After originally causing controversy due to its similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, free-to-play PlayStation 4 action role-playing release Genshin Impact has turned out to be a bit of a juggernaut for Chinese developer miHoYo. Also available on iOS, Android, and PC, the title has grossed $100 million across all platforms in less than two weeks, with over 17 million downloads in just four days on mobile alone.
The game is part of a new wave of releases from China, which are attracting global attention: “As the mobile games market matures in China, developers are looking to reach new players, both outside China and on new platforms,” Daniel Ahmad, a Senior Analyst at Niko Partners, told IGN. “Both small and large Chinese studios have been investing in more robust experiences that can scale to console and PC. As many have seen with previously announced games such as Lost Soul Aside, Bright Memory Infinite, and Black Myth Wu Kong, Chinese game developers are beginning to make their mark in the West.”
With regards to Genshin Impact in particular, it was just awarded September 2020’s Players’ Choice on the PlayStation Blog, and appeared third in the latest free-to-play PS Store download charts. Writing on Twitter, Ahmad summarised the title’s appeal: “It's accessible, immersive, and focuses on quality. Engagement drives monetisation.”