Winning Google Play’s and Apple’s App Store Best Game of 2020 awards is a Chinese role-playing game (RPG) that has taken the world by storm — Genshin Impact!
Developed by Shanghai-based video game and animation studio, miHoYo, Genshin Impact is an open-world game set in Teyvat, a fantasy realm blessed by the seven elemental Archons. According to the game’s official synopsis, the player, as the main character, wakes up in Teyvat from another world and embarks on an adventure to search for the Archons, meeting new friends and discovering wondrous things along the way.
Released last September 28 to an overwhelmingly popular response, Genshin Impact has been noted for being the best international launch ever for a Chinese title. It topped the mobile game revenue charts for the month of October, raking in over US$60 million in earnings just one week after its release. Since then, app data company Sensor Tower revealed that the game has also made US$245 million in October and US$148 million in November, averaging US$6 million of sales per day.
In October, Genshin Impact led the download chart in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. It also entered the top five charts in 74 countries for iOS downloads and 33 countries for Google Play downloads. The game has since continued to gain popularity following the release of new content last November and expectations of an impending update on December 23.
Why is Genshin Impact so popular?
The anime-style RPG has notably been gaining attention not only in Asian but also Western markets. Industry observers have stated that part of this success is attributed to the game being both free-to-play and available on multiple gaming platforms (e.g. PC, console, and mobile devices). Others have also commented on the game’s impressive visuals, intriguing plot, and enjoyable reward system.
Highlighting the latter, one particularly crucial element that makes Genshin Impact so addicting is its gacha-style gameplay, a model that has become an integral part of East Asian mobile game culture. Promising just the possibility of being able to unlock new characters and features, gacha games make use of loot box mechanics to keep players invested.
Case in point, Genshin Impact encourages players to earn in-game currency by either spending more time playing or by spending real-world money. All of this is done in order to buy “Wishes,” the game’s version of reward-giving loot boxes.
More than that, what makes Genshin Impact a great game is the content that it has to offer. Though it only takes around 30 hours to complete the current main storyline, there have only been two out of seven nations revealed in-game. Hence, players can expect much more story content to roll out in future updates, keeping flagging interests at bay.
In summary, Google Play has explained why Genshin Impact has ended the year as a popular top pick for many:
“Any title crowned Best Game has to exceed expectations and deliver compelling, accessible, genre-defining experiences. Thankfully, this year’s winner does all this without missing a beat.”