"Whoa! This fella is real crazy!"
"Not even a professional e-sports athlete and yet he is so mad?"
"I thought that Ke Zimo from 2S was mad enough. I never expected that there was someone even crazier."
Fang Zhao's words made a number of e-sports athletes present twitch their lips.
A middle-aged member of the media sighed. "That's just how youngsters are. I understand."
Outside the conference hall.
Zuo Yu was chatting with his old comrades.
When Zuo Yu had accompanied the Polar Light project team over to the Fiery Bird Yanzhou Branch's building, he'd run into an old comrade who was working as security here. After a while at the press conference, he had came out. After all, inside, Fang Zhao was with Fiery Bird staff. Safety was not compromised, so he did not need to follow. Thus, he had come out to catch up with his old comrade and reminisce and talk about their work experience in Qi'an City.
"Work here gets very busy. The game is about to be released and there are many crazy fans. A lack of concentration and someone will sneak in. Not to mention all the items on display, if any machine gets spoiled, I will feel heartache!"
As Zuo Yu's old comrade spoke, his hands went to his chest. He was remembering the incident that had happened a while back, when a fervent fan had broken in to steal a 10th generation console. The fan had been caught but had damaged a few displays, and the damages were worth several million. This sort of money was not a lot to Fiery Bird, but they would feel heartache! Although the fan had paid a compensation fee, all those displayed items that were considered works of art were destroyed, and they could not help but feel sorry. They were also Fiery Bird fans and treated every item that Fiery Bird produced as a treasure. Especially the limited editions from 40 to 50 years ago that were on display. These were all commemorative items and had special significance. Ruining one was the same as losing one.
"Especially during the period close to the press conference, other than Fiery Bird fans, there are also fans from the other e-sports clubs. We have to watch them and increase security. Luckily, Fiery bird pays out rather readily. What about you? Following a composer around, don't you feel bored?" Zuo Yu's comrade asked.
"It's okay. My boss also pays out readily, and it's not boring. This year I still got to visit Muzhou to watch the sheep-herding competition, the benefits and salary are good too." Zuo Yu replied.
"That's true, your boss does not lack money. I heard he even has a dog worth $100 million. Doesn't your boss have any unusual hobbies? I heard that people with such high levels of artistic sense are weird."
"You know, those that dabble with the arts are..." Zuo Yu paused, pointed at his own head, "different from most people. You have no idea what goes on in their heads. Nowadays, he spends most of his time at home and I'm not needed. However, my wages are never short."
Zuo Yu's old comrade sighed. "Then you have it easy, getting your salary without staying beside and protecting him, unlike us who are always tired."
"I am his personal bodyguard; of course I needed an opportunity to show off and protect the boss well. When he is protected well, only then I can take the money. When the boss is happy, he pays out even more. On account of the money, I would even protect him in-game," Zuo Yu said.
"You still get to play games and get bonuses, how great. Who knows, if your boss is happy when he plays, he might even give you a pay raise. I'm really envious, we still have to do shift work. You found a really good job. If you retire or get sacked, recommend me."
"Hey, are you trying to steal my job?"
The two laughed. Suddenly, the conference hall door opened, and the bustling noise wafted out.
Zuo Yu saw the message that Fang Zhao had sent to his communications device. "Alright, till next time. The press conference has ended, I need to send them back."
"My break is ending soon, so I have to get back to my post. Let's talk more when we have time."
This time, Fang Zhao was together with Zu Wen and the others and had left through an exit at the back of the conference hall. He had left a message for Zuo Yu, asking him to drive the car over and wait for them.
Because when Fang Zhao had went up on stage, a few media groups had wanted to interview him but were not successful. In the blink of an eye, he was gone and had brought the entire Polar Light project team and disappeared. Since they could not stop Fang Zhao, they did not waste time and turned around to interview others.
Xavier and Zachary let the interview be handled by the spokesperson and returned to the office.
Xavier still felt that Fang Zhao had chosen the wrong profession. "What a pity. If he had honed his skills as a professional e-sports athlete from a young age, all of the big five would now be fighting for him. Why did he study composing?"
"Such great talent. It is indeed a pity," Zachary agreed.
They had just understood from headquarters that, of the 100 10th generation machines that had been released to the public, only Fang Zhao had exceeded the value of 95. Even in all the other continents, the highest value stayed at 95. Perhaps the adaptability value might rise as the console was used more, but as of now, only Fang Zhao had achieved an adaptability value of 96, which was the highest.
That was why Xavier felt rueful. A young seedling with the potential to be an e-sports athlete had actually chosen composing!
Fang Zhao did not know the Fiery Bird staffers' assessments of him. He got Zuo Yu to head directly to his place, because Zu Wen and the others wanted to see the 10th generation up close and, at the same time, hold a department meal at his place.
Fang Zhao's words at the press conference were also circulated by the media, giving rise to resentment from a number of players.
"This amateur actually dares to talk nonsense in front of the Big Five?"
"Isn't he afraid of getting thrashed? Does he feel like the time he can hold on to the 10th generation is too long?"
"Who knows, maybe there really are people who would use these sorts of methods to make him sell the 10th generation."
"There is an old saying, 'The ordinary people are innocent, but a person's cherished possessions will get him into trouble.' If he is willing to sell the 10th gen, not only will he be more relaxed, he would also earn a large sum. But if he is not willing to sell, even if the Big Five don't bring themselves so low as to attack him, other people will also kill him till he doesn't dare log on. If he doesn't log on and doesn't play games, would he let the console rot away at home? When the time comes, he will surely sell it, perhaps at an even lower price."
"Now the whole world is hyping up the 10th generation console. Currently, its price has been hyped up to $60 million, and yesterday, someone predicted it will rise up to $80 million in the next 10 days."
"When the game is officially released, it might even cross the 100 million mark. Tsk, is the 10th gen really that great?"
"You don't understand, this is called style. Many people wish to purchase it. Yesterday, there were people mentioning that, of all the models that Fiery Bird has produced, this is the first exoskeleton-type. It is worth keeping it; in a few decades, the price might increase a few times over. In any case, there is no way you lose by keeping it."
"Anyone has the means? Sell your house or take a loan and get one!"
It was not possible to conceal him being the owner of a 10th gen console. That's why, from the start, Fang Zhao never intended to hide that fact. Recently, more and more people wished to purchase the 10th gen from him. Of Yanzhou's eight 10th gens, five belonged to the Big Five, and it was impossible for them to let go of it. The other two owners were influential bigwigs in Yanzhou. As such, if anyone wished to buy it, it would only be through Fang Zhao.
Fang Zhao had recently installed a blocker on his communications device, and that brought a little peace and quiet.
Luckily, users online had very short attention spans. In September, there were many more practice matches between the five big e-sports clubs, which stole the headlines. This time, Fang Zhao did not interfere. Just like people had mentioned, gaming was the main strength of the entertainment industry. The gaming circles that had been restrained for 10 years almost took up all the hot news topics daily. Even if it was not everything, they still accounted for half of the top 10 hottest news and crushed all other film, TV, and music celebrities.
Silver Wing had also launched their reserve dual profession gamers. Although they could not compete with the Big Five, competing with a few old rivals was fine too.
Very quickly, October 1 arrived. It was a weekend, and there were many people.
Fiery Bird's official release time was October 1 at exactly 12 p.m. in Huangzhou. Huangzhou's time zone was ahead of Yanzhou by six hours, so at the time of the official release, it was 6 a.m. in Yanzhou.
At 5 in the morning, the virtual project team's group chat started to buzz with excitement. Zu Wen and the few others had probably been too excited to catch any sleep the night before, but they were still very energetic.
Zu Wen, Rodney, and the technical staff were a bunch of sly and experienced gamers. Ten years ago, they had not met the age requirements and had not had the chance, but now, they could finally take part in this global feast.
"Everyone is rather early," Fang Zhao said in the chat.
"Oh! Morning boss!"
"Boss, were you so excited you couldn't get any sleep?" Rodney asked.
"I slept for seven hours," Fang Zhao replied.
"Boss, when you enter the game, be careful. There might be people trying to ambush you," the department's technical staffer Fu Yingtian said.
They knew that, after Fang Zhao had gradually built up the virtual projects department, only then had he spent more time playing games. Previously, he had only played a few shooting games, and this was the first time he would be playing this sort of large-scale game by Fiery Bird. When first coming into contact with this, it might be more difficult to control and might cause some apprehension. Furthermore, in the morning, there were people who had talked about attacking Fang Zhao, so they were worried that Fang Zhao's mood might be affected.
"Don't be afraid, Boss."
"Yeah, Boss, don't be scared; we'll cover you!"
"If they want to kill you, they would need to do it over my dead body!" Zu Wen exclaimed. In this sort of situation, of course he had to pledge his allegiance.
"I am here as well," Zuo Yu said. When it came to giving a favorable impression, there was no way he could be left behind. Pay raise!
"I'm not afraid," Fang Zhao replied.
"Boss, then what are your thoughts now?" Zu Wen asked.
"I thought of a tune."
All members of the virtual projects department: "..."
"Boss's brain is blasting BGM once again."