Tower of Fantasy in 2023
Let me preface this by stating that Tower of Fantasy isn’t a bad game. On the contrary, at its core, it’s actually a very fun, very beautiful MMO.
But it is grossly mishandled, has seen hackers repeatedly exploit issues that were known to be present in the Chinese version, and time-gates progression. All of which have severely inhibited its success, and further, its growth.
While no game is perfect – despite some people believing their game is – the vast majority of video games, and more specifically, Gacha games see a decline in terms of active players and revenue.
Case in point: Path to Nowhere, which is regarded as one of 2022’s biggest hits, earned $7 million dollars Globally in its first month. In its second month, it made $3 million dollars. That is a 57% drop in revenue over 30 days.
How is Tower of Fantasy doing comparatively? Let’s take a look.
Tower of Fantasy released Globally on August 10th, 2022. It had one of the largest launches of the year, with millions of players lining up to get in-game and try it out.
In its month of release, Tower of Fantasy saw millions of new downloads. Player activity was off the charts – social media was overrun with players sharing screenshots, opinions, and ultimately was one of the top trending topics across Twitter for several days.
That first month – which comprised a little over 2 weeks, the game managed to accumulate $34 million dollars in total revenue across Android and iOS devices. And according to sources, not only do a large number of players active play via and also spend via their phones, but Japan makes up well over 40% of all revenue generated.
$34 million is a massive opening for a Gacha game. There was only one other release this year that could compete with the success that Tower of Fantasy saw: NIKKE. Which also managed to earn more than Genshin did Globally in its month of release.. an achievement no other Gacha can really claim in recent memory.
September came around and saw a decrease from $34 million down to $24 million dollars in revenue. That’s just shy of a 30% drop, and admittedly a much better ratio than was seen in Path to Nowhere.
Unfortunately concurrent and monthly active players for September weren’t tracked so it’s unconfirmed how significant or insignificant the playerbase drop was.
October was where things really got interesting, though.
October saw the release of their first major update, 2.0, which was touted by many players on Discord and Reddit as the patch that “would save the game,” also seeing the title launch on to Steam. What we saw, however, was a decrease from $24 million dollars to $6 million dollars in revenue.
While a 30% drop in its first month is relatively insignificant, this was instead a much more alarming 75% decrease in revenue. That is of immediate concern. This month was also the first month where player statistics were tracked.
Showing a total of 613,000 active players logging in over the course of the month of October. From upwards of 5 million players to 600,000 over a month and a half is quite a substantial decline in activity, but players were likely just expecting something different, resulting in a mass exodus of interested players.
November saw the introduction of patch 2.1 including a fan-favorite character: Lin. Given the introduction of an entirely new area and character, there should’ve been a sizeable increase in earnings, right? Honestly, that wasn’t really the case. What we saw was instead an increase from $6 million dollars to $8 million dollars in revenue.
That was a 33% increase – which sounds impressive, but given patch 2.0, 2.1, and Lin all released within several weeks of one another, you’d have thought players would be spending more.
November also saw a decline in active players from 610,000 to 460,000. That’s 150,000 tracked players just up and vanishing over the course of a month. Even after all of the aforementioned updates, which should’ve been motivation to come back and at least try them out.
December, a month that saw an increase in earnings for Genshin Impact, Uma Musume, Raid: Shadow Legends, Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross, Blue Archive and a plethora of other games.. left Tower of Fantasy seeing yet another decline in total earnings – to an all time low of $5 million dollars.
That is a 37% drop. This is with the introduction of patch 2.2 on December 22nd, the Nemesis rerun event on the 15th through 26th, another new character in the form of Tian Lang.
We also saw a decline in terms of active players from 460,000 in November, to 270,000 in December. A drop from 5 million to 200,000 in 4 months is an unfathomable exodus of active players, and is the most critical the playerbase has ever been.
Regardless of whether you’re a blind hater of the game and want nothing but its failure, or an unfaltering, ardent defender of it, you cannot argue that this is beyond alarming for the game if it continues on this trajectory.
Tower of Fantasy might be a fun game. It might be a gorgeous game. But it is headed into 2023 in the worst state it has ever been in. It has seen a decrease of 95% in terms of players, and a decline to the amount of 85% in terms of monthly revenue. This is over 4 months only. Where will it be in 6 more from now?
This game is headed in one direction – and that is an undeniable certainty. How long it takes to get there is the only question on our minds.
I don’t think the game is going to see much in the way of additional growth in the future, despite what active players want for the game. Which is a shame, because this game could have been great. Could have, being the key words here.