Genshin Impact, the free-to-play action RPG developed and published by miHoYo, which was released for Microsoft Windows, PS4, Android, and iOS on September 28, 2020, has raked in more than $100 million in less than two weeks.
The game, which has been an instant hit in Japan, Korea, China, and the US, has been downloaded more than 17 million times on mobile devices alone, making it the most successful global launch of a Chinese game ever. Announced in January 2017, Genshin Impact had a budget of $100 million.
Its development, however, was not without controversy. Some fans noted the similarity between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Genshin Impact in terms of presentation and gameplay after the first trailer was released and showed up to protest at Genshin Impact’s booth at 2019’s ChinaJoy convention.
The uproar does not seem to have discouraged sales, though. Prior to its release, the game had 21.3 million preregistrations, 16 million in China alone. In addition to the debate about its similarity to Breath of the Wild, the game has also garnered criticism for its censorship. Twitch streamer Kazuma Hashimoto uploaded a video to Twitter in which he demonstrated how terms such as Hong Kong and Taiwan are censored within the in-game chat.
Yet as Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad reminded everyone, all Chinese games must comply with government policies that ban certain words from being used in-game or via chat, including Putin, Hitler, or Stalin. This censorship prohibits content that “threatens China’s national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.”
Genshin Impact has received generally favorable reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic, which awarded the game a Metascore of 83 and a user score of 7.7 for PC, and a Metascore of 80 and a user score of 7.2 for PS4. Meanwhile, Game Informer’s Daniel Tack has praised the open world direction and design of the game and Destructoid’s Chris Carter called the combat system “one of the most interesting things about Genshin Impact.” No release date for the Nintendo Switch version of the game has been announced yet.
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