Azur Lane in 2023: The Surprising State and Shocking Growth

Azur Lane in 2023

Azur Lane is an incredibly popular, horizontal side-scrolling action shooter, released in China and Japan in 2017, Korea in 2018, and further worldwide in 2019.
Since its release, it has gone on to captivate, and drain the wallets of men of culture all around the globe, and for good reason.
Not only is this game one of the highest quality Gacha games currently available, but it’s got a very fair Gacha system in place that doesn’t require exorbitant amounts of spending, and rewards players the Waifu’s they want merely by playing the game. Something not many Gacha games are capable of claiming they do.
And if they did, they’d be lying.
But how popular is it? Has the game been growing, or is the game in a perpetual state of decline since its release several years ago? That’s what we’re here today to take a look at. To see how Azur Lane is currently doing in 2023.

Let’s me preface this by stating that Chinese earnings aren’t very easily accessible for this game specifically. I have roughly half of 2022 covered, but it does not encapsulate the entire year. Which is why I’ll include it separately to the Global earnings.

Azur Lane launched within China in May 2017, and Japan in September 2017. Over the course of its first year online, it went on to earn $170 million dollars within Japan and China. $24 million of which was earned through China, and $146 million via Japan.
The game managed just shy of 4 million downloads over that first year, and was averaging roughly $6-7 million dollars per month. But this is supposed to concern 2023, and the best way to look at the game is how it has evolved over the course of the last 12 months.

Beginning with January, 2022. January had separate 3 events that ran from the 13th – the Spring Festival Special Training – and the 27th – Happy Lunar New Year 2022, and Joint Battle Mystery Investigation. Globally, Azur Lane saw 122,000 new players and $6.6 million dollars.

February 2022 saw 8 different events – February 10th began the Northern Overture and Call to Arms: Northern Front reruns, the Lantern Festival and Manjuu Manufactory rerun, February 17th began the Darkness Within Dawn, Call to Arms: Northern Parliament and PR-Catchup: Seattle events, and finally February 24th began Abyssal Refrain.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 110,000 new players, and $4.5 million dollars. A noticeable decline from January.

March 2022 saw a reduction in active events: March 10th had the Counterattack Within the Fjord rerun, and the 24th saw the Virtual Tower event. Globally, Azur Lane saw 112,000 new players, and $3 million dollars. An even steeper decline from February, and more than half of January.

April 2022 saw more events than any month yet – The Band of Bulin began on April 1st – an April Fool’s event.
Reruns of Aurora Noctis, Nocturne Before Nightfall and Little Royal Knight on April 14th, April 21st had the Call to Arms: Iron Blood and PR-Catchup: Odin events, and finally, the Rondo at Rainbow’s End, Sugary-Sweet Käsekuchen, and Tales from the Count’s Castle events on April 28th.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 122,000 new players and $2.9 million dollars. Within China, the game made $3.9 million dollars.

May 2022 saw 6 events – beginning with the Wallflower in the Corner rerun on May 13th, Call to Arms: Royal Navy, PR-Catchup: Drake and Letters and Travels on May 19th, and the Chinese 5th Anniversary – Pledge of the Radiant Court and A Cookie for Mew!
The 5th Anniversary should’ve seen a substantial increase in spending, but Globally, Azur Lane saw 125,000 new players, and $4.5 million dollars, a fair increase over previous months. Within China for the Anniversary month, the game made $12.6 million dollars.

June 2022 saw 5 events – beginning with Splendorous Debut on June 1st, Special Support Plan Augment Modules on June 9th, a rerun of Sundered Blue on June 16th, along with Commission Exchange Plan, and finally Angel of the Iris on June 30th.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 125,000 new players and $6.5 million dollars – almost their Global peak across the entire year up until this point. Carrying over the Anniversary event in China, we saw $9 million dollars earned. Both May and June were quite beneficial months for every region of the game.

July 2022 saw 7 events, beginning with reruns of Dreamwaker’s Butterfly and Dreams of the Beginning on July 14th. Call to Arms: Sardegna Empire, Splendorous Invitation, and PR-Catchup: Mainz on July 21st. And ending with Aquilifer’s Ballade and A Text From Taihou on July 28th.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 105,000 new players, and $4.5 million dollars, a decline from June. Earnings also declined within China, dropping to 4.8 million dollars.

August 2022 saw a total of 3 events, beginning with a rerun of Lights of Circle City on August 11th, along with Operation Convergence and Charge! My Trusty Steeds! on August 17th. And I don’t think they’re referring to the Waifu’s themselves. Although there are countless of them that would be kinda fun to.. uhh, I digress.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 75,000 new players, and $4.1 million dollars, down from July. China was also down, with $3.2 million dollars earned. Continuing to be outperformed by Global.

September 2022 saw way too many events – 13 in total, beginning with Majnuu Fast Food and a rerun of Dreams of Love and Peace on September 1st. This was a collab they did with KFC.
September 8th saw a rerun of Fluttering Fanfare, along with PR-Catchup: Cheshire, Call to Arms: Sakura Empire, and Tranquil Sea, Distant Thunder. September 15th saw Violet Tempest, Blooming Lycoris, Rapid Training Campaign and Manjuu Campus, along with the Japanese 5th Anniversary.
A rerun of Port Eating Contest was also released on September 15th, followed by A Magnificent Banquet on September 22nd, and finally, a rerun of the Manjuu Grand Prix and Akashi’s Gratitude – Gear Support on September 29th.
I’ll give ’em credit: You never run outta things to do in this game. Globally, Azur Lane saw 99,000 new players and $7.7 million dollars, an increase over every other month in 2022. Interestingly, within China, the game also saw an increase up to $9.1 million dollars.

October 2022 saw a mere 4 events, significantly down from September, beginning with Rising of the Ship Heroes! and The Pursuit of Little Spee on October 13th, followed by Fight On, Royal Maids! (Part 3) and Halloween Hijinks on October 27th.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 86,000 new players and $4.4 million dollars, down from previous months, but still not the lowest it’s been. China’s earnings dipped as well, down to $4.1 million dollars.

November 2022 saw 5 events, beginning with reruns of Inverted Orthant and Combat Preparation: Iron Blood on November 10th, and introducing Rapid Training Campaign the same day, followed by a rerun of Akashi’s Fanbook on November 17th, and Black Friday Akashi’s Fire Sale.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 98,000 new players, and $4.5 million dollars. Up from October. China saw $3.9 million dollars earned, the second lowest it had been all year.

December 2022 was definitely an interesting one. We saw 6 events, beginning on December 15th with a rerun of Manjuu Curling, Call to Arms: Sea of Stars, Causality Transposition, and PR-Catchup: Champagne.
Followed by Parallel Superimposition and Vacation Resort on December 22nd as part of the New Year 2022 event, and finally, Let Life Set Sail Again on December 29th.
Globally, Azur Lane saw 120,000 new players, and $9 million dollars, the highest point all year the game had been Globally. And China saw an overwhelming $17.2 million dollars in earnings, totaling $26.2 million dollars for the month of December 2022.
This was a gargantuan increase in total earnings in December, which is not only a testament to how well the game is doing – is perceived, but how much the game is still continuing to grow.
If December 2022 can more than quadruple the same point in 2021 – Azur Lane is in a very healthy state. Its continued 100,000-130,000 new players and rapid event releases continue to keep it a relevant title. More so than almost any other Gacha game out there.

Earnings and new players have been very stable throughout the entirety of 2022 – with sizeable increases periodically, and it shows absolutely no signs of slowing down in 2023. So if you’ve been putting off playing Azur Lane, this is your chance to.

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