19 Genshin Impact

C. M. Clark

Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact is an open-word fantasy RPG developed by miHoYo and released for PC, Android, iOS, and PS4 in 2020. The game received a next-generation release on the PS5 in 2021. The game was published by miHoYo in mainland China but is distributed globally by HoYoverse. miHoYo used the Unity engine to develop the game starting in 2017.


The game is set in the fictional land of Teyvat, divided between nations ruled by gods. The game is notable for drawing influences from various real-world cultures when designing each nation. Gameplay consists mainly of combat and exploration, in which players juggle four different party members and their abilities to defeat enemies and complete quests and challenges. Different elemental attack combinations, such as water and shock, can be stacked on enemies to achieve bonus damage and special effects. All of this can be done with the help of other players through the game’s co-op mode.


Genshin Impact isn’t monetized like video games were in the past, with up-front purchases and paid DLC expansions. Instead, the game uses a games-as-a-service business model, a form of monetization increasing in popularity with video game developers since the mid-2010s. Installing the game is free, while the publisher generates profits through gacha game mechanics. Players can use a combination of in-game currencies to purchase cosmetics and other items, with them also having the option to exchange real-world money for premium currency. The system is reminiscent of the loot-box systems employed by other recent online video games, such as Fortnite, Overwatch, and Apex Legends.


Though generally approving of the game’s writing and mechanics, some critics and journalists in the video game industry have levied ethical criticisms against Genshin’s monetization model, among other games. Many see the process of exchanging real-world money for a dice-roll chance to get the specific item one wants as functionally identical to gambling. Much of the money corporations earn through these models is earned from so-called “whales,” players willing to drop thousands of dollars on the in-game economy. There are also instances of children and adults with gambling or shopping addictions driving their families to the brink of financial ruin using these systems.


The arguments made by these critics were compelling enough for the governments of the United States and the EU to attempt to regulate these practices, but it looks like Genshin and other games like it are here to stay. miHoYo netted $3.8 billion from the game in 2022, making it the highest ever first year revenue gain of any video game ever. The game’s accessibility and popularity demonstrate the ability of Chinese game developers to successfully compete with other high-profile game publishers and developers in the region, such as Konami and Nintendo.


Impact, Mundo Genshin. “🥇 ▷ How Did It Develop Genshin Impact? miHoYo Explains the Details !!” MUNDO GENSHIN IMPACT, August 28, 2020. https://mundogenshinimpact.com/en/noticias/genshin-impact-desarrollo/.


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Genshin Impact Copyright © 2024 by C. M. Clark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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