Honor of Kings continues to top the charts in China as far as audience impressions go, but Honkai: Star Rail is continuing to climb the rankings while catching up to predecessor Genshin Impact.
The top five mobile games amassing mentions on Weibo (via Superpixel) - a measurement of their popularity on the site with over half a billion monthly active users - were: Honor of Kings, Genshin Impact, The Legend of Zelda, Honkai Star Rail and Light & Night.
It’s no surprise Honor of Kings tops the chart, given its huge popularity in China that places it as arguably the most popular MOBA in the world. The title is also perhaps the greatest claim Tencent has to their market dominance in their home country.
However, this proves to be an interesting glimpse into the Chinese gaming market, and shows the utter dominance of mobile titles such as Honor of Kings and Genshin Impact. With the small exception of Legend of Zelda of course, which saw a surge in popularity thanks to the release of the recent entry, Tears of the Kingdom.
The end of impact?
Aside from being a pretty interesting insight into how the Chinese market is thinking, we also see further indication that Genshin Impact’s time of dominance may have passed. MiHoYo certainly took a gamble releasing a direct competitor to their own game, and we’ve already seen the title begin to surpass Genshin Impact in terms of ongoing revenue.
It’s no surprise that Honkai: Star Rail has proven to be a big hit, as it, and two other titles, Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile were June’s highest-earning but it’s nonetheless telling about the mobile-heavy state of the Chinese gaming market. This is a market where social media popularity is highly indicative as to the success of, and on-going prospects of, any mobile title.
Eggy Party, for example, despite not entering the top 10 for mentions in the first half of 2023, nonetheless made an appearance at the number nine slot for a separate list of their Top 10 trending game events with their Lunar New Year Celebration. Which suggests it is slowly climbing the trending charts and becoming more and more popular as a social media phenomenon just as much as a game, indicating prolonged longevity.
Overall we can see a slowly shifting marketplace, with Tencent under threat despite holding onto market dominance, and MiHoYo seemingly seeing infighting between its titles. All of which points to a very interesting year ahead for the Chinese market.