If there’s one thing that 2020 will be remembered for (aside from the COVID-19 epidemic, of course) is Genshin Impact.
While many people have been forced to stay indoors and limit social activities, the Chinese-developed game has caught the world by storm. Available for PC, PS4 and mobile devices, one thing immediately catches one’s attention about the game: it’s free to play.
This obviously doesn’t make it different from the ton of free to play mobile games out there, but the thing is that Genshin Impact is also available on PC and PS4. And it’s a fully-featured, single player role-playing game taking place in a fantasy world very similar to that of Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda.
It’s like getting a AAA quality game for free, although players can also choose to spend money in the game, with Chinese developer Mihoyo making money from Genshin via microtransactions. You can purchase in-game items and characters to make progression in the game easier, amongst other things.
And it seems that Mihoyo has made an ungodly amount of money from Genshin Impact so far despite the game being free to play, as was recently reported on VG247.
Actually, in less than two weeks in the market, the game has made more than $100 million US dollars. This has led Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad to call the game “the most successful launch for an original IP from a Chinese dev”.
Aside from being popular in the US, Genshin Impact’s three other top markets are China (obviously), Japan and Korea.
Genshin Impact has now grossed over $100m in less than two weeks.
China, Japan, Korea and the US are top markets for the F2P game.
Without a doubt the most successful launch for an original IP from a Chinese dev. https://t.co/WjOOpLa66V
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 10, 2020
Of course, being the most populous nation in the world, it is to be expected that a ton of games are made and launched in China every year. Games like CrossFire are extremely popular in the land of the Great Wall, make a ton of money, and have hundreds of millions of players, but rarely become popular in the West.
So this could mark the start of a new trend in which more Chinese games appeal to western players, and maybe someday Chinese games might become more popular than Japanese ones on our shores. Or then maybe not, and Genshin Impact is an exception to the rule… For the time being though, Chinese dev Mihoyo is riding the high wave (and players seem to be having a blast too) so everyone wins.