Bestsellers in the European and American markets are being increasingly crowded by more and more domestic second-generation anime products

Domestic anime products are increasingly crowding bestsellers in European and American markets

Bilibili’s self-developed anime-style game “Higan: Eruthyll” launched its international version for testing last month. After the product went online, it topped the free download chart of iOS in the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. It also entered the top 100 best-selling games on iOS in 43 regions and reached the highest rank of 105th place on the best-selling chart in the United States. It stayed within the top 200 for about a week.

The launch of the product is good, but not outstanding, and it does not seem to have stayed in the top 200 for a long time. However, if we discuss this product within the context of “Chinese anime-style products going global,” we may give it some extra attention.

In recent years, many domestic anime-style products have entered the markets of developed countries, such as the United States. In addition to “Genshin Impact,” which is always at the top of the rankings, and the newly launched “Honkai: Star Rail,” products such as “Fantasy Tower,” “Onmyoji,” “Honkai Impact 3,” “Arknights,” and “White Night Chivalry” have also become regulars in the top 200 best-selling games due to various events and version updates.

“Higan: Eruthyll” (hereinafter referred to as “Eruthyll”) has performed well after its launch, but we cannot assert that its long-term performance will definitely replicate the peak of its launch or experience a single surge. However, one thing for sure is that as more and more domestic anime-style games appear in Europe and the United States, this segmented market is becoming increasingly crowded.

A new product with a strong sense of expression

“Eruthyll” is an anime-style product with a relatively strong sense of expression and a card-based combat system as its core gameplay.

The game’s scenes and character modeling are among the better ones in the current anime-style products. Efforts have also been made in areas such as special effects for ultimate moves and animated storylines.

However, the protagonist with “no face” is a setting that affects the immersion, and both foreign users and domestic players who participated in the previous test have criticized this.

In terms of gameplay, “Illusion Connect” is a semi-real-time system that incorporates some conventional card RPG and CCG card mechanisms.

The skills of the characters in the game will be presented in the form of cards. Players need to consume resource (originium) cards to play. Each character has only one active skill when they are deployed, and it can be replaced with other skills later as talents are unlocked and upgraded. In addition to the active skills presented in card form, characters also have an additional ultimate move (mystic art), which can be released after accumulating energy over time and during battles.

Both the release of active skills and ultimate moves in battles require some active operation, such as directional control for directional skills and range selection for AOE skills.

Correspondingly, there is a concept of formation in “Illusion Connect”. When planning the front and back rows of the team before the battle, the team formation can be arranged based on the characteristics of the professions. This is also one of the standard designs for some card RPG and idle card games launched overseas in recent years. At the same time, to make the concept of formation and positioning more prominent, some boss attacks and skills are also designed to be specific to the back row. Players need to pay extra attention to countermeasures.

Outside of battles, things like profession settings and attribute interactions are relatively conventional settings.

In terms of initial impressions, for European and American users who have not been overly immersed in anime culture, “Illusion Connect” is a product with good quality and fresh combat mechanisms. Their positive reviews are generally concentrated on the game’s external performance and combat mechanics.

The Long-term Direction of “” Products Overseas

From the feedback of gameplay such as battles, the card-based design combined with innovation in “Eliosi’s Hunt” is evident. However, some aspects were done somewhat conservatively.

For example, although there is active targeting/range selection for skills and ultimates, often just playing the card automatically releases the ability with little difference; for high-threat skills of elite monsters and bosses, it is necessary to timely play a skill card with an interrupt effect, but the benefits of interrupting successfully are limited, and sometimes the consequences of not interrupting are not severe.

From this, we can see the developers’ dilemma. They want to try to make the game “have a bit of operational attributes,” but without going too deep, which leads to situations like “AI’s timing and space make people’s brains explode.” This also makes some players feel that some extra mechanisms are unnecessary.

The development aspect of the game is average, with little difference compared to mainstream “” products. However, from the feedback of players who progress quickly, players in the middle and later stages will gradually enter a stage where development is slow and lacks direction. For example, some comments in the app store point out that in the middle and later stages, players will clearly feel that daily playable content is insufficient, and usually, after simply completing daily tasks, they can only log off. The stage development line is also slightly deadlocked, and the balance between player’s daily stamina gain and material consumption is not very good.

Currently, what we can see is that the product’s start is good, but it is still too early to make conclusions about its long-term operation. From the trend of some similar products entering the European and American markets, we can roughly see a similar pattern: a good start can usually achieve impressive results and remain in the top 200 of the iOS sales chart for a while. Afterward, the curve will naturally decline, and it can return to the waist or even a more forward position on the sales chart during important events such as anniversaries or important updates.

In our previous summary of “popular foreign RPGs in the North American market”, we found that many of them have (broadly) second-dimensional elements. Some of the macro trends and rules that apply to the RPG field generally also apply to the second-dimensional category. These can be summarized as:

The popular new generation of products will somewhat emphasize action elements, some of which are typical action RPGs, and some of which, although not action games, will include more action elements in their controls. They are not as simple as the early first and second-generation card games that were simply “confrontational” or did not have much action performance in their moves.

For turn-based battles and card-style development frameworks, European and American players tend to be “unpicky” about gameplay. Many players can accept gameplay forms that are “not new” from the perspective of domestic users. Some IP endorsements also play a role in this, such as Marvel and Star Wars… But overall, the classic card core can still occupy a space in this market, especially under better external IP and packaging.

Whether from the perspective of RPG mobile games or “foreign second-dimension”, medium-to-heavy products with better expressiveness and heavier operability are beginning to occupy positions in top markets such as the United States, which has never happened before.

The existence of domestic second-dimensional products in this trend is also parallel. In recent years, domestic second-dimensional products have also reached a stage of accumulation in the European and American markets.

Starting with early products such as “Onmyoji” and “Honkai Impact 3”, some of the pioneering products in this range have achieved visible results. Later, “Genshin Impact”, “Arknights”, “Fantasy Tower”, “White Night Aurora”, and others have also successively demonstrated enough presence on the bestseller list, and recently “Starry Railways” has steadily ranked in the Top 10, adding “one more general” to the forefront of the list.

It’s not that Grape Jun is blindly optimistic, but given time, it seems imaginable that “N domestic second-dimensional works will be among the Top 100 bestsellers in the United States.”

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