Meet Fate Grand Order, Sony’s Secret Money Train

The PlayStation is responsible for the brunt of Sony’s, the Japanese tech giant’s, loot from the gaming segment. But, we bet you have not heard of a potent income stream for the Japanese conglomerate: the mobile game Fate/Grand Order or “FGO”.

A report in 2020 showed that the mobile game made Sony $241 million in one quarter (Q1) alone. Fate/Grand Order has also constantly been in the top-ten highest-grossing list of mobile games, even managing to beat out games released by Tencent, the heavyweight of the market.

Fate/Grand Order has continued to captivate players worldwide the same way top sportsbooks like Betnow have catered to international audiences for recreational gaming.

What makes FGO, a free-to-play (F2P) game, so consistently popular in an industry where F2P is a revolving door?


You Can’t Beat A Great Story

Fate/Grand Order continues to be popular for a variety of reasons, but the narrative is the main reason why this game has stayed strong.

The concept behind FGO is the stuff that would have most folks thinking“why didn’t I think of that?”: what happens when you pit historical and mythical figures like Julius Caesar and Oda Nobunaga against the likes of King Arthur and Heracles?

It’s a tantalizing concept that has taken the game from simply being “just another F2P mobile game” to arguably the greatest game of its genre. One does not simply hit an annual gross of over $4 billion.

Looking at the gameplay mechanics or the visual appeal, FGO does not stand out. In fact, plenty of other F2P and mobile games do it a lot better than this six-year-old game. The game’s gacha rates have also been criticized for being among the most punishing.

If you’re wondering what the gacha is, it’s a lottery system where players spend in-game currency (that can be bought with real currency) to attain rare items and/or characters.

This has been the lifeblood of a vast number of popular games like Genshin Impact and Arknights. There have been stories of folks spending thousands and even tens of thousands of hard-earned cash on a single game, “whales” as they are called.

FGO has fleshed out its characters, lore, and writing. While the gameplay and mechanics have stayed largely the same since its original release, the story has continued to evolve and the game has become more popular.

A great story sells, who’d have thunk it?

The Ever-Growing World of Fate

The writing team behind Fate Grand/Order are even surprised by its continued success. FGO’s popularity has started to spawn a series of anime, movies, and other fan-created artwork and fanfiction that litter the Internet.

Fate Grand/Order has even spawned an “arcade” version of itself and has pushed for a remake of Fate/Extra, a handheld RPG that was never localized.  

Fate Grand/Order is not the original work in its “universe”. The game is a spin-off to Type-Moon’s Fate/stay night adult visual novel that was released for PC back in 2004.

Fate/stay night already developed its small but tight-knight group of fans. The novel would get another visual novel in Fate/hollow ataraxia, the aforementioned Fate Extra, and an anime series of the same name.

Grand/Order did not join the fold until 2015, after some more anime adaptations in Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works.

Of course, Fate is hardly the first gacha/mobile game to have been released off an established franchise. Gacha/mobile games spun off more popular franchises like Final Fantasy and Fire Emblem.

It is also not the first franchise to blend different genres and subgenres of fantasy, science fiction, and romance nor is the artwork mind-blowing - although several Aniplex, its publisher, works have been noted for their high-quality animation.

But Fate/Grand Order just has a unique appeal to it - one that can hook both experienced video gamers and casual players alike. Maybe it’s the gacha or the large cast of charming characters.

Whatever it is, Sony has a winner on its hands.

Published in Other Articles

You may also like...