Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact[b] is an action role-playing game developed and published by miHoYo. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Android in 2020, and on PlayStation 5 in 2021, and is set for release on Nintendo Switch. The game features an anime-style open-world environment and an action-based battle system using elemental magic and character-switching. The game is free-to-play and is monetized through gacha game mechanics through which players can obtain new characters and weapons. The base game is expanded on a regular basis through patches using the games as a service model.

Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact logo.svg
Developer(s)miHoYo
Publisher(s)miHoYo[a]
Producer(s)Cai Haoyu[1]
Composer(s)Yu-Peng Chen
Dimeng Yuan
Yijun Jiang
Qian Ding
Xin Zhao
EngineUnity
Platform(s)
Release
  • Android, iOS, iPadOS, Windows, PS4
  • September 28, 2020
  • PlayStation 5
  • April 28, 2021
  • Nintendo Switch
  • TBA
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Genshin Impact takes place in the fantasy world of Teyvat, which is home to seven nations, each of which is tied to a different element and ruled by a different god. The story follows the Traveler, who has traveled across countless worlds with their twin sibling before becoming separated in Teyvat. The Traveler travels in search of the lost sibling with their companion Paimon and becomes involved in the affairs of Teyvat's nations.

Development of Genshin Impact began in 2017. The game received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the game's combat mechanics and immersive open world, but criticizing its simplistic endgame and monetization model. It had a first-year launch revenue of more than $3 billion in its first year of release, the highest for any video game, and a revenue of more than $4 billion as of March 2022.

Gameplay

 
The player may freely explore an open-world map. Here Aether, the male Traveler, is seen gliding, but the player is able to switch to other party members.

Genshin Impact is an open-world action role-playing game that allows the player to control one of four interchangeable characters in a party.[2] Switching between characters can be done quickly during combat, allowing the player to use several different combinations of skills and attacks.[3] Characters may have their strengths enhanced in various ways, such as increasing a character's level and improving artifacts and the weapons that the character equips.[4] In addition to exploration, the player can attempt various challenges for rewards. Scattered across Teyvat are bosses and challenges that reward highly valuable resources, such as Stormterror and the Electro Hypostasis, but claiming them uses up a currency called resin, which slowly regenerates over time.[5] Completing these challenges grants the player progress towards increasing their Adventure Rank, which in turn unlocks new quests, challenges, and raises the World Level.[6] The World Level is a measure of how strong the enemies within the world are and the rarity of rewards that defeating them gives.[7]

The player can control their character and perform actions such as running, climbing, swimming, and gliding which are limited by stamina.[8][3] Some characters possess abilities that can alter the environment, such as freezing water to create an ice path that can aid the player in traversing terrain.[3] Many teleportation nodes exist throughout the world that players can warp to as a form of fast travel; among these are landmarks known as Statues of The Seven that can heal and revive characters, and provide benefits such as increasing player stamina.[9] Items such as food and ore may be procured from the open world, while enemies and treasure chests drop other types of resources that may be used in enhancing a character's strength. Players can obtain food from hunting animals, gathering fruit and vegetables, or purchasing them from a store. Furthermore, there are special battle instances called Domains that also reward materials that increase character and weapon strength.[10] Ingredients that can be cooked into meals that regenerate characters' health or boost various stats.[11] Players can also procure ore that can be refined and then used to create weapons or enhance their strength.[12][13]

 
An elemental reaction between the two elements Pyro and Electro results in "Overloaded", creating an explosion.

Each character has two unique combat skills: an Elemental Skill and an Elemental Burst. The Elemental Skill can be used at any time except for the cooldown period immediately after use.[14] In contrast, the Elemental Burst has an energy cost, requiring the user to amass sufficient elemental energy by defeating enemies or inflicting elemental status effects.[15] Characters have control over one of seven natural elements: Cryo, Dendro, Pyro, Hydro, Anemo, Electro and Geo; which correspond to ice, plants, fire, water, wind, electricity, and rock, respectively.[16] These elements can interact in different ways; for example, if a Hydro attack hits a target, the enemy will be inflicted with the "Wet" status effect, and if they are hit with a Cryo attack, it will inflict "Cryo".[16] These two status effects combine into the "Frozen" status effect, temporarily preventing the target from performing any actions or until the player deals enough physical damage to the enemy.[16] Switching between characters during combat and executing those skills allows those elemental interactions to take place.[17] Certain elemental abilities may be required to solve puzzles within the overworld.[3]

A multiplayer mode is available in the form of co-op. Up to 4 players can play together in the overworld and join Domains.[18] Player matching can either be done by requesting to connect with another player.[18] If the player wishes to clear a Domain with other players, they will be automatically matched up with others looking to tackle the same objective.[19] The game features cross-platform play, so players on any platform can play with each other.[20]

By completing quests to advance the story, the player can initially unlock four additional playable characters,[21] and more characters can be obtained via a gacha mechanic and in-game events.[22][23][24] Several premium in-game currencies, obtainable through in-app purchases and playing the game, can be used to obtain characters and weapons through the gacha system.[25] A pity system guarantees that the player will receive rare items after a set number of draws.[26]

Story

Setting and characters

Genshin Impact takes place in the world of Teyvat, and is composed of the seven major nations of Mondstadt, Liyue, Inazuma, Sumeru, Fontaine, Natlan, and Snezhnaya; each nation is ruled by a different god.[27] The mysterious floating island of Celestia is allegedly home to gods and mortals who have ascended to godhood through great, heroic feats.[28] Underground lie the ruins of the nation of Khaenri'ah which was destroyed by gods 500 years before the events of the game.[29][30] Unlike the seven major nations, Khaenri'ah was not ruled over by a god. The player character, the Traveler (male or female depending on the player's choice), is separated from their twin and becomes trapped in Teyvat. They are joined by a companion, Paimon, as they journey through Teyvat in search of their lost sibling. Although players can choose the name they want to be referred by, the Traveler's sibling refers to the Traveler by either Aether or Lumine, if the Traveler is male or female, respectively.

Each nation is associated with and worships one of The Seven, a group of gods known as the "Archons", who each preside over one of the seven nations. Each member of The Seven is tied to one of the game's elements, and is also reflected in their nation's aspect. Barbatos, Rex Lapis, the Raiden Shogun, Kusanali, and the Tsaritsa are the Archons of Mondstadt, Liyue, Inazuma, Sumeru, and Snezhnaya, respectively.[31] However, the god who is the Archon may change over time as Archons pass away.[32] Specific individuals chosen by the Archons are granted a Vision—magical gemstones that give their bearers the ability to command an element and the potential to ascend to godhood and reside in Celestia.[33][34]

Mondstadt, the city of freedom, worships the Anemo Archon Barbatos and sits on an island in the middle of a lake.[35] The city is protected by the Knights of Favonius, who are tasked with protecting Mondstadt and its citizens.[36] To the southwest, Liyue worships the Geo Archon Rex Lapis (also known as Morax) and is the largest market harbor in Teyvat. The harbor city is presided over by the Liyue Qixing, a group of business leaders, and ancient guardians known as Adepti, a class of magical beings that includes Rex Lapis himself.[37][38] Across the sea to the southeast lies the isolationist island nation of Inazuma, overseen by the authoritarian regime of the Raiden Shogun (also known as Baal) and three governmental bodies that together make up the Tri-Commission:[39] the Tenryou Commission, Kanjou Commission, and Yashiro Commission; overseeing military and executive affairs,[40] finances and foreign affairs,[41] and ceremonial affairs respectively.[42]

Snezhnaya, ruled by the Cryo Archon known as the Tsaritsa, sends out diplomats called the Fatui who maintain a friendly appearance while using more underhanded methods secretly.[43] The Fatui are also led by the Eleven Fatui Harbingers, individuals given extraordinary powers and executive authority by the Tsaritsa.[44] In addition to the Fatui, another major antagonistic faction in the game is the Abyss Order, a legion of monsters that declares themselves to be enemies to all of humanity and the nations of Teyvat. They are led by the "Prince" or "Princess", the lost twin of the Traveler.[45][46][47]

Each nation takes inspiration from real-life nations and cultures: "Mondstadt" is German for "moon city", and takes inspiration from medieval Western Europe, Liyue (璃月, Jade Moon) is based on China,[48] Inazuma (稲妻, lightning) is based on Japan, Sumeru, named after Mount Meru, takes inspiration from West and South Asia,[49] and Snezhnaya (Снежная, snowy) takes inspiration from Russia.

Plot

Prologue

A pair of twins who travel across different worlds arrive in Teyvat, but attempt to leave after finding the nation of Khaenri'ah under cataclysmic siege. However, they are separated by a god who takes one twin and seals away the other. The sealed twin, referred to as the "Traveler", awakens five hundred years later and meets Paimon, and the two embark on a journey to find the missing twin.

The duo first arrive in the city of Mondstadt, which has been under attack from a dragon called Stormterror. They meet with Venti, a local bard who wishes to calm Stormterror, who is actually Dvalin, one of the ancient protectors of Mondstadt. Retrieving a stolen holy lyre from the Fatui, Venti attempts to calm Dvalin down with the lyre, but the dragon is manipulated into attacking him by the Abyss Order. The encounter also reveals Venti to be the Anemo Archon Barbatos, and they pursue Dvalin and free him from the Abyss Order's influence. After solving the crisis, Venti is ambushed by Fatui Harbinger La Signora, who steals his Gnosis, the symbol of an Archon's power.

Venti advises the Traveler to travel to Liyue next to meet Rex Lapis, the Geo Archon at a ceremony.

Chapter 1

However, at the ceremony Rex Lapis is apparently killed, and his body is hidden away. Needing to escape suspicion, the Traveler gets help from funeral parlor consultant Zhongli and Fatui Harbinger Childe; the latter manipulates the Traveler into sowing conflict between the Qixing, the organization of trade heads who administer Liyue Harbor, and the Adepti, ancient guardians who defend Liyue. Childe discovers the location of Rex Lapis' body, but is unable to find the Gnosis and believes Rex Lapis is still alive. To lure out the Archon, Childe resurrects an ancient god, but the combined forces of the Traveler, the Qixing, and the Adepti defeat it, after which the groups agree to usher Liyue into a new age. Afterwards, the Traveler discovers that Zhongli is Rex Lapis, who gives his Gnosis to Signora as part of a discreet contract with the Tsaritsa, the Cryo Archon and leader of the Fatui. Zhongli explains he faked his death so he could step down from his role as Archon, and their defense of Liyue proved they did not need his protection.[50]

The Traveler then returns to Mondstadt and meets a man named Dainsleif who is targeting the Abyss Order. Together they investigate their plot to create an artificial god to topple Celestia, but as they attempt to thwart it, they are confronted by the Traveler's sibling. They reveal themselves to be the leader of the Abyss Order, consisting of the people of Khaenri'ah cursed to become monsters, and reveal Dainsleif was a guard of Khaenri'ah cursed to wander the world.[51] Dainsleif chases after their sibling but the Traveler is unable to follow.

Chapter 2

While looking for a way into Inazuma, the Traveler learns more of the Vision Hunt Decree being enforced to confiscate the Visions of those in Inazuma, starting a civil war. Arriving in the nation, the Traveler agrees to help the resistance army abolish it. They learn that the Fatui manipulated the Shogun into signing it and raid a Fatui facility in response, but are defeated by Fatui Harbinger Scaramouche. They are saved by shrine maiden Yae Miko, who tells them that the "Raiden Shogun" is actually a puppet created by Ei to rule Inazuma while she retreated into her mind.[52][53] The Traveler confronts Signora at the Shogun's palace and challenges her to a duel and emerges victorious. Signora is executed by the Raiden Shogun, and the Traveler with help from Yae Miko defeat Ei, who repeals the decree, ending the war.[54] Miko reveals that Ei's Gnosis was entrusted to her, and that she relinquished it to Scaramouche in order to spare the Traveler.[55]

The Traveler reunites with Dainsleif, who failed to find their twin. Seeing a vision of their sibling attempting to restore Khaenri'ah, they are torn between helping their sibling and defeating the Abyss Order. Dainsleif declares that the Traveler must choose between the world of Teyvat and their twin before departing.

Chapter 3

The Traveler departs for Sumeru in search of Lesser Lord Kusanali. As they walk into a forest, they meet Tighnari, the leader of the Forest Rangers, a group tasked with protecting the forest and people in it. The Traveler also meets Collei, a sick Forest Ranger under Tighnari. With Tighnari's help, the Traveler heads to Sumeru City where they are given an Akasha Terminal to help navigate them around the city. As they explore, they rescue a woman named Dunyarzad, who is running from Dehya, a bodyguard appointed to her by her parents. Dehya agrees to help the Traveler fulfill Dunyarzad's dream of seeing the Sabzeruz Festival, which is being organized by Nilou, a dancer, but is in danger of being shut down by the Akademiya. While preparations for the festival are underway, Dehya helps the Traveler find a way to see Kusanali by leading them to investigate a theft from the Akademiya at Port Ormos. There, the Traveler is helped by Alhaitham and helps him secure a Knowledge Capsule from Dori, who works as a black merchant for the banned Knowledge Capsules. The Traveler finishes their work with Alhaitham and returns to Sumeru City the next day. However as each day progresses, the Traveler and Paimon realize that they are trapped inside a dream loop and follows a young girl to a safe area. The girl, named Nahida, revealed herself to be Lesser Lord Kusanali. She is the God of Wisdom who is imprisoned by the Sages in the Sanctuary of Surathana, as they did not deem her a suitable replacement for their previous god, Greater Lord Rukkhadevata, but she could visit dreams and peoples' consciousness. Nahida proposes a solution and works with the Traveler to break the loop. The Traveler deduces that Nilou is the host of the dream causing the loop and helps her terminate it, causing the Traveler and Paimon to leave the loop.

Nahida and the Traveler together trick a sage into agreeing to give them the documents pertaining to what exactly the sages are planning. However, they are ambushed by Il Dottore, #2 of the Fatui Harbingers, at the Akademiya, who has manipulated the minds of the people of Sumeru. Traveler and Paimon escape (but are ambushed by Dottore's mercenaries several times), while Nahida restores the minds of the people of Sumeru, causing Dottore to realize that she is the Dendro Archon.

Nahida and the Traveler meet up again and are given a revelation revolving the Harbinger Scaramouche's past. They are ambushed for a final time by Dottore's mercenaries. Nahida and the Traveler swap consciousness and Traveler learns that the Akademiya, together with Dottore, are in the process of turning Scaramouche into a god. Dottore succeeds in separating Nahida permanently from the Traveler. After being advised by Tighnari to head to the desert, Traveler manages to meet up with Alhaitham and Cyno, the General Mahamatra of the Akademiya who has come to punish Alhaitham for stealing forbidden knowledge capsules. Dehya and a desert village dweller, Candace, also get involved. The group learn that scholars have been disappearing from the desert village and after investigating, learn that the Eremites, a faction of desert mercenaries, have been kidnapping scholars to resurrect their long-dead god, King Deshret. The Eremites resent the people of Sumeru, for they believe Rukkhadevata and King Deshret were steadfast enemies, and that Rukkhadevata has caused the desert dwellers to live in poverty. They eventually learn that the Akademiya has misled the Eremites into infighting, and that King Deshret and Rukkhadevata sacrificed their lives together for Sumeru.

Development

Genshin Impact began development as early as late January 2017, with an initial team of 120 people, which grew to 400 by the end of that year, and reached 700 by February 2021.[56][57] miHoYo revealed the game in June 2019 at E3 2019.[58][59] The game was developed using the Unity Engine.[60] The game had a development and marketing budget of around $100 million, making it one of the most expensive video games to develop.[61] Between the announcement and release closed beta tests were held, allowing invited players to explore and interact with the open world.[62][63] The game includes voice-overs in four languages, and 13 different languages for text.[64][65][66][c]

 
miHoYo took inspirations from real life locations, such as Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in the Hunan province of China, whilst developing the world of Teyvat.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is held in high regard by the development team, and is cited as one of the main inspirations for Genshin Impact.[67] Development was aimed at making the game different and fun from other MMORPGs in terms of its quest and combat systems as well as its random events and mode of exploration.[68] The game was designed to be cross-platform as developing the game for PC and console allowed the developers to raise graphical fidelity for the game, such as rendering realistic shadows.[67] The overall artistic vision of the game is intended to combine anime art style with more key elements from real-world cultures.[69] For example, Liyue was first conceived of as a reimagining of Chinese culture through a fantasy perspective, and was combined with reference material from Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Tianmen Mountain to create the region.[69]

Music

Yu-Peng Chen of HOYO-MiX composed the game's original score, which was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.[70][71][72] The approach to creating the soundtrack is to immerse players within the game, and provide emotional and beautiful melodies.[73] Based upon a foundation of Western music, the score also has regional and cultural influences added depending upon the region.[74] For example, in Mondstadt Chen used woodwind instruments to reflect Mondstadt's association with wind and freedom.[73] In contrast, the battle themes use polyphony and other composing techniques, as well as mimicking orchestrion elements from composers such as Beethoven.[73] Several soundtrack albums featuring music about characters and regions of the game have been released periodically.[75][76][77][78][79] For his work on the soundtrack Chen was awarded the "Outstanding Artist—Newcomer/Breakthrough" at the 2020 Annual Game Music Awards.[73] In an interview published in April 2021 Chen expressed interest in releasing the soundtracks on CD, as well as hosting concerts in the future.[73] The first concert was held virtually on October 3, 2021, titled "Melodies of an Endless Journey" and featured multiple bands and an orchestra performing various soundtracks from the game.[80][81][82][83] A second virtual concert was held on February 4, 2022, titled "Reflections of Spring" featuring the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra performing soundtracks from the Liyue region.[84][85]

Release

The worldwide release, September 28, was announced on August 17 for PC and mobile platforms, and on August 28 it revealed that the PlayStation 4 version would be releasing on the same date.[86][87] The game was made available on PlayStation 5 through backwards compatibility on November 11.[88][1] On April 28, 2021, the PlayStation 5 version of the game was released, featuring enhanced visuals, improved loading times, and DualSense controller support.[89][90][91] The game will be released on Nintendo Switch, though no release window has been announced.[92] In May 2022, the development team confirmed that the Nintendo Switch version is still in development.[93][94]

Prior to its release the game had over 10 million registrations, with over half of that from outside China.[95][96] According to some, the game was the biggest international release of any Chinese video game.[61][97] In the lead up to release, the game won the Tokyo Game Show Media Awards 2020 public poll, ranking first among 14 other games.[98]

Shortly after the launch of the game, miHoYo announced a schedule for content updates over the following months.[99] These content updates are planned to be implemented into the game every six weeks.[99] Additional patches in the future will add more events and new areas of Teyvat.[100][1][101] As a long-term project, much of the game remains to be finished. On release, only two of the seven major regions intended for the game were released, and miHoYo anticipates it will take several years for the game's story to be completed.[102] In a presentation given in February 2021, miHoYo president Cai Haoyu estimated that ongoing development for the game would cost $200 million per year.[57] Prior to the release of the game, miHoYo released a manga detailing the background of its characters and the fictional world of Teyvat, and other future plans include a line of comics, toys, and a possible movie.[103][104]

In September 2022, miHoYo announced a partnership with Japanese animation studio Ufotable to develop an anime based on the game, accompanied by a concept trailer.[105]

Controversies

When the game was first unveiled at the ChinaJoy convention in 2019, it was initially met with criticisms claiming that the game had similarities to Breath of the Wild.[106] Zelda fans at the convention showed explicit gestures towards the Sony booth, with one individual destroying their PlayStation 4 console in protest.[107][108]

Shortly after release, players discovered that the game's kernel-based anti-cheat system would remain active after the game was closed or uninstalled,[109] which raised concerns that the game had installed spyware.[110] Some Japanese players using iOS devices also observed that the game read the contents of players' clipboards while starting up.[111] miHoYo announced that both issues were the result of coding errors and have been addressed and fixed.[112]

On October 6, 2020, journalist and Twitch streamer Kazuma Hashimoto published a video on social media site Twitter demonstrating how political terms controversial in China such as "Hong Kong" and "Taiwan" are censored within the in-game chat.[113] As the developer of the game, miHoYo, is based in China, they are subject to China's censorship policy, which includes complying with a relatively large list of banned words that cannot be used in game or via chat.[113] Other terms not related to Chinese politics are banned as well, such as "Putin", "Hitler", and "Stalin".[114] Extending outside of purely political wordage, innocuous terms such as "enemies" and "words" were also being censored.[115]

In November 2020, the game was met with controversy during a character's release, Zhongli, due to his gameplay and kit being viewed as poor to the point where it was taken as an insult toward Chinese players. miHoYo initially replied to the controversy regarding the character, saying that it was working as intended and there should not be any worry over that.[116] Later, miHoYo issued an apology, and promised to improve the character's kit, through beta testing for version 1.3.[117]

In March 2021, fast food company KFC announced a collaboration event in China that offered exclusive pins and in-game items to customers who turned up and shouted the phrase "Meet in another world, enjoy delicious food!" at the restaurant's employees.[118] As a result, KFC outlets in Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou were overrun with fans. Despite authorities' best efforts to maintain COVID-19 regulations, the promotion was forced to shut down.[119]

In April 2021, some called for a boycott of the game over claims of bigotry in the game's content.[120][121] Some other users pointed out how the only playable characters with dark skin were described as "exotic" or "scary" in the game.[121] Criticism was also aimed at one of the game's adult characters expressing love towards another character that appears to be a child, though this may have been an oversight as the character in question was noted to have used an adult model during earlier stages of development.[120][121]

The game's first anniversary celebrations in September 2021 received criticism due to the company's handling on the event. Fans of the game criticized the anniversary rewards in comparison to rewards for community events that favored content creators.[122][123] miHoYo did not release any comment about the rewards, and the game was review-bombed by fans, driving its overall score in the Google Play Store down from 4.5 initially, to 1.9.[124] miHoYo's other games, Honkai Impact 3rd and Tears of Themis received the same review-bombing by fans amidst the controversy.[125][126] The company made a formal apology to the players in response to the review bombing, responding with making the paid bundle pack planned to be sold in the upcoming live concert as a free 4-day login gift.[127]

On August 24, 2022, the game released the 3.0 version, introducing the Sumeru region. However, Sumeru's characters are thought to be "clearly inspired by cultures of Southwest Asia, North Africa and South Asia", but most of them are white-skinned, prompting accusations of whitewashing. On August 26, 2022, the voice actor of the character Dori in English, Anjali Kunapaneni, received a lot of harassment and criticism, forcing her to turn off the DM of her Twitter account.[128][129]

Security concerns

The game has been criticized for initially lacking security features ubiquitous on other sites, like two-factor authentication. On October 19, 2020, a vulnerable security flaw was discovered that exposed the phone number linked to a player's account during the password recovery attempt on the miHoYo website, however the issue was not rectified until November 9, 2020.[130] miHoYo has issued notices following the wake of security exposures, informing players to be careful about sharing account details and to bind their account to their email address and phone number.[131][132] In May 2021, two-factor authentication was added whenever the player signs in on a new device.[133][134]

Similar to other online games, the game uses an anti-cheat system implemented by a kernel driver. The driver is used to prevent other programs from performing code injection, memory inspection, and other process manipulation. Originally, the anti-cheat driver would remain loaded after the game exited. This issue was rectified shortly after the game's release, and now unloads as soon as the game exits.[135][110]

Reception

Genshin Impact received "generally favorable reviews" according to review aggregator Metacritic.[137][138] The open world of Teyvat drew praise; IGN's Travis Northup described Teyvat as "a world that is absolutely bursting at the seams with possibilities", and Hardcore Gamer's Jordan Helm described it as "one big environmental puzzle".[17][140] Liyue in particular was picked out by Kotaku's Sisi Jiang for being "one of the most exciting regions that I've visited in a video game in years", before continuing on to discuss how the region "shows an idealized portrayal of Chinese social relations that exists in localized pockets".[144] Game Informer characterized the game as an incredible experience, noting that "[t]he gameplay loop of collection, upgrading, and customization is captivating and compelling".[139] The execution of gameplay impressed Pocket Gamer, and Destructoid's Chris Carter called the combat system "one of the most interesting things" about the game.[3][142] NPR remarked that the game had an abundance of content despite being free to play, and Forbes commended the game as one that feels coherent and complete.[145][146] Gene Park of The Washington Post lauded the game as revolutionary for the genre, having players "imagine a mobile gaming world with titles with quality that matches the industry's top-tier experiences".[147] Polygon also praised the game for differentiating itself from its peers, heralding its arrival as mobile games become more mainstream and appealing to "an audience outside the typical mobile gaming demographic" and "new players without the hardware to play more conventional and resource-hogging RPGs".[148]

Most of the criticisms about Genshin Impact come from the endgame aspects of the game, Kotaku noting that although the game provides a solid experience it also has "some of the typical bullshit that comes along with a zero-dollar price tag".[149] GameSpot echoed this criticism, noting that the game is "hampered a bit by the restrictions its free-to-play model imposes".[8] Paul Tassi of Forbes criticized the resin system, noting that to progress past a certain point one must "spend an absurd amount of money to get around the last few timegates [sic] of the game".[150][151] PC Gamer said that playing the endgame becomes "a slog", and that the resin system "feels so unnecessary".[152] Warning players about how predatory the monetization is, The Washington Post added that such a well-designed game from an aesthetic standpoint can lead some to gamble with the game's gacha system.[24]

Awards

Apple awarded Genshin Impact with "iPhone Game of the Year" in the App Store Best of 2020 and the 2021 Apple Design Awards for Visuals and Graphics.[153][154] The game also won Google Play's "Best Game of 2020" and was nominated for "Users' Choice Game" at the Best of 2020 awards.[155][156] At the TapTap Game Awards 2020, the game won "Game of the Year".[157] The game was also nominated for Best RPG and Best Mobile Game at The Game Awards 2020,[158] and for Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards.[159] The game was nominated for Best Ongoing Game and won Best Mobile Game at The Game Awards 2021.[160]

Commercial performance

On mobile platforms, Genshin Impact saw 23 million downloads and grossed approximately $60 million within a week after its release.[148][97] Within two weeks, that figure rose to over $100 million, recouping its development and marketing budget.[161] Its strong performance continued through October 2020 as the game was the highest-grossing game worldwide during that month.[162] Its largest revenue came from China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States, with 69 percent of mobile revenue coming from outside China itself during this time period specifically.[163][164] In the United States, its release was the largest launch of a role-playing game on mobile in history.[164]

On mobile platforms, Genshin Impact had grossed over $393 million within two months after release and over $1 billion by the end of March 2021, the third highest revenue from a mobile game during that time frame after Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile, making it one of the highest grossing mobile games of all time and the fastest game to reach that milestone on Google Play and the App Store.[165][166] By October 2021, the game had grossed $2 billion.[167][168] It became the world's third highest-grossing mobile game of 2021,[169] with $1.9 billion grossed that year.[170] By December 2021, the game had grossed $3 billion on iOS and Android devices worldwide. The game's largest mobile market is China with 30% of revenue, followed by Japan with 23% and then the United States with 20% of revenue.[171]

Across all platforms (including mobile, console and computer platforms), the game is estimated to have grossed nearly $3.7 billion in its first year by September 2021, the highest ever first-year launch revenue for any video game.[172] The mobile version grossed a further $567 million between January and March 2022,[173] adding up to more than $4.267 billion grossed as of March 2022.

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Its subsidiary Cognosphere Pte. Ltd. d/b/a HoYoverse, which is based in Singapore, has managed all of miHoYo's global operations outside of China since February 15, 2022.
  2. ^ Chinese: 原神; pinyin: Yuánshén; Japanese: 原神げんしん; rōmaji: Genshin; "Genshin"
  3. ^ Voiceover languages include Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean. Text languages include Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese.

References

  1. ^ a b c Skrebels, Joe (October 30, 2020). "Genshin Impact 1.1 Update Details Revealed, Coming November". IGN. Archived from the original on December 25, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
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