Wayne had two goals for this publicity film. The first was to publicize the SilverWing50PolarLight team, and the second was to be an advertisement that let even more people know that Silver Wing were not in it just for a quick buck but had built a genuine and professional e-sports team.
The purpose was to attract even more talent!
To make this project bigger and to ensure a sustained development, recruiting fresh talent was a must. Especially so as to prevent the team's decline after Fang Zhao enlisted in the military, they definitely needed more talent and strength to replenish it.
It just so happened that this was a chance to increase their popularity as well.
Wayne just wanted to tell all the e-sports athletes that desired to jump ship or hadn't found a new employer to come over to his side. There was no need to worry about what to have for all three meals of the day, no need to worry about one's physical state, no need to botter about any material troubles, because there would be a professional team to worry on your behalf!
All you needed to do when you came over was game to your heart's content!
The SilverLight team might have been newly established, but its ability to meet various criteria was sufficient to sway some.
First, they had the strength. There was no need to mention AliveAfter500Years; their young team had successfully achieved Fiery Bird's annual conference invites. The team had capability and potential!
Second, they had money! With the entertainment juggernaut Silver Wing behind them, they did not lack capital. Whether it was equipment or logistics, the team would definitely not lose out to any of those well-known professional e-sports clubs!
Also, after the release of this publicity film, Silver Wing's publicity department would also be giving it a push behind the scenes.
And just as Wayne had hoped to see, with the release of the team's first publicity film, the attention of the masses was placed on them.
On the internet, gamers of all sorts, whether professional or amateur, discussed the trending topic.
"The blinding ninth- and 10th-generation machines are enough to rival the Big Five."
"Dig up the monthly salaries of the SilverLight team members!"
"I want to join the SilverLight team. Is it too late?"
"Does Silver Wing want to be Yanzhou's No. 6?"
"I really want to know, among all the people shown, which one is AliveAfter500Years!"
"He is surely the one using the 10th gen, but his face wasn't shown. The silhouette shown before Jinro appeared might have been him, but the appearance wasn't clear. I have no idea whether that was in-game footage or real life footage."
"Silver Wing has two 10th-generation consoles? I only know that Jinro's superior Fang Zhao owns one."
"Maybe AliveAfter500Years is Fang Zhao? After all, Fang Zhao also has the 10th gen. A short while back, he got into a fight. I heard he beat down quite a few people. With that impressive fighting strength, maybe it really is him."
When that online user had just posted, someone below replied, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"I'm breathless from all that laughing. Given Fang Zhao's appearance?"
"One look and you can tell it's obviously not him!"
"As a born and bred District 79er, when I followed the SilverLight team and fled, I specifically observed them. Their personalities are different, so we can eliminate Fang Zhao from the reckoning."
"Without any video evidence of him beating up a bunch of people at a nightclub, that can only be considered hearsay! How can you believe all the rubbish spouted by rumor mongers? Besides, even if it were real, how could fighting and gaming be the same? In any case, I don't have a favorable impression of Fang Zhao. I heard he oppresses Jinro and gang. How sinister!"
"To the brother on top, you said that rumors cannot be taken seriously, yet no SilverLight member has ever said that Fang Zhao oppresses them. It is just a bunch of people blindly spreading a rumor, and given Fang Zhao style, he doesn't seem like the sinister or crafty sort."
"You might know a person but not his true nature!"
"Wind from an empty cave might not necessarily be baseless. Besides being a composer, there is nothing much else that we know about that person."
"Fang Zhao is just a composer. Silver Wing must have taken into account how he brought up the virtual projects department and let him be the leader of the SilverLight team. Actually, he is just an amateur. We have never heard that he plays games."
"He has a behind-the-scenes supporter, and it's nothing uncommon."
"An adept amateur leader, is it a grievance within the industry or shameless capitalism?"
"That means to say, Fang Zhao probably lent out his 10th-generation console for someone else to use. Fiery Bird set up only eight 10th-generation consoles in Yanzhou. It is impossible for Silver Wing to have two. This comes back to the question: who exactly is AliveAfter500Years?"
"Didn't anyone else notice somebody else who kept his face hidden in the film?"
Jinro and the others all saw the discussions online.
As the youngest member of the team, Schwarzer's experience was limited, and he sat there giggling when the first comments appeared online. When he had been watching the publicity film, he had felt like an actor watching his first ever film for the first time—a little shy yet also proud—but as the discussions went on and more people guessed at the identity of AliveAfter500Years, he could not even bring himself to smile.
Just guessing would do; why had people started bashing Fang Zhao?
Schwarzer carefully peeked at Fang Zhao, and only upon not noticing any rage did he rest easy. If he was the one being doubted and faced with baseless claims, he would definitely be unhappy.
Dorrian, who was sending a text message on his bracelet, noticed and laughed before advising Schwarzer, "Don't pay too much attention to online discussions. When you encounter this more often in the future, you will get used to it."
"I was just thinking, what sort of reaction will they have when they finally know the truth?"
Besides the discussions on characters appearing in the publicity film and people making guesses on AliveAfter500Years's identity, there were many gamers focusing on the short scenes that had been shown in the publicity film, and they were engaged in a thorough analysis.
"After sorting out the publicity film and taking notes of the gun models that appeared, SilverLight has pretty good equipment, but nobody knows if they got it themselves or purchased it from other studios."
"After watching the ending scene with the exploding truck, I even went to try it out, hoping to record a scene of myself walking away from the truck as it exploded behind me. In the end, after shooting holes through the entire truck, it still did not explode. Has anyone succeeded? Please share your experiences."
Very quickly, skilled gamers started to study the film and aim for the oil tanks, trying to create the anticipated explosion effect.
There were others who tried the scene where the team members smashed through glass windows, but they only got themselves hurt instead.
Many people suffered painful consequences trying to imitate drifting with motorbikes or shooting while driving.
Players finally understood those cool scenes and movements could not be replicated by just anyone, and as they now understood the difficulty involved, more and more players started to pay attention to the SilverLight team.
Various factors and influences created a very strange scene. This year's 6th place, the SilverLight team, had a higher viewership than the other nine teams altogether!
On globally renowned gaming magazine Rising Dragon's page, the SilverLight team kept staying within the top three most viewed topics and had surpassed many well-known e-sports clubs. This had also been a part of Wayne's plan. Concealing Fang Zhao's identity had been to whet the audience's appetites. This would help them gain more viewership, and with viewership came popularity.
January 6, the entire SilverLight team, including the support staff, were given a day off to return home and pack their things.
January 7, a flying transport carrying over 100 personnel and bearing the Silver Wing emblem left Qi'an City.
Zu Wen and the others from the Polar Light team had also been permitted to follow the team. Not just them, other staff from the gaming department's side had been given spots on this trip as well.
Fiery Bird's invitation was for over 100 persons, so besides the medical team, assistants, agents, and other internal staff, there were staff from other departments in the entourage as well. Some were in charge of publicity and some were in charge of diplomatic exchanges, and there was a security team as well.
On the flying transport, Wayne was explaining to Fang Zhao.
Due to the promotion of the first publicity film, the masses had gotten to listen to the accompaniment music. This time, the electronic style was especially suited to mainstream tastes, and a few enterprises fancied it after listening and had contacted Silver Wing's side to purchase the rights.
The price offered was reasonable, and they were willing to postpone using it for a month. After all, a publicity film's effect had time limitations. In an age where online information was flourishing, the enthusiasm for the publicity film would decline after a week. After a month, there might not be any people talking about it anymore. Using the accompaniment music for other things after the publicity film died down was perfectly reasonable.
However, at Silver Wing, there were varying opinions, especially Wayne, who had vehemently objected when he found out about it.
"I was having a chat in the morning with the copyright department staffers. They wanted to sell, but I didn't let them. If they are unresigned, they will probably contact you and advise you to agree. Fang Zhao, I'm not cutting off your source of income, but I just have to tell you why it is not optimal for us."
Inside the cabin, people closest to Wayne and Fang Zhao were the main team members. They also knew that Fang Zhao's works could be sold for money, and when they heard Wayne mention that some parties wanted to buy the copyrights to the publicity film's accompaniment music, in their hearts they were thinking that Fang Zhao could earn another considerable sum this time. However, when they heard Wayne advising Fang Zhao not to sell, they pricked their ears up in curiosity.
Wayne was not deliberately avoiding anybody, and he continued explaining. "If this were the government or other game or film companies that wanted to purchase the rights, I would have no qualms. For example, the Yanzhou military using the third movement of your "100-Year Period of Destruction" series had a good result and everyone benefited. There was no need to prevent that sale, but this time, it's the boss of a supermarket chain that wants to buy the rights. From my experience and understanding, given the character of those kinds, they will choose to use it at the peak of their promotional campaigns. Human flow is also high there, and if everyone gets used to it and becomes conditioned, every time they hear the tune, they will no longer think about SilverLight's might but, rather, discounts. Slashing prices! Clearance sales! Bargains! Are you guys willing for that to happen?"
The audience: "..." Of course not!
Staffers at the copyright department might not think too much about it. Besides, after a month, the publicity film's impact would die down, so why not sell it for some money? But Wayne felt that this would make the team a laughingstock.
Now that his ambitions were racing toward becoming reality, he would never do something that would put the brakes on it, and he would not agree no matter how much the other party offered, hence the advice he was giving Fang Zhao.
As a composer contracted to the company, the copyrights did not solely belong to Fang Zhao, but for the company to sell it, they needed Fang Zhao's approval. Since Wayne had been unable to convince the copyright department staffers, he had decided to directly convince Fang Zhao.
"It's not just this time, Fang Zhao. Although I am just a manager of the gaming department, I have seen many things and experienced a lot. Every year, many good songs get misused by buyers. In the future, if you encounter this sort of situation, be sure to be prudent. Once a mistake is made, the impression it gives audiences can be ruined in the wrong hands," Wayne asserted.
Fang Zhao listened attentively to Wayne's advice and nodded his head. "I understand."
Even if Wayne had not said anything, Fang Zhao would not have allowed his works to be sold indiscriminately. Back then, when he had allowed the rights of the third movement of his "100-Year Period of Destruction" series to be sold to a Leizhou film company, he had given recommendations for which portion of the film to use it for and made certain requests.
Having gotten a reply from Fang Zhao, Wayne could rest easy.
Jinro and the others let out a sigh of relief within their hearts. They were not going to be associated with bargain sales and promotions.
"Oh, right, I forgot to ask you." Wayne remembered something and asked Fang Zhao, "Have you gotten your driver's license?"
"For both flying cars and flying transports?"
"That's good. As a celebrity, it's good to have your own license. After all, your bodyguard will not be beside you at all times. If you get surrounded by fans and want to escape, you can find the closest shared flying car to slip away. Huangzhou's entertainment industry is even more intense than Yanzhou, and there will be more people watching your every move. Therefore, after your identity is revealed, you should either head out less or be more careful when you do.
When they arrived at Huangzhou's Imperial City, it was already noon.
Given the speed of New Era flying transports, flying from Qi'an City to Imperial City didn't take too long, but once in Huangzhou, there were more inspections, especially within Imperial City, where the checks were even more stringent. Continuously stopping and moving delayed their arrival time till noon.
Huangzhou's Imperial City was the continent's political, financial, and cultural hub. It was also where the alliance's government headquarters were located.
Fiery Bird's headquarters were set up in the northern part of Imperial City. The allocated hotel was located in the vicinity of Fiery Bird's headquarters tower and belonged to Fiery Bird.
The flying transport descended in the allocated parking lot. After landing, they were required to walk to the hotel, just about 100 meters away, which was a short distance.
However, once they disembarked from the transport, everyone could feel the difference in atmosphere.
From the parking space to the hotel, the 100-meter road was full of media personnel armed with film equipment.
Since they had seen the flying transport bearing Silver Wing's emblem approaching, media from all the different continents got excited.
Unlike the reporters in the game's virtual world that tried to stop or interrupt them, here it was only the attentive gazes and bright flashes of lights. The irritating and loathsome attention from the media in-game was also completely different here.
On the ground, there were many broadcasting vehicles adorned with their respective channel's logo. The sky was full of small drones, each staying in their allocated airspace and franticly recording the scenes.
There were no clicking sounds of Old Era cameras. These cameras gave off a unique humming sound, as though it was a buzzing electrical current.
A lone machine was not loud, but what about a few hundred?
The sky was spread with such agitated particles.
Being focused on by all these cameras that would be broadcasting to the world brought about a formless pressurizing environment.
Even if they had been informed of what to expect on the way here.
Even if they had seen images of past conferences.
When actually standing here, there were a number of people who were so nervous they did not even know where to place their hands.
Jinro and Dorrian had experienced this before and could still remain somewhat collected, and Fang Zhao was completely unable to get nervous, but the rest of the members of the team were different.
Even Schwarzer, who had still been laughing and joking in the transport, was at a loss now. He could only flich even though, deep down, he was excited beyond measure. If he had a tail, it would already be wagging nonstop. This was the first time he was really aware that he had become a celebrity, even if just a small and not that outstanding one amidst the group.
Everyone's reactions were captured by the filming equipment and transmitted to every continent.
And among the SilverLight team, the majority of members seemed to be grimacing. Online users at Yanzhou watching the broadcast could not help but harbor suspicions that perhaps these people had just been scolded by their superiors.