In under four weeks, Honkai: Star Rail has earned Hoyoverse over $120m on iOS and Android, according to Appmagic data.
On average, Honkai: Star Rail’s mobile edition earns around $4.6m in revenue per day, says Appmagic. May 18 was its best-performing day to date, earning $7.9m in 24 hours.
The revenue split by market shows China leading the way with $41.2m earned so far, followed by Japan ($31.5m), the US ($17.8m), South Korea ($9.2m) and Taiwan ($3.9). Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Canada and Malaysia complete the top 10 countries by revenue.
China is ahead on downloads by territory with 4.9m to date, followed by the US (2.2m), Japan (1.7m), Russia (1.1m) and Vietnam (960k). Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Philippines complete the top ten markets by installs.
The platform split by revenue shows that $84.7m of the spend to date is on iOS; Android makes up the rest with $36.5m. Google Play downloads so far stand at 9.2m, with 11.4m installs through the App Store.
These numbers aren’t quite on the same level as Genshin Impact, which earned around $160m in its first four weeks. But they’re not far off – in fact, Hoyoverse has, understandably, lifted and iterated on most of Genshin Impact’s systems for Honkai: Star Rail.
“Honkai’s meta-system mechanics are very similar to Genshin, even from a UI perspective” says GameRefinery chief games analyst Erno Kiiski. “The most noteworthy and important similarity, in my opinion, is the ‘duplicate upgrade system’, in which you need to earn the same character multiple times from the gacha to upgrade one progression vector. This creates the spend depth for the hardcore users.”
Kiiski says limited-time character offers are also an important part of the mix, as well as Star Rail’s battle pass. “It is still early for Honkai, but interestingly, even the cadences of new monetised content seem to follow Genshin,” he says. “There are new character and equip item gachas every 21-22 days, and the Battle Pass seasons tend to be a bit over a month.”
Game design consultant Jakub Remiar believes Honkai: Star Rail is a “superior follow-up” to Genshin Impact, as it iterates well on what made Hoyoverse’s previous game so successful.
“The progression, the energy mechanic and gacha system are pretty much the same as in Genshin, which are tried and tested,” he tells us. “These offer an excellent choice for a game that wants to monetise though adding multiple event-based characters with new story content into time-limited gacha pools. This keeps the game fresh long-term and pressures the players to spend in order to keep up with the new challenges that the game adds through these new content drops.”
“The only thing missing in the winning formula are strong social mechanics,” adds Remiar. “The game still plays like a single player JRPG and there is only the social helper mechanic implemented. Adding cooperative mode, PvP or some guild or raid system is probably on Mihoyo’s roadmap already and I am eager to see the execution.”
Writing for Naavik, Fernanda Gonzalez Mirarchi adds a note of caution on Star Rail’s long-term future, because battle-RPG is a new genre for Hoyoverse – one that’s tough to enter, and could be in decline.
“Given the company’s mastery of action RPGs [like Genshin Impact] and the current decline in the team-battle subgenre, the choice of turn-based gameplay raises some questions on what Hoyoverse’s motivations are,” says Mirarchi.
“While there will be some overlap with fans of Genshin Impact and Honkai Impact 3rd, the turn-based RPG gameplay might reduce potential cannibalisation of both games, particularly Genshin Impact, while also appealing to a different audience. However, team battle games have faced a significant decline in revenue in the past year. This downturn may make user acquisition more challenging for Honkai: Star Rail following its initial downloads boom.”