Bilibili’s ACG event uncovers the growing popularity of China’s own Anime-based games

Genshin Impact leading the industry to a turnaround

Bilibili, a video-sharing and streaming platform based in China, has conducted its ACG event recently. The event showcased several domestic anime-style games and drew the attention of the fans. And it seems that the rise of Chinese domestic games has faded away the popularity of Japanese-made content in China. While Bilibili started its journey as a platform to provide Japanese ACG content to China’s young generation, the craze is at the dawn it seems.

Big names like Tencent Holdings, NetEase, HoYoverse, etc. featured their popular titles in the event. Besides, anime lovers gathered and cosplayed their favorite characters. Bilibili’s ACG seems to be the largest ACG event in China after the government lifted the zero-Covid policies last December. The video-sharing and streaming platform also claimed this event to be a record holder it has attracted a huge number of people 100,000.

Genshin Impact brought a massive shift to the industry

HoYoverse’s action RPG, Genshin Impact, is the pioneer in bringing a huge change to the industry. After its release in September 2020, the game took $4 billion in global revenue in just two years. Despite the dominance of Japanese anime titles, Genshin Impact affected the market severely. A dramatic shift has been possible, resulting in China’s domestic games being put in the driver’s seat.

Genshin Impact Kaeya Hangout event
Image via HoYoverse

One of the Genshin Impact fans, Bo Jiang, said, “I came all the way from Shanxi province just for Genshin Impact merchandise!” Jiang himself has been playing it since its release. While talking with Ann Cao, a reporter for the South China Morning Post, Jiang was holding two bags full of the game’s merchandise at the Bilibili ACG event.

The participants were also overwhelmed by the craze. HyperGryph’s free-to-play tactical RPG/tower defense mobile game Arknights was one of the main focused titles and the game has sold out all its merchandise by midday on Sunday. “We had prepared more than a thousand free gift bags for fans every day, and they were all given out in just two hours, with many fans queuing up early just to collect the official merchandise,” said Xiao Kun, a worker for HoYoverse’s Honkai Impact 3rd booth in Bilibili ACG event.

Image via South China Morning Post

A similar scenario was seen at the Genshin Impact booth. One of their booth volunteers said that the game received more immense feedback and fan support this year than the last time when it joined the event in 2021. “Now the concept of ACG has expanded a lot in China to include the domestic anime-style games, compared with earlier exhibitions which were dominated by Japanese anime titles”, Xiao added.

Bilibili’s recent ACG event shows fans to enjoy the domestic games more

Japanese ACG breakthrough games like Pokémon, One Piece, and Detective Conan had their own booths at the Bilibili ACG event. But it seems that fans are enjoying the domestic titles more. However, overseas titles have not lost their beauty yet. Japanese media company Crypton Future Media attended the event and featured its rhythm game Hatsune Miku.

Over a hundred fans were gathered in front of the game’s booth, proving the craziness is not gone yet. “I think Chinese ACG games have gathered more of an audience now, but they are at an early stage. Japanese elements still dominate the major areas including anime and music,” said Si Mu, a 17-year-old student from eastern Zhejiang province.

Image via Twitter

“I’ve spent over 40,000 yuan (US$5,560) on Honkai Impact 3 and Arknights,” said Hua Xu, a student from southern Hunan province who came to join the Bilibili ACG event. He claimed to divide his time to play four anime-style games, all of the titles are developed by Chinese developers. “They totally dominate my life and I barely have any time for other non-ACG genres such as Elden Ring”, he added.

Chinese video-sharing and streaming platform Bilibili started its journey back in 2009 as a video-sharing platform for Chinese youths to watch Japanese cartoons. In the course of its journey so far, the platform has evolved so much and stands as one of the largest platforms to share anime, comics, and games (ACG) for China. Being the largest market of video games, China will surely want to grow its title with much care from now on. Time will tell whether the rise of Chinese titles will be able to keep pace or not.

What are your thoughts on the growing popularity of China’s own Anime-based games? Let us know in the comments below!

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