MiHoYo’s, Genshin Impact only launched globally from China only two weeks ago and has already scored over a hundred million USD in revenue, which was the development budget of the game in the first place. Genshin Impact is a Free-to-play, open world, cel-shaded RPG that takes a lot of inspiration from Korean and Japanese anime and comics which has catapulted the game into massive popularity in east Asia. Genshin Impact is steamrolling towards 150 million dollars or a billion renminbi mile marker will seal the game as the largest grossing launch of a Chinese developed game. “Without a doubt, the most successful launch for an original IP from a Chinese dev,” commented prominent games industry expert Daniel Ahmed.
Genshin Impact’s popularity comes from being one of few homegrown Chinese games that have a budget of the largest Japanese and American studios as well as offering expansive multiplayer and single-player content that is accessible to everyone from the start. Settling into the RPG genre also has helped the game as the MOBA and RTS scene have been the most popular games in east Asia with most RPGs being relegated to niche audiences that do not gain the revenue needed to sustain a live service game.
Genshin Impact free to play entrance fee is enticing to many potential players but the game is funded by a network of loot boxes and gambling mechanics that sell a mixture of cosmetics and pay to win elements. To a western audience, these mechanics are seen as aggressive and predatory but is normal for Chinese gaming as the industry is mostly free to play games with microtransactions to support them. This style of monetization is popular as a way to recuperate losses from the large piracy issues in China that would sap the revenue in a traditional game.