTap, said that since its founding five years ago, TapTap has now achieved a solid ecological cycle between “developers, players and TapTap”, while TapTap has always maintained its “open” gene, believing that an open environment will benefit all participants.
Therefore, TapTap does NOT ask for share cut from developers, not because it was small as a start-up in in need of periodical promotion, but because “no share cut” is inborne in TapTap’s business gene and it aims for a better game store and community to make all 3 parties grow.
Dai Yunjie said TapTap has three long-term goals for both developers and players. For developers, TapTap wants to “make development, live operation and promotion easier”; for players, TapTap wants to solve their needs of “what to play, how to play and who to play with”.
In terms of meeting players’ demand for “what to play”, Dai Yunjie revealed that since TapTap launched personalized recommendations in March this year, the distribution volume of home page recommendations has increased significantly, and has now surpassed “search” to become the largest source of game distribution on the entire site.
The recommendation mechanism on the home page is gradually shifting from editorial recommendation to machine learning, which relies on user profiling to recommend the most suitable games for users. He stressed that the upgrade of the recommendation mechanism will certainly not make TapTap “tasteless”, as human editors still have the irreplaceable ability to discover the long-term value of games, thus giving machine learning a good amount of start-up.
He believes that the ultimate goal of the personalized recommendation system is to make users “discover good games” from a physical level perspective, so that the Slogan is not just a slogan, but makes users actually aware of.
“Distribution is not the ultimate metric that TapTap values the most,” said Dai Yunjie. “Ultimately, we hope users will be satisfied with TapTap recommended games, so that every player will feel that they will find good games for at TapTap,” said Dai Yunjie.
He said TapTap will increasingly recommend games that meet users’ expectations, which will eventually increase not only the distribution of games on TapTap, but also the retention rate, especially the long-term retention rate, and the interactions in the community. “All you need to do is focus on creating games, a good game will definitely get enough and sustainable players on TapTap.”
Additionally, to better meet players’ demand of “how to play”, TapTap has increased the resources to produce game walkthrough and guides this year. According to Dai Yunjie, walkthrough and guides are solid requirements of players, 40%-60% of users come to the game community through them. Thus, this is a very important part of the user funnel.
For example, almost half of the players click to view the new guides right after they finished the updating of Genshin Impact 2.0. In June, nearly 70% community users are consuming guides for Moore Manor.
In addition to guides, “Moment” is also a community feature worthy of developers’ attention. He revealed that the games on TapTap have been followed almost 1.5 billion times, and tens of millions of new followings will be added every month; the daily active users follow 50 games on average. The value of Moments is to take the game related announcements, information and UGC content, and improve the efficiency of information dissemination with the idea of personalized distribution, so that the huge stock of game attentions now can be truly transferred into a high-value and high-efficiency content consumption portal for users.
Dai Yunjie believes that TapTap has great potential to analyze the demand side data of players, and is willing to dig out such data and provide it to developers and creators, so that they can work together to produce the game contents users need in a more accurately, effectively and efficiently way.
This year TapTap gives great support to the content creator ecology and is preparing for a “Creator Center” to guide the creation of content on the supply side based on precise content demands from gamers.
Therefore, in the future, TapTap will strive to create a virtuous “Quadratic Ecological Cycle”, covering players, content creators, developers and TapTap, working together to meet the strong demand of users for games as well as contents. With this in mind, the allocation of natural traffic will also come down to whether it meets players’ needs for “what to play, how to play, and who to play with”.
“The games we recommend to players must satisfy them, and the key indicator to measure the satisfaction is retention.” Dai Yunjie said, “If a game is more satisfying to TapTap players in terms of how to play and who to play with, it will definitely gain a boost of natural user growth. This is a win-win situation for our Quadratic Ecological Cycle strategy.”
TapTap Global Version: Whole Set Support of Game Globalized Distribution
In the first semi-year, TapTap Global achieved considerable business growth and provided TapTap with a large amount of first-hand experience in developing international business.
Dai Yunjie revealed that in the recent week, among the new channel categories of Sausage Man, the distribution ratio from TapTap International has reached 30%, and it has been showing an increasing trend for some time; in Indonesia, pay rate of Sausage Man official package is 50% higher than its Google Play package.
“The official package of the overseas version of a game reaches more people than developers can imagine.” Said Dai Yunjie, “A big amount of Android users who did not download and install the game from Google Play. Their willingness and ability to pay is also remarkable, so the potential of official package is worth paying more attention to.”
At present, the global payment system of TapTap is also under development, hoping to land more convenience to developers whose game will release globally, and to lower their development and live operation costs.
Huang Yimeng and Dai Yunjie also emphasized that although TapTap Global is still in the early stage of consolidating its infrastructure, with the accumulated experience of promoting Sausage Man on TapTap Global, along with the establishment and maturity of the company’s overseas headquarters, TapTap Global aims to provide a whole set of localization support for game globalized distribution.