Genshin Impact’s impact on the gaming industry could be revolutionary.



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There is no better example of a game that articulates the surprising success of indie games over triple-A games in 2020 than Genshin Impact, a game that you play on your phone for free, from a Chinese developer with almost no profile in Western media.

However, for all the amazing gameplay and features, the real impact of Genshin Impact (pardon the pun) will be the innovative monetization techniques that have seen jaw-dropping revenue statistics. According to Airnow Data’s platform, in May alone Genshin Impact raked in a whopping $38.7 million.


Genshin Impact is one of the first and most sophisticated “gacha games” to tempt American players. And it clearly worked, our platform shows that $24.2 million of said revenue came from the USA. In Japan, “gacha” translates to “capsule-toy vending machine” which, in the context of “Genshin Impact,” refers to a controversial form of monetization that resembles gambling. In-game activities allow players to accrue currency and ‘Primogems’. Once enough has been harvested you have a chance of acquiring in-game items through what is essentially a roll of the dice. Although your chances are slim, there is always a chance that you could end up with the most sought-after character in the game, but the reality is you will most likely end up with another low-grade weapon or item.

Although it’s easily one of the most financially successful video games to launch this year, the real “Genshin Impact” lies in the industry’s future. The gacha system was exclusively used in mobile games, but “Genshin Impact” breached the divide. Gacha gaming, as we see in Genshin Impact, has discovered the golden ticket for developers and publishers: a way to encourage customer spending to such a high level that other streaming sectors such as movies and music pale in comparison. Gamers all over the world will soon feel the ripple from the splash caused by the impact of “free” content which ropes you in and ultimately builds up costs. This may not be the first time this has been attempted, but it is incredibly addictive and very successful.

If we were to take a guess, we would say this game alone is probably shaping a lot of what the bigger end of the mobile industry will be doing in 2021. Want to scale up like Genshin? Explore the Airnow Data self-serve platform and see how our indie clients do it.