Genshin Impact is a Chinese-made Breath of the Wild clone. The game is free-to-play, which says a lot about most titles in its league. Even then, players are receptive to it, even if it is a title heavy on the gacha-aspect.
The pre-registrations don’t lie, and the videos and streams support it. While not many Chinese games had successful launches, Genshin is in a different league.
So far, Genshin has good figures by its side. The game has 5.3 million pre-registrations outside mainland China. At launch, the game had more stream viewers than Fortnite on Twitch too.
The feedback from media outlets and players is equally optimistic. Players love the open-world aspect of the title, and the visual design is superb. It also helps that the cel-shaded graphics and fluid animation calls to gamers’ inner weeb.
The single-player RPG itself is impressive, offering anime-style Breath of the Wild mechanics. For PC and mobile gamers with no access to the Nintendo game, this is the closest alternative.
It’s also surprising that the game is doing well for a gacha game. The West has a well-documented dislike for titles funded by gacha. Gacha, in layman’s terms, is a lottery system that lets players get various characters, skins, and items for a fee.
The gacha is similar to the loot crate, which is garnering controversy at the moment. The only difference is that gacha has streamlined drops compared to loot boxes.
Genshin Impact is a clear sign that the Chinese gaming industry is catching up. Even then, the level of originality in their industry is still suspect. It doesn’t help that Chinese apps are under investigation from the current US administration.
According to reports, Genshin is now among the top-grossing apps on the Apple App Store. It’s only second to Chinese social media app Tiktok, which speaks for its staying power. It will take time, however, to learn if MiHoYo can recoup their investment.
The game is free-to-play, using gacha as its primary source of income. The game reportedly had a dev budget of $100 million. Considering how much cheaper it is to develop games in China, much of this number likely went to marketing.
Genshin Impact is quite ok despite its first brush with kernel-level anti-cheat software. Even then, it will still take time until everyone learns if it’s a real success. What’s important now is people know Chinese game devs can do the job.
Featured image courtesy of Genshin Impact/Youtube Screenshot
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