We take a look back and offer you a review of the evolution of the miHoYo title, Genshin Impact, from its launch to the present.
The past 2020 was full of great video game launches for all tastes. It was a year marked by the arrival of the next-gen with PS5 and Xbox Series X / S, but not for that reason were those titles that served as a finishing touch to close the previous generation of consoles. There was also room for surprises. Those works that, being new or old releases, managed to reach an unprecedented level of success. Names like Among Us or Fall Guys are in this category as well as Genshin Impact, the proposal of the Chinese studio miHoYo that has managed to become a great worldwide success, managing to raise millions of dollars and captivate an extensive player base.
As the weeks have passed, they have managed to fulfill their promise based on keeping the title updated with the arrival of new events, characters, areas, missions and more. But, what is the reason behind this great success and how have you managed to harvest it in such a short time? We look back to see how Genshin Impact has evolved over the months since its launch, what are the keys to its success and what is the future that awaits this year 2021 and beyond.
The story of miHoYo and its experience with Honkai Impact 3rd
“Tech Otakus Save the World” is the motto of the Shanghai, China-based development studio behind Genshin Impact. It is his latest creation, and therefore not the first. We could consider them true experts in the genre they deal with, since they have been in the industry for more than eight years and the work at hand is not their only success. miHoYo was founded in 2012 by three students from Jiao Tong University who had many dreams in mind and good ideas in their hands. As a curiosity, we can say that the name of the company is an acronym for “my”, a term that expresses strong motivation and also has nerdy connotations. To check at a glance what they have achieved in this time, we can mention that in just eight years they have managed to multiply their numbers to more than 1,500 people working (data from 2020).
In 2011 they were able to capture their ideas for the first time with the launch of their first video game, called FlyMe2theMoon for iOS. However, it was not until the following year when they were able to officially register their establishment and, to celebrate, they released their second work: “Zombiegal Kawaii”, which is currently deactivated. They continued to work hard to launch the so-called “Guns GirlZ” in 2014, the benefits of which eventually enabled them to establish a Japanese subsidiary. Due to the strong link with the Japanese and otaku culture that miHoYo’s works have, it was one of their objectives to expand borders and not close only in Chiina, but to end up being known throughout the world.
They achieved this goal despite the downturn they had in 2018, as the Department of Cultural Law Enforcement gave them a touch for operating online games without having the proper license to do so. They solved it (since by then they already had enough capital to pay for it) and they managed to fulfill their dream with Honkai Impact 3rd (2016), their fourth release but the one that really marked a new point on the path to the company’s success. . In just 11 days, in Japan it managed to harvest up to a million downloads and when it reached other territories the figure multiplied to 35 million. Its approach shares certain aspects with the future Genshin Impact (such as being free to play, gacha mechanics, having very attractive female characters, etc.), although with some changes and limitations, since it was limited to appearing on mobile devices:
“We were inspired by some classic action console games, like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. We really wanted to bring this kind of top-notch 3D action experience to mobile devices. We also wanted players to dive into Honkai IP and put a lot of effort into integrating story scenes into the game’s progression, ”CEO Forrest Liu explained in an interview with PocketGamer.biz in 2018. And they succeeded, as They created an active and passionate community around the world that has not hesitated to rely on the good know-how of miHoYo for the creation of their future works and the maintenance of Honkai Impact 3rd over the years.
The reason for the success of Genshin Impact
Originally, when they started developing it in 2017, they pitched it as a great free JRPG for mobile devices. As the CEO and co-founder of the company, Forrest Liu explains to Powerup: “It was a big risk from a technical and design perspective. But we knew that Apple’s flagship devices would soon be powerful enough to run these types of games. So, we decided to jump with both feet. Today we have more than 400 developers working on this project, and by the end of this year, we will have invested more than 100 million dollars in it ”(a budget that they have already more than recovered).
To understand why Genshin Impact has managed to conquer such a wide and varied base of players, we must first explain the phenomenon of gachapon. It is a concept whose origin we could consider Japanese, since it comes from the toy capsule vending machines that ended up spreading around the world. Specifically, “Gashapon” is an onomatopoeia that unites the sounds of “gasha” (the manual start of the machine) and “pon” (sound produced by balls or capsules when falling). This is something that has ended up being transferred to the digital field and video games, although the idea can be found in other collecting systems such as cards, stickers and others.
Therefore, more than the “ball machine” itself, it is the concept of gachapon that we have to stay with to understand the phenomenon of Genshin Impact. We can find it in games like Love Live, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle, Fire Emblem Heroes, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Granblue Fantasy, Honkai Impact 3rd, Kingdom Hearts χ, Mario Kart Tour, One Piece Treasure Cruise and Pokémon Masters EX, among many others. These are mostly simple games for mobile devices, with a very affordable barrier to entry or directly free but with internal in-app purchases. Normally these “gacha rolls” to get characters, skins, weapons or any type of item are not necessary to advance in the games in question, but merely aesthetic. However, each case is unique in itself.
In the title miHoYo it is translated into the form of unique characters and weapons cataloged according to their rarity by a scale that reaches up to 5 stars. By law, any company that has a game of these characteristics whose elements are bordering on the line of gambling must establish marked and legal bases in which they indicate what are the probabilities of getting each type of item, since in case On the contrary, there could be the question of whether it is really possible to do so or it is a hoax. In order to give you an example, we can mention that we have 0.6% of getting a 5-star reward in Genshin Impact, but it is guaranteed that every 100 spins we will get at least one. As for the four stars, if we make a roll of 10 we would also have to get one (minimum).
The fact of including attractive characters and powerful weapons in the game creates a need for players to spend real money to obtain protogems and thus be able to make several consecutive rolls with the aim of increasing their digital collection and getting their favorites. It is also worth mentioning that a strong and active community has been built around the game despite the fact that it has been available for just over three months. This has been thanks, in part, to a good communication on the part of miHoYo through its official communication media such as social networks since every time they detect an error in the game they fix it and reward the players with free gems, among other things.
In the same interview mentioned above, the company’s vice president, Wenji Jin, highlights that the most surprising thing has been to discover the reaction of the fans: “We are always moved by the passion of fans who really have great talent and are willing to express his passions towards the outside. They’ll mix our music, write their own fanfictions, share their in-game discoveries, have fun cosplaying the characters they love the most, and share their fan arts. We had a Halloween event last month and we’ve received over 6,000 player artworks for it. “
I just want Albedo; -; please … # GenshinImpact #GenshinWinter #genshinimpactfanart #albedocomebackhome #Albedo # 原 神 イ ラ ス ト # 原 神 pic.twitter.com/g7qAP7y3u4
– ano.anzu (@ano_anzu) December 26, 2020
But is Genshin Impact really that good to have raised all this fuss? Our answer and personal opinion is totally affirmative. As we mentioned above, gachapon mechanics are usually related to simple games for mobile devices, but the one that concerns us is much more than that. Yes, it is available on iOS and Android, but also on PC and on PS4 and PS5. For this reason, we can choose the platform that we prefer to enter this adventure, since less on Sony consoles (because they are linked to our PS Plus profile), the rest all have cross-save.
Speaking of the game itself, it is not just about making rolls so that our favorite character touches us and being able to show him off through social networks, but Genshin Impact is much more. It has been constantly compared to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild due to its artistic section and mechanics such as being able to climb on any surface, cook, by certain attacks, monsters similar to the Bokoblin and others. Although it is true that they share certain aspects, when we delve into the miHoYo proposal we will discover that it hides much more than we thought at the beginning and that we have a complete game at hand, with a unique essence and a well-built story through missions varied and interesting characters.
Current status and evolution since its launch
On September 28, 2020, when Genshin Impact became available, we found ourselves with a polished game full of possibilities. It was not noticeable as a half-cooked product, but as the result of years of development and well-channeled ideas until it germinated in a game with much to offer. Comprised of an extensive story, well-built characters, and an addictive playable system, it appealed to many of us, and even today we keep logging in constantly to find out what’s new. The gachapones are changing monthly and events are being added, slight changes in various sections and so on, so that throughout these three months since its launch we have found a constant flow of news.
Currently Genshin Impact is going for its version 1.2. It became available on December 23rd and brought with it a new series of main missions, a snowy area full of mysteries to unravel (called DragonSpin), new weapons and equipment and a character named Albedo who heads one of the gachapons available these weeks . After having played and discovered all this content, we can consider that it is a whole expansion that integrates naturally with the rest of the game. Completing the story will not take us more than approximately five hours, but if we want to obtain 100% of the content that is available, we will have to spend many more hours.
Among all this we can highlight the offerings of scarlet agates (which we can obtain by exploring each corner of Espinadragón well) to the “Cold Eternal Tree”. In exchange for these gems we can obtain exclusive weapons, gems to throw gachapon and many other objects of interest. In addition, in the snowy mountain there are several interesting puzzles to solve and a new freezing system by which we will have to look for a heat source every so often if we do not want our character to end up turned into an ice cube.
A promising future
At the beginning of last December 2020, Genshin Impact had already managed to raise up to 400 million dollars. In just two months, miHoYo turned his work into a golden goose, with a profit of $ 6 million a day and placing second on the list of highest grossing mobile games of all the world, thus beating titles such as PUGB Mobile and Pokémon GO. There is no doubt that we are facing a phenomenon that shows no signs of putting the brakes on, but rather of continuing to grow and following a long and successful path.
Regarding the content, we do not doubt that the version of “The Prince of Limestone” will be just the first of many more expansions and updates and that as time passes we will be able to enjoy more areas, control a greater number of characters (if we are lucky and they touch us in the gachapon, of course) and participate in more thematic and special events. miHoYo shows no signs of wanting to stop and in fact we already have some promises of content on the way.
For starters, a great new Japan-inspired region called “Inazuma” has been in development since at least the beginning of last October. It will thus join Mondstadt and Liyue, the two large territories that are available from launch. A good dose of lore, main missions and encounters with new important characters will also await us with the arrival of this future content, whose calendar for now is a mystery. As for a future version of the game for Nintendo Switch, we know that it is a reality but for now we do not know how its particular development progresses.
As Forrest Liu, CEO and co-founder of miHoYo, explained in the Powerup interview: “We will continue to extend our IP and our universe through multiple media. We want to provide a holistic experience in and out of games. To achieve that we have many teams working for us as an anime studio, a comic studio and a dedicated studio exclusively for music, ”to make sure it’s unique. “We even have our own merchansing creation factory” (which we haven’t seen too much of yet but have high hopes for).
The path that Genshin Impact has to go is undoubtedly promising. The “Tech Otakus Save The World” will continue to work hard to keep the numbers very high, the players happy and their work nourished with constant updates. Only time will tell what the future of Genshin Impact is, but the bet we make from FreeGameTips goes along the line that it will continue to be a great success and no matter how much the numbers go up and down over the months, it will continue to reach more and more players to grow your legend to unsuspected limits.