Speaking at miHoYo’s recent Genshin Impact FES event, Liu “Dawei” Wei, president and team member of Genshin Impact developers, shared the emotional journey they went through during the development process. The closed beta release of the game received numerous comparisons and criticisms for its perceived similarities to Nintendo’s acclaimed title.
Wei revealed that many young colleagues were left in tears, questioning what they had done wrong. However, despite this setback, the team persevered with their youthful spirit and fearlessness.
Chinese gamers have shown a growing distaste for games that draw inspiration from other genres, fearing that their industry will be seen as derivative. As a result, Genshin Impact faced significant initial negative backlash, with one individual even publicly destroying his PlayStation 4 in protest.
Despite the criticism, Genshin Impact turned out to be a massive success. The game benefited greatly from the global circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, which kept a large portion of the audience indoors and contributed to the game’s popularity.
MiHoYo’s ongoing support for the game has ensured its continued dominance, and the studio was recognized as one of the Top 50 Game Makers by PocketGamer.biz last year.
Ironically, Genshin Impact now faces competition from MiHoYo’s latest title, Honkai: Star Rail. This new game builds upon the formula established by Genshin Impact, just as The Legend of Zelda series continues to innovate with its latest entry, Tears of the Kingdom. Both series have managed to earn their respective reputations, despite their initial similarities.