Breath of the Wild-like freemium hit 'Genshin Impact' grossed $245 million on mobile in...

Polycount

Posts: 2,686   +564
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In context: Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is arguably a gold standard game in the open-world genre: gorgeous graphics, unprecedented world interactivity, and free-form gameplay have earned it numerous awards. Recently, Chinese studio miHoYo decided to try their hand at a similar experience in the form of "Genshin Impact," an incredibly popular BOTW-like single player action-RPG that launched on PC, the PS4, and mobile devices a few weeks ago.

A random, thrown-together BOTW clone wouldn't be worthy of much consideration under ordinary circumstances. However, Genshin's astounding $245 million in first-month gross profits -- on mobile devices alone -- proves there's far more to it than that. Indeed, the freemium hit has had one of the biggest launch months in mobile gaming history, surpassed only by giants like Pokemon Go.

So, what is the secret sauce that has allowed the game to flourish? For starters, unlike BOTW, Genshin Impact is entirely free, and it's available on just about every platform you can think of (barring Xbox One -- for now).

That alone would be enough to entice plenty of people to give it a shot, especially if they don't have access to a Nintendo Switch (and, thus, Breath of the Wild).

However, Genshin is also pulling in new fans through its gameplay. Like BOTW, you'll find yourself climbing, gliding, and sprinting through the massive cell-shaded world, but you do with a party of four heroes. You can only control one of them at a time, but you can instantly swap between them with the touch of a button.

This is important because every character has their own (mostly) unique set of abilities, and these abilities can interact with each other. For example, you might rush into the fray with a water magic-wielding fighter to douse your enemies and then quickly switch to a lightning witch to combo into some shock attacks.

Or, you might set the ground on fire and then switch to a wind-based character to launch a tornado through the flames. The tornado will then catch fire and burn any enemies it manages to suck in.

There's a surprising amount of depth to be found within these interactions, and one of the most entertaining parts of the game is unlocking different heroes and attempting to put together a perfectly-optimized party.

Also similar to BOTW, Genshin rewards exploration. You'll stumble upon random encounters, temples, open-world puzzles, and various collectibles as you run around, ensuring that you never feel like you're wasting your time by avoiding the main story.

There is one downside to all this greatness, though: since Genshin is a "gacha" game, your progression is primarily driven through purchasing or earning enough in-game currency to snag "Wishes," which are essentially loot boxes. These Wishes can contain new characters, new equipment, and other miscellaneous items.

Since this system is so RNG-dependent, it's quite possible to open up dozens of Wishes without getting that specific character you want (or, indeed, any character at all).

To be clear, the game won't hang you out to dry entirely if your luck stinks. Just by playing the story, you'll unlock more than enough characters to fill out your party, and by level 30, you'll likely have at least 9 or 10 heroes to toy around with.

Regardless, it seems the system isn't bothering players too much if the game's revenue figures mentioned above are anything to go by. Whether the success is due to Genshin's mobile availability or simply its compelling gameplay and world, it is doing remarkably well for itself.

And, if we had to guess, we'd say the game's popularity will probably only grow from here -- so long as miHoYo continues to support it with regular updates, that is. If you want to give Genshin Impact a shot, download it from TechSpot's software section.

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S Hone

Posts: 32   +23
That is such a rip off... I would like to see some original IP from China, this is just a copy of Zelda, pathetic. The mechanics sound nice, why did they have to copy Zelda so blatantly?
 

Hollow

Posts: 23   +9
Currently addicted to this game (AR 40), all characters are nice and are able to become powerful (except Amber I guess lol).
In doubt you should give it a try, it's a really nice game and the game mechanics and element system are well though out. Voice acting is also very well done in all, if not, most languages. Very immersive.

The gacha part is present but the rates are so low that if you want something in particular you'll probably have to spend thousands of dollars to increase your chances to get it.

In one week, you'll probably be able to farm for about 30$ worth of gacha currency, if you have just started playing you get a big head start and you will be able to get around 100$ worth of gacha currency very fast.

Free to play players are able to reach endgame content without too much troubles.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,065   +890
And to me they don’t “copy” the Zelda they “copy” the “The 4th Coming” (an old game from France).
Zelda predates the 4th Coming, and I don't see much in common anyway between this game and T4C besides the fact they're both MMOs. To deny that the game is highly derivative of both Zelda and Japanese anime-manga in general is rather naive.

I'm tired of "Gacha" games
'Gacha': the Japanese word for cheating.
 

Verrm

Posts: 55   +27
I recommend it especially on mobile since there are close to no such high console-quality games on mobile. The downside is gacha system which to make money requires from game to be grindy. Imagine what if Skyrim would require from you to log in every day and grind quests to progress in the story. It hurts. So I want to recommend a healthy approach to the game - play till it's fun, then quit. You will most probably finished a lot of main story, so you'll have tons of fun, because story is awesome. Just stay away from gacha's predatory system, if you want to spend money do it only if the purpose is to tip creators, not because it makes you progress in the game.
It is a single-player title. So play it like single player RPG - till it stops being fun. Don't grind or pay for progress. It won't make you more happy.
 
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tellmewhy

Posts: 48   +16
Zelda predates the 4th Coming, and I don't see much in common anyway between this game and T4C besides the fact they're both MMOs. To deny that the game is highly derivative of both Zelda and Japanese anime-manga in general is rather naive.
If they didn’t had put big eyes to chars selena gomez will had sue them because they have “stole” her “likeness” ?

Don’t just stay on the eyes of chars and the stamina graph on the center of the screen, check the other core mechanics, the map topology, the mobs and you will see there are similarities.
 
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Paultimate

Posts: 20   +11
I think I've transcended beyond feeling like this is a ripoff. That way of thinking is very juvenile and ignorant. I think I will give this game a try. Games that aspire to sit within the shadow of greatness that is one of the best games of all time, must have their mind and maybe hearts in the right places.

From the screenshot it looks like they put a good deal of effort into the game. Its worth at least the effort to calm yourself and try it out, and possibly question why you are so angry about certain things where they may not deserve it.
 
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Porkous

Posts: 112   +29
What is good about this game is that it pushes the barriers in terms of technicality on mobile platforms. If the switch impressed by having exact copy of PC games transferred on its system, with Genshin we have all the platforms supported at the same time. For a mobile game it is pretty impressive, since you literally have no loading screen for such vast space and interactivity. Of course, it does look good on PC, even if has traces of mobile design. It is worth for exploring the world IMO, and the design of the characters. I don't care about other titles, since I did not play them as I barely play this, too.
 
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bexwhitt

Posts: 508   +208
That is such a rip off... I would like to see some original IP from China, this is just a copy of Zelda, pathetic. The mechanics sound nice, why did they have to copy Zelda so blatantly?
If Nintendo didn't hog their titles to their platform there would be no need for this. Not everybody owns or wants a switch. The great ghana sisters being kiboshed by Nintendo still rankles me.