In less than a month since the release of HoYoverse’s Honkai: Star Rail, it can already be safely said that the game’s launch is an impressive one, making an even bigger impact than its predecessor.
As HoYoverse’s first title since Genshin Impact, all eyes were on Star Rail as to whether lightning could be caught twice. And so far, it has.
Aiming for the stars
Honkai: Star Rail launched on 26 April for PC and mobile, speeding to 20 million downloads on launch day and exceeding Genshin Impact’s 17 million; this is even more impressive when considering Genshin Impact’s launch included a console release.
Being the biggest global launch of any Chinese mobile game in history, analysts are now wondering whether Star Rail can match Genshin Impact’s long-term success.
A privately owned company, HoYoverse – or miHoYo in China – doesn’t reveal its financial figures, but according to Sensor Tower, the revenue figure for Star Rail was 1.3 times that of Genshin Impact in its first week.
Sensor Tower data also tells that miHoYo has overtaken NetEase as the second-highest-grossing mobile publisher in China, now only behind Tencent. The game has been dubbed "the most heavyweight new game this year".
As reported by South China Morning Post, HoYoverse’s marketing campaign for Star Rail has been a sizeable one, with not only social media adverts but even offline attractions. In Shanghai, for example, statues and booths were set up where players could find goodies relating to the in-game characters. New York and Tokyo have seen public signposting for the game also.
Honkai: Star Rail’s licence was secured back in January, necessary to release the game in China. In fact, many more licences have been approved in the country this year than last, with 88 in January, 87 in February and 86 in March. April saw the continued success for mobile gaming.