Mu Tong and “Endless Showdown”: The Most Unforgettable “Mutiny”

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In 2010, in a restaurant in Changzhou, a newlywed couple was about to enter the palace of marriage.

The groom’s name is Yuan Jing, a native of Changzhou. At this time, he was in the Tencent Northern Lights Studio, responsible for the operation of the MMORPG “The Legend of Xuanyuan”.

Back then, the two giants in China’s Internet industry, Tencent and Qihoo 360, were fighting back and forth.

A few months ago, 360 released information, saying that QQ can monitor users’ behavior and usage in real time, and users have no privacy at all. As soon as this theory came out, it stirred up the public opinion on the Internet, and the criticism of Tencent’s technology abuse was rising.

There were many guests at the wedding. Many people knew that Yuan Jing worked at Tencent, and they were also curious about this major event in China’s Internet.

At this time, in her wedding speech, Yuan Jing stood up and said bluntly to everyone: “I am working at Tencent now, and I know that there are many misunderstandings about Tencent and 360, but I like it very much. company.”

At that time, Yuan Jing had many colleagues, including his long-term partner Xu Zhenhua. Hearing this, it was inevitable that my heart would warm up.

However, in 2010, Yuan Jing and Xu Zhenhua could not have imagined that 12 years later, they and Tencent, the company that had been working together for nearly 7 years, were standing on irreversible opposites.

1. 19.4 million, it is not expensive to buy a dream

The establishment of Mutong Technology may be the most “expensive” decision Xu Zhenhua has ever made in his life.

In the early years, Xu Zhenhua was also one of the earliest explorers of Chinese games. Before entering the Goose Factory, he worked hard in the game circle for many years, and even made games for Nokia mobile phones.

At that time, Xu Zhenhua joined Tencent for five or six years. He first made a lot of achievements in Northern Lights, and then moved to the newly established “Colorful Stone” studio internally. In the “Tribal Guard War” launched in 2013, Xu Zhenhua made the monthly flow of water to 50 to 60 million.

Why did you leave your job to start a business?

Legend has it that the lack of year-end bonuses was one of the reasons for Xu Zhenhua to leave Tencent.

I heard a former employee at Tencent IEG say: In 2013-14, there was something wrong with the incentive system within Tencent IEG. In a word, incentives cannot keep up with the speed of revenue growth. As a result, regardless of performance, the final year-end bonus that year was only paid to some employees for less than three months, causing many people to be dissatisfied.

Xu Zhenhua has a desire to quit, and the attraction of starting a business is too strong.

In 2014, the trend of mobile games is on the rise, gold is everywhere, and hot money is flying.

There were rumors back then that many investor teams would stay near the Tencent campus all day long, asking everyone “is it Tencent Games?” If they wanted to start a business, they could invest if they wanted to — just like today at the subway entrance. , the mode of sending gym small advertisements.

In the “Legend of Xuanyuan” project team, Xu Zhenhua has a little brother who is not very good-looking. He often wears a pair of half-frame glasses, and his two tiger teeth shine when he smiles. He has a lot of ideas about the game, but he is always not appreciated by the leaders.

A few years later, he left to start a business and chose a good location in Shanghai. Taken from the mythological figure, he gave the company an interesting name – Lilith. Within a few years, his name – Wang Xinwen – was also fully established in the Shanghai game circle. But that’s a different story, and we’ll talk about it later.

Xu Zhenhua also wanted to start a business, and starting a business needs partners. The first thing Xu Zhenhua thought of was Yuan Jing, who had been fighting with his comrades for many years.

Yuan Jing entered the industry in 2002 and started his gaming career in Shanda. After expanding a number of famous projects such as “Legend World” and “Bubble Hall”, he came to Tencent and has partnered with Xu Zhenhua for many years in projects such as “Free Fantasy”, “Xuanyuan Legend”, “Tribal Guard War”, and the tacit understanding is very good. deep.

Xu Zhenhua is a natural game planner. He has a big brain and a lot of ideas, and he often seems a little aggressive. Yuan Jing is more restrained and rational, and knows how to stop Xu Zhenhua and make up for the part of him that is too emotional.

The two of them looked good on the project team. With a wave of their hands, more than 20 brothers were willing to follow their entrepreneurial footsteps.

The two knew that the resignation of the group had a huge impact on the company, so they also informed HR and the immediate leader in advance, thinking about the internal agreement on the resignation and handover time, and left to start a business.

According to rumors, Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing found HR and the leader, and roughly reached a verbal agreement, which is yours and my wish.

However, Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing were in a hurry. They couldn’t wait to finish their resignation, so they had to register a company and prepare for starting a business. It was rumored that some people inside were unhappy, and they reported them to the upper management.

Although Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing led the team to leave, it was already “it’s going to rain, and my mother wants to get married”; but in the process, it was Xu who started the company after all, and the business content was directly related to the work. When it gets to the top, the so-called “oral agreement” becomes “verbal talk without evidence”.

Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing were very disgraceful and were “expelled” from the Tencent office building on the same day, on the grounds that they violated the “competition clause” in the labor contract. The options of the company in hand were also fully recovered.

Being expelled from the company is not the end. This non-compete clause can be described as a “time bomb” tied to Xu Zhenhua, which finally exploded a few years after Mutong was established.

In 2017, Tencent sued Xu Zhenhua in court, claiming that Xu violated the competition restriction, opened a company during his tenure, and violated the company’s articles of association.

In June 2018, the final trial was defeated, and Xu Zhenhua was sentenced to compensate Tencent 19.4 million yuan.

Even if it is not very decent to leave the goose factory, Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing have not forgotten their old club, at least they can do business together.

It is said that their first product “Magic Rush” signed an agency agreement with Tencent during the Demo period, and handed over the domestic version of this mobile game to Tencent for the first launch.

“At that time, Yuan Jing and Xu Zhenhua had a project, and almost the first reaction was to hand it over to the Tencent agent.” An insider close to Mu Tong told Leifeng.com.

Unfortunately, the agreement was signed, and later due to various reasons, the final cooperation could not be reached, and the cracks between Mu Tong and Tencent could not be repaired. In the court in 2018, Xu Zhenhua also regarded the failed agreement as evidence in court, but it was not adopted in the end.

19.4 million, almost equal to the lifetime net income of many migrant workers. Come to think of it, if the well water does not violate the river water, the Goose Factory does not need to be so cruel.

To say that Xu Zhenhua offended Tencent after starting his business, then we have to mention their Moba mobile game “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang”, which is popular in Southeast Asia, which is also commonly known as “Endless Showdown” in China.

2. “Endless Showdown”: Outer Road Overtaking in the Age of Great Navigation

Why did “Endless Showdown” make Mu Tong a star?

In a word, “Endless Showdown” has accomplished what Tencent has always wanted to do but failed to do——

——Let a Moba mobile game become popular all over the world.

Watching “Honor of Kings” become popular all over the country, in Tencent’s mind, a natural thought arises spontaneously:

Since the whole of China is playing the king, if it is put overseas, wouldn’t it make a lot of money?

Bearing the expectation of the “Overseas Edition of “Honor of Kings”, “Arena of Valor” (hereinafter referred to as “AOV”) went to sea in 2017.

More than 5 years have passed, but “AOV” has not been able to bring the “glory” of the domestic mobile game king overseas.

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“AOV” IPhone terminal global hot list ranking heat map (as of June 22, 2022)

“Endless Showdown”, which belongs to the same mobile game Moba as “Honor of Kings”, has completed the unfinished business of “AOV” that year – making a national-level Moba mobile game overseas

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“Endless Showdown” iPhone global bestseller list (as of June 22, 2022)

According to the media, as of February this year, the top 20 best-selling countries of “Endless Showdown” have reached 57 IOS channels and 54 Google Play channels respectively.

In the Asian version of “AOV”, only 4 countries are listed in the top 20 best-selling IOS list, and only 6 countries are listed in the top 2 best-selling list on Google Play. The version data of “AOV” in other regions is even worse.

One sentence summary: Today, “Endless Showdown” is an order of magnitude ahead of “AOV”.

“AOV”, and even “Glory of the King”, compared with “Endless Showdown” from a product perspective, which is better or worse, this article does not discuss much. But from the strategic point of view of going overseas, Mu Tong has his own set of methodology.

“Endless Showdown” is not Mu Tong’s first game, but since their first game “Magic Rush”, they have firmly chosen to go overseas.

Why did you choose to go overseas? A game company executive who is very close to Mutong said with a smile to Leifeng.com: Mutong didn’t do domestic or overseas business in the early days, mainly because she “couldn’t drink”.

According to his recollection, Mutong, which was just established that year, had a good talent pool in the fields of products and operations, while the genes of business and market were weak.

The founders Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing did not understand business, while Zhang Guanqun, the founder who was mainly in charge of business, left the team when “Magic Rush” was still in development.

Around 2014, the domestic Android channel was still relatively fragmented. Every mobile phone had an app store. To be domestic, “If there are 100 channels, then you have to rely on business to drink and drink one by one.”

Both Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing want to focus more on the product side. After all, drinking is not their strong point.

In contrast, overseas, the channel aspect has become settled – Apple and Google are divided into two parts of the world, and the channel perspective is simpler.

It happened that Mu Tong’s angel investor, Zhixingtong, was the first group of people who found gold when the game went overseas.

As early as 2009, they let people in Russia, Germany and other countries and regions play “stealing vegetables”; in 2014, they launched the SLG “Clash of Kings” which detonated the global game market.

The case of Zhixingtong gave Mutong great confidence to go overseas. The two founders of Mutong combined: simply bypass the domestic battlefield and achieve overtaking overseas!

“Magic Rush” received a good response when they went out to sea to test the water. Mu Tong’s boat became more stable and smoother on the waterway.

In the past few years, LOL has been in the limelight, and more and more manufacturers have begun to pay attention to the Moba category, and Mu Tong is one of them.

According to rumors, Lilith’s Wang Xinwen and Zhang Hao came to Mutong for a meeting. They took out their mobile phones and opened a Moba mobile game from NetEase that year – “Westward Journey”.

While playing, Zhang Hao shouted, “This game is going to be popular!”

As a prophecy, although “Western Journey to Brawl” is not popular, the Moba mobile game is indeed popular.

At that time, Moba mobile games began to emerge in the domestic market, and Tencent was the leader, and its flagship “Glory of the King” and “National Super God” fought fiercely in the domestic market, killing the “Moba Dream” of many manufacturers. in the cradle.

However, the domestic market was sluggish, and Mu Tong aimed at the overseas market, which was still a vacuum at the time.

Moba mobile game development is a technical job. Mu Tong originally worked more on SLG and did not have a deep understanding of Moba’s technology stack. At that time, Mu Tong’s work was considered a small achievement. Instead of spending time researching and giving up opportunities from scratch, it is better to spend money to buy a team and get a head start.

According to people close to Mu Tong, at this time, Xu Zhenhua thought of a character named Guo Xiaobin, who was Xu Zhenhua’s colleague many years ago, and later came to Perfect World to develop games.

His team has accumulated a lot in the Moba category. He used Unity for about 14 years and developed a page game Moba called “The Third Sword” for Perfect World, which is quite familiar.

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Seeing this, Xu Zhenhua found Guo Xiaobin decisively. The two are of the same robe and the same zeal. In addition, Guo Xiaobin has technology and Xu Zhenhua has a global vision, and their needs and expertise complement each other.

At the invitation of Xu Zhenhua, Guo accepted the investment of Mu Tong, led the team to leave the Perfect World, and started the production of “Endless Showdown” with Mu Tong.

With the participation of fierce generals, the development of the project is booming. The project was established around March 2016, and just half a year later, “Endless Showdown” was launched overseas.

“Endless Showdown”, Mu Tong can say that the experience reserve is quite rich.

In the minds of many people who don’t know how to go overseas, “localization” means doing a good job in translation, cultural adaptation and aesthetic adaptation.

It is not easy to do a good job in translation and aesthetics. However, the pits hidden in those details are even more fatal.

For example: At that time, when the APP capacity was greater than 100 megabytes, the app store would require the mobile phone to download it only by connecting to Wifi.

Seems like a trivial matter, after all, don’t you have to wait until there is Wifi and then download it?

However, even now in the world, a large number of countries have not yet popularized fiber optics, let alone full coverage of Wifi. In Southeast Asia, 80%-85% of users are still using 4G.

Without Wi-Fi, users would struggle to download big games. But there are always more choices in the game market. If I don’t choose yours, I can choose another home.

Besides, in many countries, the popularity of large-capacity mobile phones is also a problem. Even if there is Wifi, whether the mobile phone can be installed or not can be run or not, it is also a problem.

100Mb is a big hurdle for mobile game packages. And Moba games, which are a few gigabytes in size, have to make the package body less than 100Mb, easier said than done?

When Moba goes to sea, there are more problems. “Taking “AOV” at the time as an example, many of the fonts were used textures,” a person in the circle explained to Leifeng.com, “This also means that every time a language is embedded in the game, more Hundreds of stickers.”

To do this, the package body of “AOV” is definitely not small.

In order to reduce the capacity of the package, Mu Tong built the functions of incremental download and built-in language conversion into “Endless Showdown”; he even took the initiative to reduce the quality of art materials, so that he was reprimanded as “the picture is too bad” for a period of time.

If there is one sentence to sum up the secret of Mu Tong’s overtaking when going overseas, it is: to ensure the user experience at all costs.

This strategy cannot simply be attributed to the flash of inspiration of Xu Zhenhua or Yuan Jing. Mu Tong has been operating overseas for many years and has also paid a lot of “tuition fees”. The mechanism, if you do not experience it yourself, it is difficult to understand.

Back then, Tencent and Mu Tong seemed to be starting from the same starting point, but the actual starting line was already a lot behind Mu Tong.

According to a former Tencent employee, although “Honor of Kings” was produced by Tianmei, the production rights of the overseas version of “AOV” were not in the hands of Tianmei L1, but were transferred to Tianmei J6.

In this process, Tianmei L1 is only responsible for providing the source code of the game and some scattered materials.

For example, even if you get the recipes and materials of the chef, it is difficult for other chefs to reproduce the skills of the chef. Tencent’s idea of ​​”AOV” may be a change of skin in the final analysis.

Not only that, but “AOV” also has loopholes in its release strategy.

Tencent is not short of money, and it is naturally willing to spend money in the face of the overseas big DAU product market. In some countries and regions, such as Vietnam, Taiwan, etc., the tradition of end games is better, and offline activities are more recognized. This makes AOV work well in these regions. In more places, what the industry sees is Tencent’s “doing more with less” in terms of purchases and promotions-a lot of money is spent, but the brand power and brand effect are not as good as expected.

In different regions, “AOV” is issued by 3 different bodies. Southeast Asia and Taiwan went to Garena, South Korea to Netmarble, and Europe is still controlled by Tencent’s own divisions.

As far as the Garena family is concerned, Southeast Asia is also divided into a Thai version, a Vietnamese version, and an Indonesian version.

The former employee of the goose factory told Leifeng.com that there are too many versions and the distribution structure is not clear, which makes the research and development of “AOV” soaring. This is not the original team, and the limited manpower seems to be a lonely tree, unable to support the research and development of three different stakeholders.

An insider who is well versed in overseas distribution told Leifeng.com that “AOV” was full of expectations for the Turkish market before it was released in Turkey – the population is large, the economy is good, and there is great market potential. However, after the release pushed the resources, many users came to them, reflecting that the translated copy could not be understood at all.

A patchwork team, hard-to-find work, and an energy-intensive communication session made the development team of “AOV” demoralized first. “About two years after AOV was launched, the team’s state was not quite right,” said the former employee of the goose factory.

On the contrary, Mutong’s side, with Southeast Asia as the core, has made “Endless Showdown” smooth, and the e-sports competition is also in full swing, and it almost has the potential to become a “national game” in Southeast Asia.

One year, Yuan Jing went to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, to sit in the local e-sports competition. When he arrived at the venue, he was taken aback by the scene – the large shopping mall, which is the venue for the competition, with six floors up and down, was actually crowded with spectators.

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Indonesia has a tropical climate, and the crowds in the shopping malls make it even more breathless. While Yuan Jing was in it, although it was painful, she was greatly shocked.

Back at the hotel that night, Yuan Jing decided to put e-sports work on Mu Tong’s priority and continue to improve.

Earlier, Leifeng.com had some brief analysis on China’s e-sports industry: making e-sports and making money is not as easy as imagined. It is understood that many domestic e-sports teams are on the verge of loss, and their revenue capacity is worrying.

To do e-sports, first of all, the team must be able to make money. In this case, what is the logic of Mu Tong’s betting on e-sports?

There is a saying: Southeast Asian e-sports, the ecology is much healthier than that in China.

A person who has worked in e-sports for many years in Southeast Asia told Leifeng.com that the local government often provides little subsidies for the e-sports industry in Southeast Asia; but in terms of commercialization of e-sports, Southeast Asia may be more mature and more oriented than China. powerful.

Compared with the Chinese players who are worth tens of millions, the Southeast Asian players are obviously worth less. At the same time, in terms of income system, broadcasting rights and sponsors still occupy the majority, ToB is heavier, and B-end users are often willing to spend money; while C-end consumption, which is often considered to be “sluggish”, such as tickets, peripherals, etc. in the lower income priorities.

“As long as it is finally proved that young people or most people are watching e-sports competitions, sponsors and platforms are willing to pay.” The insider concluded.

According to this source, when Mu Tong entered Southeast Asia, the e-sports industry was basically in a desert state, playing e-sports competitions, and even “fighting” with the occasional blackout. The Chinese team went, almost to enlighten the local people and introduce the “Chinese experience” of e-sports.

Today, Mu Tong’s 8 teams in Indonesia are currently in a profitable state.

Under the system of many large companies, the strong ROI-oriented work model is difficult to tolerate the “high investment, slow return” e-sports business. In the organization, “KPIs are used as heroes”, and employees who want to be promoted safely will naturally find it difficult to “slow down”.

Being able to stand up to the temperament education market, “long-termism” helped Mutong create a good user ecology. In 2020, “Endless Showdown” exceeded 100 million monthly active users worldwide, and the penetration rate in Indonesia and the Philippines reached 10%-15% of the total population.

There is a joke circulating in the industry: an overseas employee of Mutong, who landed in Indonesia by plane, lined up to go through customs, handed in his passport, but was stopped.

He was frightened and thought there was something wrong with the procedures. The staff member sitting in the checkpoint glanced at him and said to him, “Everyone in our country is playing your game.”

As soon as the man lowered his head, he realized that the T-shirt on his body had Mu Tong’s logo on it.

3. Behind the sale of bytes

If “Endless Showdown” is booming overseas, it is Mu Tong and Tencent that have a feud; then adding Bytes undoubtedly means that Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing have completely broken with the original old club and tore their face.

It can be regarded as a big event in the game circle in 2021. Mu Tong is worth 4 billion US dollars (there are also rumors of 5 billion and 6 billion in the market). This move is seen by the outside world as another big bet made by Byte in the arms race on the game track.

A year later, the acquisition has also settled. Leifeng.com has no intention of being an “aftermath” to analyze the whole process of the acquisition. However, behind the acquisition of Mutong by Byte, there are many details, which are intriguing and worth pondering.

In the last issue of Masterpiece Interview, we talked about the predicament that Ali had on the game track – there was no publishing strength, but without the support of self-developed products, it was impossible to maximize the advantages of publishing.

To some extent, so do bytes.

In the former Mutong period, the products that Byte was playing were just small games such as “Eliminate the Virus” and “My Kung Fu Special Cow”. Although with the strong channel strength of Byte, these two games have dominated the list for a long time, but after all, they are not “famous and real” masterpieces like “Three Kingdoms: Strategy Edition”.

Reorganized its “Chaoxi Calendar” into “Chaoxi Guangnian”, focusing on game self-research, and invested in Beijing’s Oasis, Hangzhou’s Jiangnan, Shanghai’s Mokun… Over the years, Byte has invested a lot in the game track, but The results are unsatisfactory.

Mutong already has a good product, and more importantly, they have also established a good ecosystem overseas, making the e-sports business hot. If one day Byte wants to do a big DAU project in China to compete with Tencent, Mu Tong’s experience is necessary.

As an important strategic layout point, Byte is about to make a bet, but Tencent also came to the poker table with huge sums of money.

There are also rumors in the market that Tencent intends to acquire Mu Tong first, and already has a rough cooperation framework. Bytes kills Chue Hu halfway, and also pays a liquidated damage to Tencent for Mu Tong.

An investor in the game circle told Leifeng.com: Back then, Goose Factory still took the attitude of “old and dead” when it came to the employees and teams who left.

On the one hand, the former employees who left the goose factory were mainly one of Tencent’s founders, Zeng Liqing, who invested in the investment, while Tencent officials rarely invested in employees who left the company: you left the company to start a business, and the company still If I invest in you, then where will I put the face of my dignified goose factory?

Back then, when Wang Xinwen left to start his own business, Tencent just treated him coldly. At that time, the “3Q war” was becoming intensified, and the two giants in China’s Internet industry were fighting fiercely.

Lilith, who left Tencent, is said to have been greatly helped by 360. Their first game “Legend of Dota” was strongly promoted by the 360 ​​channel in the Android area, and successfully entered the track as a “dark horse”, which surprised Tencent and surprised the 360 ​​channel as a channel. made a fortune.

At a meeting, “Brother Xiao Ma” asked at the meeting: Why did a brother from Tencent make a hit game that we didn’t have, and we didn’t even invest in it, and let “that company” make so much money Rich.

This question scared many people into a cold sweat.

After that, Goose Factory gradually eased its attitude towards companies started by former employees.

But then again, does Tencent really need Mu Tong? Here we still put a question mark.

In terms of how long the Moba category has a long life cycle, Tencent has no idea; in small terms, Tencent also has its own booth overseas. It bought Mutong to undertake overseas business. How can the brothers make money?

Looking at it this way, extending an olive branch to Mu Tong is more like a defensive move by Tencent than an offense. In order to prevent the enemy from grabbing this strategic location, no matter whether it is useful to oneself or not, it is necessary to strike first.

The acquisition of Mutong has important strategic significance for Tencent and Byte. For Mu Tong, this matter is not just as simple as “go to Tencent, or go to Byte”.

As early as 2018 and 2019, after seeing the initial results of “Endless Showdown” overseas, many people began to be interested in Mu Tong. For a time, takeover offers continued.

And everyone close to Yuan Jing knows that he has a real “Honghu ambition” for the game. He understands and loves games, and being born in a grand family has made him somewhat tainted with Chen Tianqiao’s idealistic temperament.

In an article on Zuo Lin You Li Channel, it was mentioned that Yao Xiaoguang was Yuan Jing’s same period in Shanda, and Wang Xinwen was his younger brother. Although Mu Tong has already achieved results, the light of the first two is too dazzling, Yuan Jing still wants to fight again.

But Xu Zhenhua is not the case, he is not a person who “hanged on a tree”, and his mind is more flexible. In terms of personality, Xu Zhenhua may be more like Tang Binsen – when he is tired of working in the game circle, he makes soda and is still happy and unrestrained.

Three or four years ago, Mu Tong faced the opportunity to cash out. Among the admirers, there is still Xiaomi. After the acquisition failed, Xiaomi still wanted to be Moba, so he turned to Suzaku Network, and then came the “Xiaomi Super God”.

At that time, Xu Zhenhua might have wanted to leave, but Yuan Jing wanted to stay.

According to rumors, Yuan Jing and Xu Zhenhua had several long talks at that time. He said, “Sell this company, what will we do in the rest of our lives?”

The 21-year acquisition is not the same.

The first is that the price of billions is too attractive. This money can buy Xu Zhenhua’s financial freedom and the start-up capital for his next venture.

Secondly, both Tencent and Byte have promised that Mu Tong can run independently, Yuan Jing’s dream in the game circle can also be realized, and it is even possible to use the power of Tencent or Byte to soar.

But having said so much, what Mu Tong values ​​most will always be the fate of “Endless Showdown” after being acquired.

This is not only due to Mu Tong, but also the “cleanliness” and focus on game project development – “Endless Showdown” is the foundation of Mu Tong’s life, if the acquisition is not conducive to the development of “Endless Showdown”, then it will be abandoned like a shoe. It’s also just a matter of time.

As mentioned earlier, Tencent’s attitude towards Mu Tong may not be “unique” enough: “Endless Showdown” entered Tencent, and it may also face competition with “AOV” and even “Honor of Kings”. There are many hills inside IEG, which is no longer a secret.

In a word, if you join Tencent, how can “Endless Showdown” compete with Tencent’s “pro son”?

An insider said that Tencent extended an olive branch to Mu Tong because it was “tired” from fighting with Mu Tong for too many years. After the acquisition, it is very likely that “Endless Showdown” will be shut down.

Xu Zhenhua might not care too much if he wanted to leave, but Yuan Jing might have a hard time accepting this result.

Moreover, Tencent overseas is strong in self-research, not in channels. “Endless Showdown” does not require the interference of Tencent’s self-research power, but requires further push from overseas channels.

An investor who is closely following the acquisition of Mutong told Leifeng.com that when Goose Factory and Mutong docked, they gave an example of their overseas operational strength, which was still “PUBG: Mobile” (the overseas version of today’s “Peace Elite”) . However, when “PUBG: Mobile” was first launched overseas, Mu Tong had already established a firm foothold in many overseas areas.

Unlike Byte, TikTok has strong overseas channels and lacks self-developed products. After coming, “Endless Showdown” is naturally a sweet pastry, and bytes must be held in the palm of your hand.

Rather be the head of a chicken than the tail of a phoenix. For Mu Tong, this logic is quite clear.

One year later, is it worth it to buy Mutong by Byte? At this point in time, I am afraid that many people do not have the answer.

At the beginning of the 21st year, the capital experienced another high tide, and the enthusiasm for game investment was also high.

At that time, no one could have predicted the sudden “version winter” in the summer of 21, and the new crown epidemic that caused disasters in 22 years.

Today, the crunch of bytes continues, and rounds of layoffs all reveal the cyclical recession of China’s Internet industry.

“Byte bought a company with an annual revenue of 1 billion yuan at a price of maybe 40 billion yuan. Do you think it’s worth it?” a senior war investment told Leifeng.com.

However, some people say that the number of 1 billion is not accurate. Much of Mutong’s penetration in Southeast Asia is not through App stores—in many regions of Southeast Asia, users recharge through third-party channels such as SMS and phone recharge, and Apple and Google’s channel revenue only accounts for a part of it.

According to some media estimates, Mu Tong’s actual annual income may not be less than 4 billion yuan.

However, the Southeast Asian market is still too small. Even if it is the first in Southeast Asia, Mutong’s income is still unmatched compared to traditional big companies such as Tencent and NetEase. The low unit price and poor consumption power are an indelible mark on the Southeast Asian market.

According to reports, there are still several development lines running under Mutong’s banner, and after “Endless Showdown”, new products are being prepared to be launched.

Some people say that Byte bought the potential of Mutong, and with higher PE, in exchange for ecology, self-research and user coverage.

And proving that she is worthy of tens of billions of worth may be the task that Mu Tong needs to complete in the near future.

Epilogue

After choosing Byte, Mu Tong was still caught in the legal whirlpool, and the new lawsuit with Riot Games caused a lot of trouble for a while.

Leifeng.com has no intention to arbitrarily discuss the referee process, and this result must have been foreseen by Xu Zhenhua and Yuan Jing.

After selling Bytes, Xu Zhenhua left Mutong and the game track, and “run away” for the second time.

The first time, Xu Zhenhua was “expelled”, which was very disrespectful; and the second time, Xu Zhenhua was smug and ready to take on new challenges.

A person close to Xu Zhenhua said: “Of course Xu Zhenhua is still enjoying his financial freedom, but he is also paying attention to some investment and entrepreneurial projects. There are no results yet, so it is difficult to disclose.”

Xu Zhenhua left, and Mu Tong lost another founder after Zhang Guanqun. When Zhang Guanqun left, it was the most difficult time for Mu Tong. The revenue of “Magic Rush” had not yet been seen, and the departure of the founder made many people doubt the future development of Mu Tong.

In 2021, Mu Tong is the time of beauty, and Xu Zhenhua can be relieved to leave. In the beginning, Yuan Jing was responsible for the internal management of the company, and Xu Zhenhua was responsible for research and development, and Mu Tong’s internal reporting mechanism did not change much because of his departure.

Yuan Jing still stayed in Mu Tong, leading Mu Tong’s work by herself. In the eyes of the company’s employees, he is gentle, pragmatic and focused. Every time he criticized others at the meeting, he would always keep up with the phrase “don’t be under pressure”.

After the acquisition, Yuan Jing’s work commitment has not decreased. “In the evenings or weekends, he is often still studying and researching projects, and he can’t see that he is already a ‘billionaire'”, a person close to Yuan Jing said. People say so.

In the 8 years since she left Tencent, Yuan Jing’s role has changed from a “professional manager” to a “CEO”. In terms of production, Yuan Jing will give more power to the producers, while she will work more on the management level of the company and communicate closely with the HR team, aiming to cultivate a group of talents for the long-term development of the company.

One year after the acquisition, Mu Tong’s size has more than doubled, but the positive and flat management style is still there. Mu Tong has a large group of more than 1,000 people. The group can talk about the temperature of the air conditioner at the work station, to whether the work meal is unpalatable today, and the “flat” is surprisingly “flat”.

In an article titled “When Game Company Bosses Are 40 Years Old”, someone wrote that Xu Zhenhua “goes ashore with a lot of cash in hand and can safely hand over his career”, which is really enviable.

Yuan Jing apparently saw this article and responded in the comment area: “After the merger, many people asked me where is the motivation? My answer is, I believe that games can make the world a better place. So, I’m still on the way. “

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