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Tower of Fantasy Is Still Far From the Goal of Being the Next Genshin Impact

By Johnson Ge
Feb. 24, 2022 updated 09:04

Tower of Fantasy, the Anime-Style MMORPG provided by Perfect World, was considered by many as the most promising “Genshin Killer” game. It seems those people must be disappointed, seeing as Tower of Fantasy has not reached their expecting goal.

Tower of Fantasy had a promising start. According to the official website for Tower of Fantasy, over 15 million players pre-registered for the game before launch. It also surpassed 1 million pre-downloads within the first 3 hours. After release, Tower of Fantasy’s turnover reached 7 million USD on the first day and 30 million in the first week. Everbright securities estimated the final turnover for the first month would be 100-150 million USD at that time[1].

Perfect world posted a picture about goals Tower of Fantasy had achieved on the first day.Perfect world posted a picture about goals Tower of Fantasy had achieved on the first day.

However, according to Perfect World, the actual first month turnover of Tower of Fantasy was no more than 80 million USD[2]. In January 2022, the second month after release, the number dropped to 34 million USD. Meanwhile, Genshin’s turnover in China’s mobile game market reached 80 million USD during the same month.[3] According to Qimai.com, in February 2022, Tower of Fantasy is ranked #61 on the Appstore’s bestselling ranking, while Genshin Impact is ranked #9. The current rating of Tower of Fantasy is only 2.9/5 on Appstore and 5.4/10 on Taptap.

The statistical data on Qimai.com shows the rating of Tower of Fantasy is not optimistic. The statistical data on Qimai.com shows the rating of Tower of Fantasy is not optimistic.

Why did the “Genshin Killer” fail its task? People have their own thoughts. One key aspect would be the game experience being poorly optimized and buggy. On Feb 3rd, Tower of Fantasy officially announced they had banned players who used bugs to harvest extra in-game currency. Over 200 players were involved and the bug generated over 700k Titanium. On Feb 15th, Tower of Fantasy posted an announcement on its website claiming anyone reporting bugs and exploits will be rewarded with 100K in-game currency at most. Some people believe that players stopped investing their time into the game because of the bugs.

It is also thought that Tower of Fantasy got a bad reputation due to the ill-considered operating actions. According to Everbright Security’s report, they believed Tower of Fantasy used negative marketing to draw extra attention and hoped to reverse its reputation after release. If it was their strategy, it did not seem to work well.

A screenshot of Everbright Security’s report shows a strategy of “negative marketing” may have been used by Perfect World.A screenshot of Everbright Security’s report shows a strategy of “negative marketing” may have been used by Perfect World.

The game provider had posted two official apology announcements[4] [5]concerning different trailer plagiarism cases in Dec 2021, and many accused Tower of Fantasy of review fraud on Appstore. Accusations of plagiarism and fraud tend to tarnish a game's reputation heavily and are unlikely to quickly fade from public consciousness.

In Appstore, many 5-star reviews for Tower of Fantasy were directly copied from other game’s reviews but had the game’s name replaced with Tower of Fantasy. However, the replacement had been done carelessly, so many weird reviews were posted. For example, there were reviews saying, “Thank you Mihoyo, for bringing us Tower of Fantasy”. That was not even the worst case. Many other reviews just added “Tower of Fantasy,.” at the end of the sentence and made it completely hilarious and meaningless. Like “I give it 5 stars because of Zhongli Tower of Fantasy,.”. Before those reviews were deleted, many people found them and shared screenshots on social media. Speaking and adding “Tower of Fantasy,.” at the end of sentences felt like a funny speech habit from Japanese Anime, like “desu”. In no time, the new meme “Tower of Fantasy Speech Habit” was popularized, and meme enthusiasts added “Tower of Fantasy,.” into every sentence they spoke. As a result, “Tower of Fantasy” was often treated as an “entertaining meme source” instead of a mobile game on social media.

Some review screenshots from Qimai.com. All of them were copied & pasted from Genshin Impact reviews.Some review screenshots from Qimai.com. All of them were copied & pasted from Genshin Impact reviews.

You may wonder why Tower of Fantasy would even be called a “Genshin Killer” in the first place. Tower of Fantasy is an MMORPG with a heavy emphasis on social content like multiplayer raids, guilds, and PVP. It is different from Genshin Impact, which focuses on the single-player experience, with some Co-op. Some feel that fans of Anime-style games are less interested in the more social and cooperative aspects of the MMO genre, so pegging the game as a rival to Genshin rather than as an MMO was a mistake. Since the demographics that favor one game style are very different from the other, it would have been better to target the MMORPG enthusiasts instead.

An article on Sohu.com criticized Perfect World for knowing little about Anime game enthusiasts.An article on Sohu.com criticized Perfect World for knowing little about Anime game enthusiasts.

Though Tower of Fantasy is making a decent profit and there are still many people keeping faith in it. Its global release plan may lead it to success far beyond what it has seen so far. It seems few people are considering it as a “Genshin Killer” now.