Genshin Impact had the biggest global launch of any Chinese game ever

Mihoyo’s free-to-play spin on Zelda: Breath has proven rather popular since it launched earlier this week. In fact, as the South China Morning Post reports, Genshin Impact had the biggest global launch of a Chinese game ever.

The anime game reportedly racked up 5.3 million pre-registrations outside of China on its website alone. If we’re talking about pre-registrations in China across PC, PS4, and mobile, the number hops up to 16 million. App tracking firm Qimai Data also says that Genshin Impact has already become the second top-grossing app on Apple’s App Store in China. That puts it ahead of TikTok’s international sister app Douyin.

The SCMP goes on to share several insights from industry consultants. One, Kantan Games’ Serkan Toto, says that Genshin Impact has had the biggest international launch of a Chinese game to date. “I don’t think any Chinese-made game has ever had that many pre-registrations outside its home market,” he says. “So just by the scale of people interested early on, Genshin Impact is a big title already.”

There are some other interesting titbits, too. Mihoyo’s co-founder, Liu Wei, apparently revealed to local media that Genshin Impact has a development and marketing budget exceeding $100 million.

Looking at Twitch statistics site SullyGnome, it seems like the free-to-play game has caught the attention of streamers, too, as over five million hours have been watched by viewers already. The SCMP also says that the RPG game broke 110,000 concurrent viewers a few hours after launch, which made it more popular than Fortnite at that moment.

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The launch itself has been relatively smooth, a few hiccups withstanding. Lots of people reported that Genshin Impact has slow download speeds, Others flagged “privacy concerns” before Mihoyo removed a controversial anti-cheat.

Long before the anime game came out, it caught the attention of, well, us, because people took issue with its visual similarity to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild upon reveal. Someone even smashed their PS4. Since then, though, the game has proven that it has plenty of its own ideas despite its appreciation for the Zelda games. Genshin Impact has got off to a good start for sure, then, but we’ll see if the free-to-play game can maintain the momentum.