Last week, Chinese developer Mihoyo launched Genshin Impact. The 3D action RPG is its largest undertaking to date, and early numbers are indicating that it's set to be a success.
Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad wrote a Twitter thread about the game's impact, saying that based on preliminary data, Genshin Impact is "on track" to gross over $100 million across all platforms by the end of the month. Mihoyo's RPG is not only picking up steam in the United States, but in areas like South Korea and Japan as well.
Speaking to IGN, Ahmad estimates that $50 million was made in the first week, with the majority of it coming from China, Japan, and the U.S. The game saw 17 million global downloads in its first four days according to App Annie, and it seems like estimates for the game are fairly positive.
"The game had more than 20 million pre-registrations prior to launch, of which more than 5 million were from outside China," Ahmad told IGN. "This is a huge achievement not just for a Chinese developed game, but for a new original IP too."
To some, it might seem like Genshin Impact came out of nowhere. It's certainly a bit of an outlier; it's an action RPG that is free-to-play with gacha-style monetization, where you can "roll" for different characters and weapons to add to your party with currency. Yet it's also a large RPG, with a surprisingly large scale and high production values, and it's playable on phones, PlayStation 4, or PC.
At first glance, it might be easy to draw comparisons to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Outside the climbing and gliding though, it feels like more a larger mix of different ideas: the Tales' series action, elemental combinations and weaknesses, and an almost-Dragon Quest tone. Bolstering it all is the fact that it's free and, from what both Mike Williams and myself have played of it, seemingly free to power through without the need to sink money if you don't want to.
Genshin Impact may not have been on many people's radars going into 2020. Mihoyo's RPG has made its impact though, and now, it remains to be seen what the company will do with its success moving forward.