尤其在年轻人聚集的平台上，偏见正在加速剧本杀口碑的崩坏——“剧本杀交友乱象”、“为买新本陪睡发行”、“剧本杀荤本教学”、“剧本杀培训杀猪盘”已然成为一些锐评剧本杀视频的流量密码。甚至，2021 年 9 月至今，新华社、人民日报等官媒频频发文指出，个别剧本杀宣扬暴力、灵异等低俗内容，引发公众担忧。
上海疫情居家期间，张璠（化名，剧本杀主持人，俗称 DM ）格外怀念《死穿白》。“它是很多玩家的启蒙本，算传入国内第一个谋杀之谜剧本。”
自 2018 年迷上剧本杀后，张璠每年要带近百场，他认为，相比狼人杀（体验由玩家游戏水平决定）、密室（体验来自实景装修、NPC 解谜游戏），剧本杀胜在社交属性。
即便过去三年，剧本杀一跃成为年轻人的社交新宠，其市场规模由 2018 年的 65.3 亿元增长至 2020 年的 117.4 亿元，远超 KTV、线下电影院、密室逃脱等线下娱乐消费形式；但在行业迅速蹿红获得大量关注的同时，剧本杀的内容生态反而变得越发浮躁和草莽。
从创作难度来看，小说、网文、影视 IP 是单 C 位线性叙事，即便改编成剧本杀的《蝴蝶公墓》《庆余年》《成化十四年》有不俗的市场表现，但剧本杀对场景、交互、体验有不同的要求，平衡好众 C 位非线性叙事并非易事。
况且，剧本杀创作群体本身就不稳定。根据剧本分发平台“黑探有品”数据，截至2020年末全国剧本创作者为 4000 ~ 5000人，主要由玩家进阶、网文转行、影视编剧等组成，而大多数作者以兼职为主。
另一方面，剧本杀的基本属性并非文学性、故事性而是游戏性。游戏性注重两点，一是平衡感，剧本杀本子不仅要保证故事完整性、可读性，还要想办法设置互动节点、修复上帝视角 Bug ；二是使命感，玩家都有任务的线索，剧情推动离不开每一个参与者，任何人摆烂都会影响其他人的体验，而眼下剧本杀组局又普遍会遭遇陌生人，使得整场体验不可控。
对此，音派文化创始人音派认为，这可以通过解耦每个人的行动故事线到剧情，游戏交互不依赖某个特定对象，不同线索都可以向下推动剧情。“现在不少本子创作是开放性结局，甚至最多有 72 种结局，玩家完全可以拿不同角色去推动，开放性结局还能规避套路化。”
这个层面来看，剧本杀更像一种特色的互动文学，剧情也要为体验服务，而负责讲解、分发线索、串场的 DM 对整场体验就显得尤为重要。比如，张璠就认为，线下店的 DM、本子更新速度与客流量一定呈正相关，“回头客要不奔独家本、要不奔 DM，那种低价引流的本子回头客极底。”他觉得综合来看，剧本杀行业复购率排序靠前的原因依次应该是 DM、剧本、体验及其他。
“很多店开的最好还是 2018、2019 年后的本，例如 2018 年的《窗边的女人》《蛊魂铃》，2019 年的《年轮》《校规》都很经典，当时本子不会一味追求体量。现在店家不愿意买小体量本，那种动辄几万字的本才有成本感，买情感本追大体量本越发普遍，这意味着更冗长的时间成本，无疑会劝退一些玩家。”
以 2021 年全年剧本推理展会数据为例，全国举办的剧本杀展会累计 72 场；从单月举办 / 规划的场数来看，展会举办场数在上半年呈逐步上升趋势，以 7 月举办的 13 场为峰值，下半年举办场数呈逐步下降趋势。
按照目前展会参展规模来看，最大展会是 3000 店家票，按照正常的比例 1:10 算，上限应该在 300 部作品（展会新本占比大概为 40% ）；即便中等规模区域展会也要 1000 多人，至少有 100 部作品。综合线上发行平台推理大师给出数据初步估算：整个剧本杀行业，仅 2021 年一年上线的新本就超过 6000 部。
资料来源：剧本推理展会小程序 | 前瞻产业研究院整理
“ 2018 ~2019 年有一种模式，某些工作室会在网上先找一个经典的故事大纲，再分给数位兼职写手疯狂输出，这种本一眼看上去设定、题材都不错，但本子太套路、三刀两毒，玩起来很容易破梗翻车。”贺北辰表示。
而且，剧本杀行业发展至今，不少展会上店家选本不光受内容影响，还受制于圈子、办展人关系以及营销等因素。音派表示，作为发行，见过一些头部玩家在展会上非常会营销，“ 发行跟展会主办方关系好就能拿到展会的 C 位曝光，店家抢独家本、城限本也要跟发行方的关系好、商务能力强。”
|盒装发售||向线下店发售，不限数量||300 ~ 600 元||约 30 天左右|
|城市限定||仅授权城市 3~5 家店||1000 ~ 3000 元||约 90 天左右|
|独家授权||仅授权 一城一店||3000 元以上||约 180 天左右|
值得一提的是，2022 年 4 月 1 日，文化和旅游部发布《文化和旅游部 公安部 住房和城乡建设部 应急管理部 市场监管总局关于规范剧本娱乐经营活动的通知（征求意见稿）》，该《通知》为首个国家范围内针对剧本杀、密室逃脱管理规范，预示着国家开始将剧本杀作为一个新兴产业纳入监管。
Especially on the platform where young people gather, prejudice is accelerating the destruction of screenplay word-of-mouth-“screenplay killing to make friends”, “release to buy new books”, “screenplay meat-killing teaching” and “screenplay training and pig killing” have become the flow passwords for some critical screenplays to kill videos. Even, since September 2021, Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily and other official media have frequently pointed out that individual plays promote violence, psychic and other vulgar content, causing public concern.
It can be seen that although the epidemic has affected offline operations, the accompanying problems of soft pornography, violence, and psychic content (which also face piracy and plagiarism in the process of distribution) are the most difficult “robberies” in the script killing industry– the speed of the industry is thwarted. It may delay the rise and outbreak of the industry, but content ecology determines user stickiness and reputation. When incremental weakness overlaps stock loss, script killing may even face the end of sudden death.
However, when Wang Mengchi, co-founder of the master of reasoning, talked to Hu about the plight of script killing, he said, “more and more practitioners are pouring in with the industry, and some concomitant problems have disturbed the normal growth rate and internal growth logic of the industry.” However, these local and early chaotic images of the industry have been magnified and repeatedly examined, which is not very objective for an emerging industry. “
Script killing is getting less and less fun?
During the epidemic in Shanghai, Zhang Jie (pseudonym, script killing host, commonly known as DM) particularly missed “death wearing white”. “it is the enlightening book of many players, and it is the first murder mystery script introduced into the country.”
Zhang has played nearly 100 games a year since he became obsessed with the script in 2018. He believes that compared with werewolf killing (the experience is determined by the player’s game level) and the Chamber of Secrets (the experience comes from live decoration and NPC puzzles), the script wins in social attributes.
“at least in terms of experience, script killing is better than werewolf killing, the former has no obvious threshold of the game, everyone starts to play. In a series, there is logical reasoning, a strong sense of immersion, and the ability to meet new friends, which is in line with the diverse demands of young people for offline social interaction. “
Comparison of the characteristics of werewolf killing, secret room escape and script killing games
However, in the past two years, the frequency of Zhang Kui going to the local school has been greatly reduced. “the demagogic soul, crime and punishment, and the return of the beloved can all give people the feeling of being there. Now there are more and more stories about body size and water injection, so I miss the original intention of hard-core logic, restoration, tactics, and paradox.” Zhang Jing said.
Moreover, some new ideas in hard core books will show some differences in techniques, organs, and settings (such as differences in narration, including time, place, and characters, misleading players through changes in narrative methods, and common methods of reasoning novels). The homogenization of emotional books, anti-drug books and antique books is becoming more and more serious.
For example, soon after the launch of the classic “woman by the window”, “Goodbye Firefly” (original), “Shang Zhong er” (camp book), “Hello” (Ben), and “soldiers under the City” (emotional book), there are many “mirror” books that pay homage.
Even though screenplay has become a new social favorite among young people in the past three years, its market size has grown from 6.53 billion yuan in 2018 to 11.74 billion yuan in 2020, far exceeding offline entertainment consumption forms such as KTV, offline cinemas and secret room escape; but while the industry has quickly gained a lot of attention, the content ecology of screenplay has become more impetuous and reckless.
From the point of view of the difficulty of creation, the novel, online article, film and television IP are single C-bit linear narration, even if the screenplay “Butterfly Cemetery”, “Qingyu year” and “Chenghua 14 years” have a good market performance, but the screenplay has different requirements for the scene, interaction and experience, so it is not easy to balance the C-bit non-linear narrative.
Moreover, the screenplay killing group itself is unstable. According to the data of the script distribution platform “Black Exploration”, by the end of the nbsp;2020 year, the national screenwriters are 4000-5000 writers, mainly composed of players, online writers, film and television scriptwriters, etc., while most writers are mainly part-time.
On the other hand, the basic attribute of script killing is not literariness, story but gameplay. Gameplay focuses on two points, one is the sense of balance, the script killing book should not only ensure the integrity and readability of the story, but also find ways to set up interactive nodes and repair God’s perspective Bug; second, the sense of mission, players have clues to the task, plot promotion can not be separated from every participant, anyone messing up will affect the experience of others, and now the script killing game will generally encounter strangers, making the whole experience uncontrollable.
Data source: “2021 Chinese script killing Market Analysis report”
In this regard, Yin School, the founder of phonetic culture, believes that this can be done by decoupling everyone’s action storyline to the plot, and the game interaction does not depend on a specific object, and different clues can push the plot down. “now many books are open endings, and even there are up to 72 endings. Players can promote them with different roles, and open endings can also avoid routines.”
From this point of view, script killing is more like a characteristic interactive literature, and the plot should also serve the experience, while DM, which is responsible for explaining, distributing clues and interviewing the scene, is particularly important to the whole experience. For example, Zhang believes that the DM and book update speed of offline stores must be positively correlated with customer flow. “repeat customers either go to exclusive books or DM, which is the kind of low-cost books that return to the bottom of customers.” He thinks that on the whole, the reasons for the top repurchase rate of script killing industry should be DM, script, experience and others.
However, DM also faces the dilemma that “a clever housewife cannot make bricks without rice”, especially in the content industry such as script killing. The screenwriter of “Chinatown investigation” & screenplay kills and publishes he Beichen believes that the blindly pursuit of mass books makes the market regulation failure.
“many stores had better be opened after 2018 or 2019, such as the woman by the window and the demagogue bell in 2018, and the annual rings and school rules in 2019 were all classic, when the book did not blindly pursue volume. Now the shop owner is not willing to buy a small volume book, the kind of easily tens of thousands of words can have a sense of cost, buying emotional books to chase large volume books is becoming more and more common, which means a more lengthy time cost, which will undoubtedly dissuade some players. “
Why is it that the cost is becoming more and more popular? Tiger sniff communicates with several reasoning enthusiasts and finds that they have a simple consensus that the core of script killing lies in “killing”. “any book with experience, balance and sense of experience must be interpreted through ‘killing’.”
Following this logic, players’ pursuit of interpretation and immersion will force stores to purchase scripts with larger volume and complex narration, and this trend will be fed back to the supply side from the market end, and the screenplay writers will create more large volume books in order to adapt to the changes in the market. The creative talent is limited, and the author can only inject water to support the number of words– as a result, the player’s time cost is getting higher and higher, and the readability is getting worse and worse, and finally feedback to the single store management, and the turnover rate is reduced. Breaking the stem and turning over further affects the player’s repurchase rate.
In view of this, many first-and second-tier cities are still in the stage of losing money and making money, not to mention second-and third-tier cities. As a result, script killing has always been difficult to form a trend of infiltration from high-line to low-line cities-Baidu search index shows that the popularity of script-killing search is mainly concentrated in coastal and first-tier cities in the Midwest, where young people are predominantly young.
Even from the distribution of stores in various cities, China’s script killing stores are mainly concentrated in first-tier and new first-tier cities-data show that in May 2021, Dianping Beijing, Wuhan, Shanghai area “script killing” category stores reached 663,634,551 respectively.
Data source: “2021 Chinese script killing Market Analysis report”
Investor Li Qiang (a pseudonym, mainly focused on the consumer track) conducted a survey in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and other first-tier cities and found that “many stores in Beijing and Shanghai have invested hundreds of thousands or nearly millions of dollars in the early stage, under the strategy of low prices.” the monthly profit is less than 50%, excluding rent, script purchase, manpower, operation and other expenses, and it takes a year or more to make a profit (but it also depends on business ability). How many people can last this long? “
He further said, “on the surface, the script killing is becoming more and more popular with the media reports, but a survey of the proportion of new / dead stores in major cities shows that the circle is only to satisfy the public’s sense of novelty, and the industry is still in the pioneering stage. There are no rules and barriers to entry, and three years of fire is also a ‘false fire’.”
Even so, he Beichen is optimistic that mud and sand is a necessary stage for any emerging industry. Although the system construction from single-store profit model and creative ecology to distribution platform and anti-piracy is at an early stage, the epidemic is helping the market to phase out many small-scale stores with poor operating capacity, thus promoting a content “cleaning” of the entire industry.
“A large number of low-cost drainage shops have closed down, and the core user base of scripts in the market is constant. If these target users want to play, they will divert to more classic and boutique stores to complete a benign content upgrade. Therefore, many stores who actively strive for survival continue to buy books during the epidemic, and their beliefs are supporting the evolution of the script to kill ecology for the better. “
Is the exhibition alienated into the source of “bad money”?
When communicating with several script killers about script flooding, plagiarism and other chaotic phenomena, Hu sniff found that the “flooding of exhibitions” was causing more and more serious damage to the ecology of script killing content, and even aggravated the phenomenon of “Bad money drives out good.”
Taking the data of the screenplay reasoning exhibition for the whole year of 2021 as an example, a total of 72 screenplay killing exhibitions were held nationwide; judging from the number of events held / planned in a single month, the number of exhibitions showed a gradual upward trend in the first half of the year, with the peak of 13 in July. The number of shows in the second half of the year showed a gradual downward trend.
According to the current size of the exhibition, the largest exhibition is 3000 shop tickets. According to the normal ratio of 1:10, the upper limit should be 300 works (the new edition accounts for about 40% of the exhibition). There are at least 1000 works in even medium-sized regional exhibitions. Comprehensive online distribution platform reasoning master gives a preliminary estimate: the script killing industry alone launched more than 6000 new books in 2021 alone.
Source: script reasoning Exhibition Mini Program | organized by forward-looking Industrial Research Institute
“the proliferation of the exhibition makes the supply of content uneven. No matter what the completion of the book can be paid to participate in the exhibition, as a result, the online speed of the new book is much faster than the speed of market digestion, and some shops have not opened a few cars to buy a new book. Players are attracted by the new book marketing to force stores to speed up the frequency of buying books, and even skip testing the link of ‘blind purchase’. It is easy to roll over, and word of mouth will get worse.” Yinpai said that at present, the greatest harm to the content ecology of all kinds of chaos is the proliferation of exhibitions.
What’s more, the proliferation of exhibitions will lead to a surge in demand for scripts, which will reduce the writing cycle, and more and more scripts will become mass-produced rather than created.
“from 2018 to 2019, there is a model in which some studios will first find a classic story outline online and then distribute it to several part-time writers to export crazily. This kind of book looks good at first glance, but the book is too routine and poisonous. It’s easy to break and roll over.” He Beichen said.
He further added that this kind of work is not only routine, but also has been able to achieve assembly-line work. “generally speaking, the creation cycle of high-quality works can be as long as several months or half a year, but this kind of book can write four or five books a month. Each book earns 100 sets of money. when the studio’s reputation worsens, it will immediately change its name to continue its assembly line work, even if it deceives shopkeepers and consumers, but the studio can get back its money, or even make some money.”
In addition, some head releases rely on exhibitions to increase brand effect, resulting in repeated compression of the book creation cycle, from half a year to three months to a month. The creation of such hasty stories is naturally routinized and not playable.
Moreover, with the development of the script killing industry, many selections at exhibitions are affected not only by the content, but also by the circle, the relationship between exhibitors and marketing and other factors. Yinpai said that as a release, it has seen some head players who are very good at marketing at the exhibition. “if the distribution has a good relationship with the organizers of the exhibition, they can get the C exposure of the exhibition.” the store grabs the exclusive book, the city limit this also needs to have a good relationship with the issuer, the business ability is strong. “
|Script type||Scope of sale||Script selling price||Creation cycle|
|Boxed sale||Sold to offline stores, unlimited quantity||300 ~ 600 yuan||About 30 days|
|City limit||Only 3 stores in the city are authorized.||1000 ~ 3000 yuan||About 90 days|
|Exclusive authorization||Only one store per city is authorized.||More than 3000 yuan||About 180 days|
Comparison of three ways of selling screenplay
On the one hand, the exhibition provides content supply for the whole industry, and after losing the content threshold, it will undoubtedly accelerate the occupation of inferior books to occupy the content market, which not only increases the difficulty of selecting books, but also increases the cost of content; on the other hand, the screenplay is actually more free than film and television creation, and there are few creative bottlenecks that need to be reviewed and controlled, which naturally makes the screenplay kill the content.
Admittedly, the big waves to clean up the sand is a normal law of market replacement, but now the ecological upstream and downstream players have entered, but the script killing industry has begun to decline, which means that the content ecology of script killing has reached the point where it is necessary to regulate admission.
It is worth mentioning that on April 1, 2022, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued the notice of the General Administration of Market Supervision of the Ministry of Public Security of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Emergency Management of the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development on regulating the entertainment business activities of scripts (draft for soliciting opinions). The notice is the first national regulation on script killing and secret room escape, indicating that the country has begun to regulate script killing as an emerging industry.
Of course, the impact of the exhibition on the screenplay killing content ecology has always been clear, and the piracy governance, which has a more far-reaching impact on the entire industry, is the “focus” that must be administered at present.
The reason why script piracy is so rampant is that there is no obvious difference in experience between piracy and genuine ones.
On the one hand, as an addictive game, script Kill has higher and higher requirements for DM, deduction and even lighting, music and decoration, and behind it is the pursuit of atmosphere and immersion. However, players simply do not know whether the store is infringing. Even if they file a lawsuit, most of the books on the market are not formal publications (script writers will frequently revise them according to the needs of the store), and the corresponding laws and regulations have not kept up with them. so it’s hard to prove your rights.
On the other hand, the industry has been in a state of “like the new and hate the old” for a long time, and stores must constantly buy scripts to attract new players. Some offline stores take the initiative to send money to pirates’ pockets in order to reduce the repurchase costs of regular customers. QQ groups and Xianyu are still filled with very low-priced script sales information, including famous scripts such as “scabbard”, “Ancient Wood Yin” and “School rules 22”.
Even, according to he Beichen, there was a reverse storm in Changchun last year. “A screenplay killed the splendor of decoration, invited the best local DM, and there was also a fountain in the store, which robbed a lot of customers by virtue of the atmosphere of the environment, making it difficult for local shops to compete with it, but they bought pirated versions, printed with PVC and tin foil, which had a better texture than the genuine one, and then forcibly explained, ‘the distribution is not authorized. We can only develop it ourselves. “
In this regard, Wang Mengchi believes that the best solution is to be online and digital like film and television. however, after decades of exploration and infrastructure construction, screenplay killing as a new thing is still immature, so it still maintains the distribution mode of paper box as a carrier.
“the vast majority of studios do not have the capital to establish digital copyright, such as giving content to offline stores online, which cannot be solved in the middle of copyright protection and revenue monitoring. In this case, traditional boxing is the mainstream, at least to ensure upstream revenue. “
In other words, script killing, as an industrial chain composed of creators, publishers, platforms / physical stores and consumers, has not yet formed benign feedback between upstream and downstream. Even the bottom (systems, regulations, industry conventions, etc.) system, benefit distribution are still in the exploratory stage.
However, Wang Mengchi believes that with the enhancement of practitioners’ awareness of copyright and the increase in the risk of piracy, industry consensus and systems will gradually be established. “I heard that Meituan has a high-level will come out to start a business, the project is to do a screenplay to kill the bottom box office sharing system and platform, reasoning masters are also pushing similar projects. When this kind of infrastructure is established, transparent revenue monitoring can be realized, and there will be a more logical way of issuing. “
Note: at the request of the interviewer, Zhang Kui and Li Qiang are both aliases.
Author / Huang Qingqing