In less than six months from its official release on September 28, 2020, the mobile version of Genshin Impact has surpassed a massive milestone having earned $1 billion.
This makes Genshin Impact the fastest mobile game to reach that goal post. The estimate comes from Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence, a San Franciscan tech company that provides enterprise-level data on mobile apps and their publishers.
Behemoth of the Industry
Genshin Impact has been a monumental success since its release; it earned $874 million in its first five months which made it the world’s third highest-earning mobile game behind Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile.
In the mobile market, China spends the most money on Genshin Impact, generating $302 million and making up 29.5% of global player spending. Japan is second, generating $278.3 million which is 27.2% of players. And the United States is in third place with $189 million or 18.5% in total.
my life is so good until i remember i've spent money on genshin impact
— bell (@M0NAQINGS) March 24, 2021
What makes the Japanese numbers so interesting is that Japan’s population is 126.3 million people while China has a population of 1.3 billion and the United States, 328.2 million. This means Japanese players spend an insane amount of money on the game and have a ton of mobile game “whales”, players who spend a lot of money. So, I’m left with a question: what’s the game’s secret?
I’ll try to be brief but I believe the secret to Genshin Impact’s success comes down to A) strong character design, B) strong characterization, and C) good gameplay.
Genshin Impact characters have fun and dynamic designs and miHoYo constantly churns out new characters. For example, the character, Hu Tao, saw a spike in revenue with about $13 million in March.
Xiao alone raised $15 million. Character designs are dynamic and unique with their high fantasy outfits. But what also propels the characters further are their characterizations or personalities. Every character has a unique personality that shines through gameplay and voice lines. miHoYo recognizes this and has implemented “hang out” events in the game so that players can spend time with their favorites.
Many mobile games have great character designs and fun personalities so Genshin Impact isn’t unique in that.
I believe the gameplay is what brings people back. Genshin Impact is modeled after the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an extremely successful and beloved game on the Nintendo Switch that allows players to explore a wide-open world with many different kinds of environments to explore and monsters to fight.
Genshin Impact offers a game with lots of replayability for free. It’s highly polished with engaging combat. The game is very generous in how it gives you one free character for each element. A player can spend a good 30 or so hours with a base team and enjoy every minute of it.
If a player doesn’t want to explore, there are a lot of other modes such as tower defense mode, a rhythm game, and- if the leaks are anything to go by– a new housing system.
I don’t see the sun setting on Genshin Impact any time soon if miHoYo keeps treating their audience this well.