EditorialRole Playing

Genshin Impact and MHA’s success shows a significant shift in RPGs in the US mobile games market

The rise of action RPGs!

Genshin Impact, an actionadventure role-playing game released in September 2020 by MiHoYo has been a popular name amongst the masses. Boasting a sprawling open-world system and unique character switching mechanics Genshin Impact has become one of the largest role-playing games ever gathering up to $1 billion in revenue during its first 6 months being released. Without a doubt, Genshin Impact becoming one of the biggest game releases for the recent dates would set the scene for the next big game releases for role-playing games. Well, in this article, we look at how this has put a direct impact on the rise of action RPGs in the US mobile games market.

What are Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games, most commonly called RPG, are a genre of games that, as hinted by the name, are games where the players take on a certain role in the story and/or world of the game. RPGs are still one of the largest genres, even contributing to 14% market share in US iOS, giving the view of how action RPGs in the US mobile games market are growing at a rapid pace.

action RPGs US mobile market
Examples of RPGs – Final Fantasy VII (left) and Raid Shadow Legends (right)

Many RPG takes the turn-based approach, examples of this are the Final Fantasy series, Raid: Shadow Legends, and Marvel Strike Force. Another sub-type of the genre is action-type RPGs. This type focuses on playing the game in real-time. Examples are Genshin Impact, Zenonia series, and My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero.

The turn-based to Action-type shift in the US mobile games market

Turn-based RPGs are a classic type of approach done to many household RPG titles. From old classics like the Final Fantasy series to much more recent titles such as Raid: Shadow Legends. Arguably, many turn-based RPGs have become timeless classics as being the staple choice of gamers of all generations.

However, the recent release of Genshin Impact by MiHoYo is tipping the scales of the RPG gaming scene. Genshin Impact, which is released on numerous platforms has gathered a revenue of $1 Billion in just 6 months after its release.

Top games by market share in the RPG genre in US iOS. Source: GameRefinery, RPGs US mobile market
Top games by market share in the RPG genre in US iOS. Source: GameRefinery

As seen in the table from GameRefinery above in the first quarter of 2021, Genshin Impact has been dominating the charts for the role-playing game genre. Gathering up to 11.39% of the total revenue of RPG games, with the closest competitor, Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, only gathering only up to 5.6% of the total shares, which is only 49% of what Genshin Impact made. 

Still, the charts are still being dominated by turn-based RPG games with 5 out of 10 games being turn-based RPGs.

30d average top grossing rank graph action RPGs US mobile market
30d average top grossing rank graph (with date released, left to right; oldest to newest)

With Genshin Impact paving the way for the rise of action RPGs, another recent big release is creating waves in the RPG gaming genre. My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero, an action RPG, soft-released in May this year, based on a Japanese manga/anime series of the same name. MHA: The Strongest Hero has been slowly building its player base since its release. As seen from the graph above MHA: The Strongest Hero is on the top-grossing in a 30-day average.

My Hero Academia: Strongest Hero, My Hero Academia: Strongest Hero release

This marks the rise of the action-type RPG games as they slowly take over the RPG charts from their turn-based counterparts.


With the new great releases to the action RPG lineup, the future of action RPGs seems to be bright and action RPGs in the US mobile games market will continue to grow. However, turn-based RPG as of the moment is still very dominant in the top-grossing charts for the RPG genre. Nonetheless, It would be very interesting where the trend of the scale which Genshin Impact and My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero tipped will go.

Whether it will continue with new great action RPG releases or just be a temporary surge in the action RPG players, only time could tell us the answers we seek. However, what we can do right now is to enjoy these great releases being served to us.

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