Genshin Impact Scores A 17 Million Download Debut

The largest launch of a Chinese game to date

Genshin Impact Scores A 17 Million Download Debut 1

Genshin Impact, a game which made waves last year for resembling The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a little too much, had one of the strongest video game launches of 2020. App Annie reports that the open-world action game from Chinese developer miHoYo was downloaded 17 million times in its first four days on mobile app stores.

By comparison, Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold 11.77 million units in its first ten days. It had reached 22 million solid in August, five months after launch, and is the highest-selling video game of 2020 so far. Genshin Impact has achieved similar numbers in much less time, on par with its estimated 21 million preregistrations.

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Genshin Impact features a wide array of playable characters, unlocked via gacha elements.

App Annie only takes into account mobile platforms, not the game’s performance on PS4 and PC. The game itself is free – utilizing gacha elements and paid currency instead – so comparisons to more traditional releases are complicated, but the numbers are impressive nonetheless. This makes Genshin Impact the strongest global launch of a Chinese game to date, and ranks among the highest mobile game launches as well; that honour went to Call of Duty: Mobile last October, with over 100 million downloads in its first week. (According to Sensor Tower, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds followed with 26.3 million, and Fortnite with 22.5 million.)

IGN estimates that miHoYo has made $50 million in revenue in just this first week.

Genshin Impact made waves last summer for having an art style suspiciously close to Breath of the Wild, as well as some in-game elements that looked lifted from the Nintendo exclusive. While it bears a strong resemblance, the newer game has many elements expand beyond Link’s latest adventure in Hyrule, such as multiple playable characters and a elemental magic system.

More scandals followed after launch, when Japanese players accused the game of snooping on the user’s clipboard contents when booting up. Developer miHoYo denied malicious intent and quickly moved to update the app.

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Genshin Impact drew fire for closely resembling The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. (NintendoLife)
Chris de Hoog
Chris de Hoog

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