Analysts have estimated Genshin Impact has made an estimated $1 billion USD in six months since launching on mobile alone.
The claim comes from industry analyst Sensor Tower. Thanks to their Store Intelligence estimates, they had estimated earlier the game made $874 million on mobile in the five months after launch; making it the world’s third highest earning mobile game.
Now, their new report claims player spending has continued at an average of approximately $160 USD million per month since December 2020. In March 2021 thus far, it has made more than $148 million USD, set to be its best month since October 2020 (a total of $233.7 million USD on mobile alone).
In the last 30 days since March 23rd, the game has ranked No. 3 on revenue generating on both the App Store and Google Play combined. This places it only behind the likes of PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings. Outside of China, the game has been the No. 1 top grossing mobile game, taking $129 million internationally over the aforementioned 30 day period.
Sensor Tower state the above has made the game the No. 1 RPG on mobile in China and the rest of the world (though the exact metric is not specified). Sensor Tower also note the game has made $1 billion USD on mobile quicker than Pokemon Go (9 months), Clash Royale (11 months), and PUBG Mobile (16 months).
The game’s success has been attributed to its “substantial investment” into the live games business model (or games as a service); giving a consistent stream of new events, features, and characters. These, and especially the characters available via the gacha/lootbox system, have caused spikes in player spending.
“Hu Tao’s introduction saw revenue rise to close to $13 million in a single day on March 2, while Xiao’s appearance saw player spending hit more than $15 million on February 3. For comparison, Genshin Impact has generated $5.8 million a day on average since launch.”
Other recent additions are no slouch either, with Ganyu ($14.8 million on January 13th), Albedo ($9.1 million USD, December 23rd, 2020), and Zhongli ($15.5 million, December 1st, 2020) all bringing home the bacon for MiHoYo.
The players spending the most seem to be based in China, as the nation ranks No. 1 for spending on the mobile game; generating $302 million USD on iOS alone. This is 29.5% of global player spending. Japan is second with $278.3 million USD (27.2%), while the US is $189 million USD (18.5%).
While Sensor Tower does not track third-party Android store spending, they state the App Store accounts for 60% of player spending in China- $615 million USD (leaving Google Play with $409.4 million). The rest of the world is the inverse, with Google Play at 56.7%. All of the above earnings are estimated purely based on mobile; and not Windows PC, or PlayStation 4.
The popularity in China warranted a cross promotion with KFC in the region. So popular that the event was cancelled due to overwhelming demand and large gatherings. There have been a few other blemishes however.
MiHoYo have been accused of censoring the soon to be playable character Rosaria by reducing her bust size. The character may have been the victim of asset reuse, as re-using assets of other pole-arm wielding characters may have resulted in clipping with her chest. Nonetheless the character’s promotional artwork still resembles her older, bustier design.
The largest of these issues however is the in game chat censoring any mention of Hong Kong or Taiwan. For those unfamiliar, the Chinese government has a “One-China” policy.
This means censorship and outright denial that Taiwan (originally known as the Republic of China) is an independent nation, and is part of the People’s Republic of China. The Hong Kong Protests have also sparked censorship from the Chinese government, and new laws demanding those who violate China’s laws be deported to China.
As miHoYo are based in China, they are undoubtedly bound to comply with China’s laws; fearing both losing licences to operate, and harming their social credit. Attempts to move their operations overseas will most likely be halted, and banning of the game in China (and losing 29.5% of revenue) even if it succeeded.
Finally, miHoYo updated the game’s anti-cheat software in September 2020 to not continuously run even when the game had closed or was uninstalled. The developer stated they “realized that the default activation of this mechanism may have caused some privacy concerns for players.” However, miHoYo emphasized the anti-cheat software “does not process, save, or upload information in any way whatsoever.”
Genshin Impact is available and free-to-play on Windows PC (via the official website), PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, and coming soon to Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)