Though many were originally dismissive of Genshin Impact due to its similarities with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Chinese developer miHoYo’s venture has paid off in dividends. In its first four days on the market last year, the free-to-play Genshin Impact was downloaded more than 17 million times on mobile devices. Since then the game has continued to grow, and users have followed, with analytics now showing it is the fastest mobile game to earn $1 billion by a sizable margin.
This information comes from Sensor Tower, a market analyst with a particular focus on the smartphone app economy. The organization reports data on most anything in the world of the App Store, Google Play Store, and beyond, for instance previously reporting when Game Freak’s companion app Pokemon Home reached one million downloads in February 2020.
Genshin Impact on mobile accrued $1 billion in player spending less than six months after it released on September 28, 2020, according to Sensor Tower. This beats out the last top contender Pokemon GO, which reached $1 billion in revenue around nine months after it released in 2016. That statistic only takes App Store and Google Play spending into account, as Sensor Tower notes third-party Android stories in China or other regions are not included in its total.
Also worth noting is the fact that Genshin Impact is not locked to mobile devices like Pokemon GO and other high-earning titles like Clash Royale, which Sensor Tower says earned $1 billion around 11 months after release. The game is also available on PC and PlayStation 4, with additional versions in development for PlayStation 5 and Switch, so the game’s total haul could be multiplied many times over when taking those into account.
Just based on these numbers for the mobile version, Sensor Tower says it is the top-grossing RPG both in and outside of China. In the 30 days prior to this data being published on March 23, Genshin Impact was the number three revenue-generating title between the App Store and Google Play when including Chinese spending, only behind Tencent’s three-year-old PUBG Mobile, and Tencent’s Honor of Kings.
Though Genshin Impact has been burning fast and hot for its first six months on the market, it’s likely that success will continue going forward similar to games like Pokemon GO. Genshin Impact sees frequent updates introducing new content to play, as well as new characters and weapons to pull from its RNG-based gacha system, so as long as the game keeps players hooked it will no doubt convince some of them to continue spending money.