In June 2019, Chinese company miHoYo published a promo video for its new game, which sparked heated discussions in the circles on the day of publishing. The PV graphics told us that the game had a similar style to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as they are both ARPGs (action role-playing games) With the release date approaching, the buzz around the game was getting louder. The long-awaited Genshin Impact was eventually released in late September this year and dominated various charts in October. Today, let’s review the market performance of this crazy game over the past few months.
Genshin Impact grossed $60 million on App Store and Google Play in the first week of its release.
Genshin Impact overtook Tencent’s Arena of Valor as the world’s highest-grossing mobile game in the first month of its release.
Genshin Impact is now reportedly the mobile RPG (role-playing game) making the highest first-month revenue in the US market, which amounts to $45 million.
IGN Review: 9. AMAZING. An incredible open-world and addictive exploration make Genshin Impact an anime-zing adventure.
Leveraging its development experience in Honkai Impact 3, miHoYo has produced Genshin Impact in superb quality, but in addition to being good in itself, a hit must also be backed by a good media-buying strategy. With the aid of advertising intelligence tool SocialPeta, we can observe Genshin Impact buying traffic on iOS, and it seems that it has been placing clear, targeted ad creative.
I. Genshin Impact gains soaring popularity with three waves of advertising
Observing Genshin Impact’s iOS advertising from September till now through the world’s leading advertising marketing platform SocialPeta, we can see that a significant increase in creative magnitude occurred on September 10, September 28, and October 30, respectively, which have something to do with a few key events of the game, according to our online data inquiry.
September 10 warm-up for PC public beta
Genshin Impact scheduled its PC public beta for September 15, the earliest launch of all versions, and initiated the first wave of advertising on September 10 to warm up for the official launch. Most of the creatives during this period were images that mainly leads up to registration on mobile.
2. September 28 public beta testing on all platforms: a surge in creative quantity
Genshin Impact started public beta testing on all platforms on September 28, ushering in the second wave of advertising. SocialPeta fetched more than 400 pieces of creatives for the iOS version of Genshin Impact in a single day. With the PC public beta launched before, the veil of mystery was gradually lifted, and the proportion of video creative was gradually increased. A variety of battle scenes were used by miHoYo to attract gamers.
3. October 30 new version release: a bit more advertising to keep the game hot
The latest climax of advertising occurred on October 30, when Genshin Impact released the 1.1 version update, enriching the main storyline and characters, while it also incorporated creatives of the new content into the classic advertising package.
II. Genshin Impact seeks global exposure through Google Ads & Bilibili
As observed by SocialPeta, Genshin Impact employs Google Ads as the primary network of global advertising. Google advantages (large traffic brought by the brand and platform + data analysis backed by powerful technical support) and DoubleClick Ad Exchange advantages (larger traffic brought by the broader and more open system) give the product a fairly good start. As a follow-up strategy, Genshin Impact pushes forward with more creatives on FB networks to ensure long-term, stable exposure.
In China, Genshin Impact chooses Bilibili as its primary network of advertising with more than 50% of its creatives placed there. As China’s biggest ACGN (Anime, Comic and Games) community, Bilibili abounds with young players fond of ACGN culture. In Genshin Impact, players spend money in two ways: either by pulling cards to unlock new characters/weapons or by buying the Battle Pass. This is also found in many popular games released by Bilibili.
III. Mature Lady for Western Gamers, Lolita for Asian Gamers, and Giant Boss for Hardcore Gamers
In the process of buying traffic, Genshin Impact almost uses no live-action storytelling creative or KOL creative, which quite resembles the advertising strategy of another miHoYo game Honkai Impact 3rd. With its ad creative focused on the gameplay, battle scenes, and character profiles, Genshin Impact is arguably a hardcore player in the advertising market.
It seems, though, that creative with the highest popularity and the most impressions is still those with female elements. Genshin Impact’s hottest creative on its global server is the first playable character Amber, the only Outrider of the Knights of Favonius, while its hottest creative on its Chinese mainland server is Qiqi, who brings forth the Herald of Frost.
As an ARPG, a giant-sized boss is definitely indispensable to Genshin Impact. The super-high tension and seemingly unavoidable skills in boss battles are what make ARPGs uniquely charming. For the boss battle creative, Genshin Impact uses the Stormterror on its global server and the Cryo Regisvine on its Chinese mainland server, both of which are remarkable fighters, giving gamers an itch to fight through the screen.
Genshin Impact’s global success has awakened more manufacturers to the infinite commercial value of ACGN mobile games. Meanwhile, its superb performance and hardcore advertising also show that a high-quality game will definitely be loved by more players. It is hoped that there will be more manufacturers bringing more high-quality games in the future.