China’s Genshin Impact, TikTok top world’s mobile game, app charts in October

Josh Ye
·3-min read

Genshin Impact soared to the top of the charts as the world’s most profitable mobile game in October, as ByteDance-owned TikTok remained the most downloaded app globally in the same month, according to a new report.

Launched in September by Shanghai-based developer miHoYo, Genshin Impact jumped 78 spots to become the world’s most lucrative mobile game across both Apple’s App Store for those on the iOS platform and Google Play for Android users, app tracking firm App Annie reported on Friday.

It marked the end of a dominant run in the mobile game charts by Tencent Holdings, which operates the world’s largest video games business by revenue. Honour of Kings , known as Arena of Valour outside China, and PUBG Mobile – both developed by Tencent – each took turns as the world’s top-grossing mobile game during the 12 months to September.

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Genshin Impact raked in about US$245 million in player spending in its first 30 days of release, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. The anime-style action adventure game makes money from players by using a mechanism known as gacha or loot boxes, which has generated controversy because its lucky draw nature has been compared to gambling.

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Niantic’s Pokémon Go ranked second and Roblox from Roblox Corp took third place in App Annie’s latest survey of the most lucrative mobile titles on the App Store and Google Play.

Popular short video-sharing service TikTok, along with Chinese-language equivalent Douyin on the mainland, remained the world’s most downloaded app in October, despite regulatory issues in major markets like the United States and India.

TikTok returned to federal court in the US last Friday to challenge claims made by the Trump administration, which is pushing to ban the short video app in the country. TikTok was also among the 59 Chinese apps banned by India in June over national security and privacy concerns.

Introduced outside China in 2017, TikTok last month ceded the No 2 spot on the world’s top-grossing apps chart to YouTube, according to App Annie. It said online dating app Tinder continued to lead that chart.

The success of Genshin Impact and TikTok is a testament to the major progress achieved by Chinese tech firms in creating games and apps with broad international appeal, despite tough competition overseas and complications from geopolitical issues.

TikTok, according to the App Annie report, is already being challenged by Snack Video, the international version of rival Chinese service Kuaishou, which ranked as the world’s eighth most downloaded app last month.

“[Snack Video] has remained stable on the top 10 list for three months,” the App Annie report said. “It is clear that the app has replaced TikTok in India, gaining stable traffic and user base.”

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