Genshin Impact is an upcoming free-to-play, open-world action role-playing video game developed by a Chinese game company miHoYo.
MiHoYo first announced it on Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2019 and attracted wide attention from Chinese players.
On the one hand, it is the first open-world game created by a Chinese game company for mobile phones. On the other hand, because its art style and the gameplay shown in the trailer are extremely similar to those of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, some Chinese hardcore players are angry.
In the following year, Genshin Impact announced a lot of news and several rounds of internal testing. Finally, it will be officially released on Android, iOS, Windows, PS4, and Nintendo Switch platforms on September 28, 2020.
But on September 15, 2020, Genshin Impact started the last test of the PC version. Unlike in the past, this round is a public test, and any player in China can register directly on the official website and start the game.
However, the public test broke the fairy tale previously described by miHoYo around Genshin Impact. Chinese players are no longer angry that it copied Nintendo’s Zelda game, simply thinking that the game is not worth playing.
First of all, the scale of the game is much smaller than that described by miHoYo.
Although Genshin Impact has always been compared to Breath of the Wild, the capacity of the game is much smaller than Breath of the Wild. Because the PC version of the Genshin Impact test client was not encrypted effectively, someone on Weibo analyzed directly from the Genshin Impact client that dubbing files accounted for 6.5 GB of the game’s 11.92 GB capacity.
This directly leads to the poor mapping quality of the game in many scenarios:
This quality of the picture is barely feasible in the field of mobile games, but as PC or PS4 games, it is intolerable and does not match the high-quality game pictures previously claimed by miHaYo.
Although there is no clear evidence that the game client used in this public test is the final version, it is difficult to explain why miHoYo is testing with an unfinished version at this point in time. In addition, the game data of this test will be inherited from the official server.
Another part of the criticism is aimed at the microtransaction of the game. Genshin Impact is a basic free game, which means it must include microtransaction. However, according to feedback from Chinese players, the current Genshin Impact uses a sales strategy similar to that kind of Japanese card collection mobile games, which means players need to spend a very high amount of money to get better gaming experience.
In a Weibo post from a Chinese influencer, it was mentioned that Genshin Impact’s weapons upgrade system and character upgrade system is not only grinding but also expensive. Paid characters and paid weapons are several times more effective than the usual version, which means that either you spend a lot of time on the game or you spend a lot of money on the game.
In another anonymous chat, one player satirized the game as “very friendly to free players” because “even if you spend 30,000 yuan in the game, you won’t get anything in the game.”
The last problem is the positioning of Genshin Impact.
If the game is targeted at mobile games, then the problems exposed at this stage may not be a real problem, because people usually do not have too many expectations for mobile games.
But in previous promotional strategies, miHoYo has always hinted that the game has the quality of PC games. And in the end, players can play the game on almost any terminals, which means that people have high expectations for the quality of the game.
The real problem with this strategy was discussed in an anonymous comment, which brought a bad atmosphere to the gaming industry:
- if players ask why the picture quality of the game is poor, they reply that it is because it is suitable for the mobile game experience.
- if players ask why they have such a fever when playing the game on mobile phones, they reply that it is because it is a PC level game.
- if players ask why there is a lot of paid content in a standalone game, they reply that it is an online game.
- if players ask why it is so socially weak as an online game, they respond that it is a standalone game.
Although this is not the first time Genshin Impact has received a lot of bad reviews on Chinese social networks, according to official data, the game has more than 10 million pre-registered times worldwide and has become the most-watched mobile game in China in 2020.
This is understandable because, as in the past, most of the criticism this time comes from players who are used to PC and console games. Despite their influence on social media, they are actually in the minority in China’s gaming market.
For most Chinese players who only play mobile games, Genshin Impact is really a mobile game to look forward to.