The South China Morning Post is reporting that miHoYo’s free-to-play online RPG had “more views on Twitch than Fortnite on launch day” and raked in more income than TikTok, in what is being called “the biggest international launch of a Chinese game in history.” It had over 110,000 concurrent viewers in Twitch, topping Fortnite and receiving generally good reviews from throughout the internet.
According to the SCMP, the reason for the success is due in large part to miHoYo’s push to launch the game globally across multiple platforms. It’s still a big deal in its native China, though, being #2 on Apple’s App Store in China and grossing $1.84 million USD. According to one industry consultant, “I don’t think any Chinese-made game has ever had that many pre-registrations outside its home market.” Another expert called it “surely ambitious,” with the potential for miHoYo to have a “super hit on their hands in the long run.”
It’s not all good news, though. Genshin Impact was pulled from the Huawei and Xiaomi app stores “in protest at the 50 per cent platform tax imposed by the smartphone companies” and miHoYo took some flak for a security loophole provided by aggressive anti-cheat software. But it’s off to a good start and could be the surprise hit of 2020.
UPDATE, Oct. 5: How big of a hit? Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad has his estimates, and they’re pretty huge:
I was quoted in this @IGN article about how Genshin Impact has become one of the biggest game launches this year.
– Est $50m rev. in its first week across all platforms
– 20m pre-registrations prior to launch
– 17m downloads in 4 days (App Annie)https://t.co/2c3qVcZ7WN
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 5, 2020
With $50 million in its first week — already covering its development costs — Ahmad thinks that Genshin Impact could top the $100 million mark in worldwide revenue by the end of the month. Despite being only nominally multiplayer, Genshin Impact could go down as the biggest MMORPG launch of 2020.