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Honkai: Star Rail zooms beyond $1 billion on its first anniversary

Honkai: Star Rail generated $1.3 billion in its first 12 months, with 25% from 6% of players…
Honkai: Star Rail zooms beyond $1 billion on its first anniversary
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Apr 30, 2024 milestone Hoyoverse $1.3 billion
  • Honkai: Star Rail celebrated its first anniversary on April 26th, 2024
  • The title reached $1.3 billion in mobile revenue in its first year
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HoYoverse’s second star Honkai: Star Rail reached its first anniversary on April 26th, 2024, with plenty of cause to celebrate.

After all, the title proved that HoYoverse could capture lightning twice - releasing two smash-hits in a row after years of watchful eyes wondering if Genshin Impact was an outlier or the beginning of a new norm.

Breaking records from the off with 20 million downloads on launch day, Honkai: Star Rail quickly confirmed the latter and became a gacha giant in its own right. In fact, by App Magic estimates the game took only nine months to reach the ever-coveted $1 billion milestone on mobile, and proceeded to $1.3 billion by the anniversary.

Taking the impermanent crown

Genshin Impact may have reached $1 billion faster, but Honkai: Star Rail still has the potential to outperform its forebear. The two have a constant back-and-forth for the top spot amongst gacha money makers, typically earning HoYoverse gold and silver each month either way, and lately it’s been Star Rail coming out on top.

Most recently, in March 2024, Star Rail actually doubled Genshin Impact’s monthly mobile revenue, generating $118.3 million compared to its predecessor’s $58.5 million. It was the worst month yet for the old flagship.

Theories that the two titles share a large portion of their audiences are only fueled by their dance between first and second - one game’s surge counterbalancing the other’s downfall - and if this is true, Honkai’s buildup to its first anniversary last month was surely a source of Genshin Impact’s decline.

After all, Star Rail’s been celebrating in style since March with events ongoing into May: there’s even a live concert due to stream on May 1st. HoYoverse released merchandise like collectible character cards and an anniversary coin too, while in-game celebrations include 30 free pulls on the gacha via log-in bonuses to keep that all-important player retention high.

Furthermore, triple the rewards are available from successful Caverns of Corrosion challenges, and until May 6th players can take part in the special Cosmodyssey event based on Monopoly. It’s complete with a cosmic board to travel, land to buy, funds to earn, and more.

And it happens to follow another 2023 superstar proving just how successful Monopoly on mobile can be

Where they play and where they pay

One year on from release, it’s safe to say Honkai: Star Rail has found its big spenders in the East. Players in the game’s home country, China, account for 41% of consumer spending on mobile while Japan accounts for 25%, equating to $533 million and $325 million respectively. And that’s only so far…

App Magic data shows revenue from Japan is rising, as the country contributed 33% of Star Rail’s mobile earnings over the past 30 days - above the year’s average and only 1% behind China in the same period. This is especially noteworthy given Japan only represents 6% of the game’s total downloads compared to China’s 18%.

As for the West, the US has spent the most on Star Rail, responsible for 13% of its lifetime earnings and 12% of downloads. Looking at the last 30 days, revenue dropped negligibly to 12%, and across both timespans the US remains Star Rail’s third-biggest spender.

Whether revenue share from the US will continue to fall while Japan’s continues to rise, and whether Honkai: Star Rail will maintain a monthly revenue lead over Genshin Impact going forward, only time will tell. For now, though, what is known for a certainty is Star Rail’s unquestionable success, with its first anniversary celebration more than well deserved.