Genshin Impact is eating FGO's lunch

Mobile game spending has continued to grow in 2021, and will reach $89.6 billion from across the App Store and Google Play. This represents 12.6 percent Y/Y growth from $79.6 billion in 2020 and also 67.4 percent of all in-app spending this year. While the category is still climbing annually, its share of overall consumer spending has declined.

source: Global Consumer Spending in Mobile Apps Reached $133 Billion in 2021, Up Nearly 20% from 2020

Genshin Impact has done incredibly well to capture so much mobile revenue, and it’s clearly at the expense of other gachas like FGO, which is no longer Top 10 in overall revenue (barely hanging on Android). Meanwhile Tencent’s PUBG mobile and Honor of Kings are still at the top. If I were running a Japanese mobage gacha that wants global revenue, I’d be concerned, because the Chinese have clearly figured things out in a way that pulls a lot more total revenue globally.

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Genshin is also the hot new thing, at least for people who like it. It had better make that money, because it probably cost a fortune to launch.

FGO still makes so much money despite its age that it probably doesn’t give a shit.

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That’s what happens when you have a captive audience.

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It helps that Genshin Impact’s grind isn’t nearly as bad as FGO.

If it weren’t for FGOLua and FGA, I wouldn’t have bothered whaling in FGO. I imagine I’m not alone here, and the recent QoL improvements might be an indication that DW/Lasagna are at least grudgingly acknowledging this.

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I’m not quite convinced overall - aside from the fact that MOBA and gacha really aren’t direct competitors and never have been, revenue is only half the battle. Genshin, by sight alone, obviously costs orders of magnitude more to develop and maintain than FGO does, and they have 4 full voice casts on payroll so it’ll only get more expensive as the cast expands. It also hasn’t passed the two-year hill - most live service games of any stripe see a massive decrease in user retention around that period.

Most top players in the gacha world don’t make that list and, again, never have. The longest-living gachas like Bahamut and AiMas aren’t exactly in danger of shutting down and they’ve never scratched worldwide or even domestic JP revenue records. Chinese developers have certainly made more moves faster on the global market, relative to much more cautious Japanese developers that have worn down that barrier brick by brick over decades, but at this stage what effectively amounts to one massive outlier that hasn’t reached a second anniversary is hardly a herald of the end.

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As of Nov. 2021, Genshin has over $2.1 BILLION mobile revenue. This excludes PC revenue, console revenue, and 3rd party (eg. Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Samsung) stores, so Genshin is definitely much higher.

Estimates are that it was only $100 Million development and marketing to launch, but MHY has said that they’ve budgeted ~$200M annually for ongoing development and marketing. I doubt FGO has anywhere near that budget, because they have nowhere near the revenue, especially after the Sakura Wars debacle.


I never said anything like that. I said that Genshin is getting the money that FGO once got, and that’s what the numbers are showing. If your Japanese gacha doesn’t have the breadth and reach of Fate series, and depends on “bad civ” RNG & grind, then you should take a good look at what Genshin is doing right. And don’t pretend that there isn’t a developer alive who wouldn’t want to be where PUBGm / HoK / GI is.

I’m saying that the Chinese developers are doing things better, not that FGO and JP gacha will disappear.

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It’s not exactly concerning for the reasons @OwlCafe laid out.

Genshin has yet to prove longevity; revenue doesn’t tell the entire story (though that much revenue certainly implies high profits); and Genshin isn’t even the same kind of game as FGO. There is some overlap in users, but many of us who play FGO can’t stand Genshin, and vice versa.

It’s basically whatever. New hot thing sells well.

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Also I doubt that people are spending a lot less on fgo to spend more on genshin. Imo it’s probably because the gaming population in china is massive and are probably much more partial to gachas produced at home than heavily censored foreign ones

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What, you mean Foreigner 47642 won’t sell like hotcakes? Pish posh.

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I would agree with this if China also didn’t censor their own games. Which is happening in genshin too

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Yeah but it’s not nearly as extreme as in fgo right? Adding clothes or wanting more built men isn’t the same as erasing character arts and names for bunches of characters

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Fair enough

I think it’s also worth noting that it released at a time where a lot of people had to be staying inside rather than going about their regular business. With how much of a time sink Genshin is, it made for a near-perfect release window. People were running short on things to do, then comes a free-to-play gacha game with a lot of grind to it along with a multi-platform release. With it being this 3D open world action game rather than some turn-based RPG or puzzle game, it got to ride that hype train as well.
It managed to hit everything at the right time. If this released in say, 2018, I don’t think it would’ve caught on nearly as hard.

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I would like to see a great deal more numbers than what you’ve presented here to back up the claim that Genshin is stealing FGO’s money in any particularly meaningful way. Genshin is already having consistency problem with month-to-month revenue, some months coming in with 100 million less USD than others. 29% of its revenue also comes from the domestic Chinese market, so the overall effect of that is that, for several months since Genshin’s launch, FGO has outperformed it in Japan, which has always been the centre of the FGO business model. This doesn’t suggest that Genshin is in any way cannibalising sales, bar maybe a slice of the already-much-smaller international market, which Genshin commands largely by virtue of being officially released in more regions - “global” FGO only covers China, Korea, the US and SE Asia/Australia.

I’m not sure what part of “losing money to competitors” doesn’t imply that a product is on a downward spiral towards eventual redundancy, but I’m not even convinced that is true without a massive list of caveats. In particular, I’m sure there’s plenty of developers that would love to be where MiHoYo is right now, but I suspect their position may not continue to be so enviable given another 12 months or so. And to the notion that it just means Chinese developers are doing it better, I’m hesitant to accept market performance as the sole arbiter of quality. Most of Tencent’s games especially use some highly objectionable design and monetisation features that go well beyond the grossness of no-pity gacha, especially in their penchant to target children, so I don’t think profitability necessarily means they’re doing anything more than running a better grift.

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Yeah china has a massive population with money to spend, so much that companies have been jumping through any hoops they need to in order to get a slice. So having genshin launch with that population as their primary target audience instead of a smaller nation like japan probably works wonders business wise

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Genshin pulled in a maaaaaaaaaaaaaassive ‘normie’ crowd too so

As GrailedAstolfo said, the timing was kinda perfect for them

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Are you saying that GI isn’t a gacha game? Because my understanding is that it absolutely is.

GI has made at least $1.8 BIllion in profit: $2.1 Billion mobile-only revenue - $100 Million initial cost - $200 Million annual budget. It’s probably quite a LOT higher due to other revenue. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that MHY has pulled $4-5 Billion since launch.


This is only global Apple and Google revenue. Chinese revenue will be through Huawei / Xiaomi / Tencent store, not Google.


WTF are you even talking about? I play Tencent’s PUBG mobile daily, and there’s nothing objectionable in that system. PUBG mobile monetization is purely cosmetic, with absolutely NO in-game effects whatsoever.

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This is only strictly considering revenue made in game right? If so we also have to remember that FGO has a bunch of side projects that provide additional money like the Babylonia anime or the Solomon movie.

I’m unaware if Genshin Impact has any other side projects.

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Gacha is more a mechanic than an actual genre. Playstyle is completely different.

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I stand corrected :feh_lucyshrug:

But I still dont think its taking sales from fgo. It’s already really niche outside japan, and like smooth said, they’re both gacha but they’re still very different games

Mobile Operations II is a gacha too but it’s completely different than fgo, dokkan, genshin, etc.

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