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After a ‘unprecedented’ first year, Genshin Impact earns $2 billion

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In its first year, the video game Genshin Impact earned an estimated $2 billion (£149 million) from mobile phones alone. lisa genshin impact

The game, which celebrated its first anniversary this week, will be released on September 28, 2020 for mobile, PC and PlayStation. According to new data from app analysis company Sensor Tower, the game is the third highest-earning mobile game in the world over the last 12 months. Only Honour of Kings and PUBG Mobile had higher earnings. Genshin Impact has earned $577 million from Chinese players, making it the highest-earning mobile game in the country. act

It’s a free-to-play game about a mysterious traveller looking for their lost sibling – and the colourful, intricately designed characters you meet as you journey through a vast fantasy land. To make money, it relies on microtransactions. In its first six months, it made more than a billion dollars (£730,000,000) from mobile phone users alone, and an estimated three million people play the game every day. It earned more than its big-name free-to-play competitors, such as those based on the Marvel universe or Dragonball Z, in the first half of 2021.

“EA titles like FIFA make significant amounts of money on a regular basis, but that’s because of EA’s power and many years of video game marketing,” video game and tech journalist Jess Weatherbed tells Radio 1 Newsbeat. “Genshin was a real surprise because it appeared out of nowhere during the pandemic with no apparent marketing, especially in the West.”

“It was all over popular streaming platforms like Twitch within a matter of weeks, and it was on the majority of mobile phones of a certain age group. It was almost unheard of for a game to appear out of nowhere and become so successful.” lisa genshin impact

‘Genshin was a real surprise.’

It also happened to be in the middle of a global pandemic, which may have contributed to the game’s popularity. “It was almost like a rescue remedy for people who were desperately lonely and wanted to do something with their time,” Jess says.

Genshin Impact character
Characters dressed inappropriately for combat? It has to be anime. (Image Credit: Mihoyo)

In-game purchases of randomised items, similar to loot boxes, are the reason why the game isn’t fully available in places like Belgium, where such things are prohibited as a form of gambling. “I think there’s a lot of animosity from what people consider to be real gamers,'” Jess says.

Genshin Impact world
The anime world of Genshin Impact is free to explore, but the best content will cost you. (Image Credit: Mihoyo)

Following the success of Genshin Impact in its first year, Jess predicts that competitors will look to “increase their production values” in order to take a piece of the Mihoyo millions.

“Other gachapon games are usually card trading games with a little bit of narrative on the side, with no real actual gameplay.”

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