Genshin Impact Tops the List for the Highest First Year Gaming Revenue of All Time


via Wikimedia Commons

A sign of the Genshin Impact logo

Genshin Impact is an animated adventure game that has reached a staggering 3.7 billion dollar profit in just its first year of being released, breaking the record of highest profit in the first year of release. The previous winner of the title goes to Fortnite, the famous battle royale game which made around 2.8 billion dollars in its first year.  

The estimate was from Reddit user Otaku_User32 on the Gacha Gaming subreddit.  Since most companies don’t reveal the exact amount of revenue a single game makes in a specific period, these estimates are based on the data available to the public. Genshin Impact and Fortnite estimates are relatively accurate from the data available to the public.  

Genshin Impact’s first-year revenue is confirmed at 2.1 billion dollars, but only for mobile, which does not include PlayStation, PC, and 3rd party Android app stores. Its high-end estimate is 3.7 billion dollars and is most likely the actual amount earned based on available data. The high-end estimate assumes that mobile revenue of 2.1 billion dollars, excluding 3rd party android, in China accounts for roughly 60% of Genshin Impact’s total revenue. The rest of the 40%, around 1.6 billion dollars, comes from Playstation, PC, and 3rd party Android revenue.  Fortnite revenue is not confirmed for 2017, but estimates were made using EPIC’s legal battle with Apple. The low-end estimate is 2.3 billion dollars, which is half of the revenue Fortnite made in 2018, found in the court document of EPIC and Apple legal battle. A high-end estimate was made that Fortnite earned 2.8 billion dollars in its first year. The estimated amount of money Fortnite made in the six months of being released in 2017 added to the low-end estimate.     

Genshin Impact is about a mysterious traveler in search of their lost sibling in an immersive fantasy land. Video game journalist Jess Weatherbed tells Radio 1 Newsbeat that “Genshin was a real shock because it just came out of nowhere in the pandemic with seemingly no marketing, especially in the West.” Even though China makes up 25 percent of the global video game industry, video games made in China were virtually unknown until the release of Genshin Impact. The reason for such successful growth might have come from the fact that the game was released in the middle of the pandemic with practically no other competition from other game companies aside from Among Us, which was slowly dying out. The game was also able to be played on almost all platforms and was cross-platform, which allows players to play with their friends on any other device.  

The most surprising thing about the game is that it is free.   Genshin Impact makes money through in-game purchases of “Genesis Crystals,” which can be converted into “Wishes” to get certain characters and weapons faster or through the purchase of official merch. It’s similar to buying skins in Fortnite or loot boxes in other video games, except that it’s to get a flame-hurling legal advisor or a Geo Alchemist. Even though you don’t need to spend money like in Fortnite, the game tempts players with each new character they add. One character that was released in September was the Raiden Shogun, who made Genshin Impact 9 million dollars in just two days of being released, with another character Hu Tao making 7 million in its first two days of release. Each new character added makes $12 million on their first day of release. Like many other games, Genshin Impact also has a battle pass which is instead called BP. It comes with the usual features of any battle past: a free track and a premium track with the premium giving better rewards. With such profit and success being unheard of, other video game companies will have to raise their bar.