Genshin Impact

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Video game fandom
NameGenshin Impact
Abbreviation(s)Genshin
Developer(s)HoYoverse
Release dateReleased 28 September 2020
External link(s)https://www.hoyoverse.com/en-us
First Anniversary fanart of events up to V1.2 by csyday
Related articles on Fanlore.


Genshin Impact, known in East Asian countries as Genshin (Chinese: 原神, pinyin: Yuánshén; Japanese: 原神, rōmaji: Genshin; Korean: 원신, romaja: Wonsin), is an action role-playing game gacha game developed and published by Hoyoverse. Genshin Impact is the first breakout hit Chinese videogame with huge international appeal, reflecting a shift in video game fandoms[1][2] where the juggernaut fandoms were mainly western or Japanese. It boasts more than 60 million active players as of August 2023.

The story revolves around the protagonist's journey through the world of Teyvat to reunite with their sibling, along with the new adventures each region brings. As of late 2022, four of the seven planned regions have been released.

Fandom

The release of Genshin Impact was highly anticipated.

In particular, some fans of the 2017 game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW) were hyped for Genshin due to perceived similarities between the two games,[3] such as the HD cell-shaded art style and open world environment.

There are cultural differences between the Chinese-Speaking Fandom and the English-Speaking Cmedia Fandom. The CN Genshin community has shown a propensity for fervent "fandom wars" that can be ignited by even the minutest of details. Minor aspects such as a character's portrayal in promotional videos or the portrayal of characters within specific scenes can start drama. The community is also prone to elevate the game's fictional characters to the point of deeming them akin to real-life idols. This also extends to viewing HoYoverse, as an entertainment agency responsible for managing these virtual idols, which can lead to complaints about perceived favoritism and inequitable treatment of characters. In some cases, negative sentiment directed towards HoYoverse includes calls for its financial downfall.[4]

Fandom Communities

The fandom is active on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and Twitch. Officially, there is a popular Genshin Impact Discord server. Hoyoverse also has their own app, Hoyolab, where fans can interact.

  • Twitch: "In June 2023, Genshin Impact streams on video streaming platform Twitch were watched by an average of nine thousand viewers with the most-watched Genshin Twitch streamer being Spanish streamer Putupau".[5]

Hoyoverse fan policy and the Genshin Impact Content Creator Program

Hoyoverse also has a permissive and encouraging fanwork policy. They have freely declared that fanmade merchandise below 500pcs can be sold (with the exception of nendoroids). Furthermore, they release the models of characters on Hoyolab[6], which encourages video-making, particularly with MMD.

Until early 2023, fan creators were invited by Hoyoverse to apply for the Genshin Impact Content Creator Program. Each month, accepted creators would be rewarded with in game currency for the creation of fanworks related to the game. Since then, it has been discontinued with plans announced for another similar, albeit more restrictive, program to replace it. As of March 2023, the exact qualifications and details of the program haven't been fully disclosed.

Characters

The main character of the game is the Traveler. The player can choose between either the male or female twin and rename them as they like, though the "default canon" names are Aether and Lumine respectively (You may also see them referred to by their Chinese names, Kong and Ying respectively). While technically this character is the player and many fans headcanon their own personality, there is a common fanon perception of the two twins characters' emerging from slight differences in their animations.

Character Love

As a gacha game, the large and ever increasing cast of playable characters from each of Teyvat's nations is one of Genshin Impact's major appeals. Character popularity varies depending on which part of fandom you are in and what time it was.

For more details on the large host of characters, see Category:Genshin Impact Characters.

One way many fans engage with the lore is by speculating about the characters and reading into their backstories. For example, following the release of Kaedehara Kazuha's story trailer, fans grew curious about the unnamed boy said to have been Kazuha's close friend before his death. Despite the fact that he remained nameless in the canon, fan content of him and Kazuha as a ship continued to accumulate and Kaedehara Kazuha's friend came to be dubbed by the fandom as Tomo. Tomo is taken from the Japanese word Tomodachi, meaning friend. He is just one of many popular NPCs; other examples include Dainsleif, Enjou, Signora, and Guizhong.

Crossover Characters

Genshin Impact only has one crossover character at present; Aloy is a crossover unit with Horizon:Zero Dawn. However, as there are many other games by HoYoverse, it is common to see Genshin Impact characters compared with or in fanworks with those from Honkai: Star Rail and more rarely Honkai Impact and Tears of Themis.

Fan Theories and Speculation

One popular fan activity is debating the lore of Teyvat and the overall story line. This takes the form of meta, usually posted on Reddit, Hoyoverse (the Mihoyo game platform for fans), Discord, or Twitter.

Controversies and Drama

Leaks

The game has experienced significant issues with leaks, which MiHoyo strongly dislikes. Various attempts to prevent leaks have been unsuccessful due to the widespread dissemination of closed beta test information among the public. As the game's storyline is still in development, players eagerly anticipate new content and characters. Characters play a crucial role in the game, and some garnered immense interest and excitement despite limited appearances or absence in the game.

One highly anticipated character, Yoimiya, was a subject of leaks leading up to the 1.7 closed beta release. Described as a "sexy shrine maiden" with long black hair and revealing clothing, Yoimiya's model was carefully concealed by Mihoyo, heightening the excitement. However, Mihoyo surprised the community by leaking Yoimiya before other leakers, prompting them to release in retaliation substantial amounts of information, including details on characters, maps, mechanics, materials, world bosses, weapons, artifacts, enemies, and other aspects of fantasy Japan.

This unprecedented action by Mihoyo left the community uncertain about how the company will handle future character releases. While one leaker faced a permanent ban, it also affected the credibility of more reputable leakers, as Yoimiya's appearance differed from their descriptions. Lesser-known leakers gained attention for leaking Baal a week before the event. Additionally, Baal's design generated mixed reactions and both fan art and memes emerged from the event. However, some community members expressed frustration about involuntary spoilers due to the leaks.[13]

Fan attitude towards leaks and leakers

Leaker Hunt Decree

A play on the in-game concept of the "Vision Hunt Decree," the Leaker Hunt Decree was an effort by Mihoyo to stop materials from being leaked early, primarily through lawsuits, in September 2021. Every time afterward that the company took actions against leakers, the concept of the "Leaker Hunt Decree" would be brought up again. [14]

California Court Subpoenas Twitter for Information on Leakers

Gacha

As with other gacha games, the gacha system can be controversial in the gaming community. Some see the gacha system as unfair, and even exploiting addictive tendencies in players.

Anniversary Rewards

The first anniversary of Genshin Impact was on September 28, 2021. They announced in the official live stream rewards that there would be a daily log in event, a shop reset as well as various events going on during the update. The player base was displeased with the rewards, spamming Qiqi fallen emojis in the official discord the entire day of the anniversary. Furthermore, there was intense reviewbombing of not just Genshin IMpact, but other hoyoverse games like Tears of Themis and Honkai Impact 3rd - and when that didn't materialise results, reviewbombing of many other unrelated games and apps including Google Classroom[15].

In the end, the backlash was managed with mail rewards which players received a total of 1600 primos, an anniversary glider, four fragile resin, and furniture. This was originally leaked as a paid pack to buy after the promoted concert.

New Character Skins and Censorship

Character Controversies

Genshin Impact is a huge fandom, and has many controversies, several of which pertain to the characters and the way they were handled by HoYoverse. * INSERT OVERALL DESCRIPTION HERE * . At times, this controversy is worsened by translation differences or errors between different languages, or differing fandom expectations in fandoms in different countries. Other times, fans are just angry about the power or perceived power of the character. Some examples on the respective character pages include:

Voice Actors Missing Wages

In July 2023, several voice actors claimed that they had not been paid their wages in full by Formosa International, the recording studio that handles the English voices for miHoYo[16][17]. The VAs, alleged that they had been owed wages for several months, and that the company had been unresponsive to their requests for payment. The allegations sparked outrage among Genshin Impact fans, who filled the Hoyofest Twitter post with angry comments depanding payment for the voice actors, and miHoYo was quickly pressured to respond. In a statement, miHoYo said they fixed the issue and would stop using the recording studio Formosa International. Later, some fans directed criticism towards these voice actors for their cryptic tweets regarding the issue. They said that the voice actors failed to explicitly mention Formosa International, the agency responsible for payment, while implying that the responsibility lay elsewhere, and that clarifying it from the start would have saved some drama.[18]

Other

Genshin and DSMP

Cultural Portrayals and Genshin Impact

Shipping

The Genshin Impact fandom has a diverse shipping culture, with a wide variety of ships enjoying popularity in different subsets of the fandom. Due to what is seen by some fans as underutilization of playable characters in quests and the open world compared to NPCs, many ships are based on limited to no onscreen interaction. Furthermore, some ships, most notably Kaeluc, are the subject of intense debate.

See also: List of Genshin Impact Relationship Names

Ship Wars

Ship wars have been a notable aspect of fan discussions and interactions in the Genshin Impact fandom. With a diverse cast of characters and intricate storylines, fans have formed a wide array of romantic pairings, fueling ship-related discussions, fan art, fanfiction, and more. However, these discussions sometimes escalate into intense debates and conflicts as fans passionately defend their preferred ships or criticize opposing ones.

  • EiMiko vs Yaeyato. One notable ship war within the Western fandom of Genshin Impact revolves around the romantic pairings involving the characters Raiden Ei and Yae Miko, commonly referred to as EiMiko, and the ship between Yae Miko and Kamisato Ayato, known as Yaeyato. One aspect of the EiMiko ship that generates discourse is a perceived lesbian coding of Yae Miko. Fans argue that her character traits, behavior, and interactions with other female characters hint at her being part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, specifically as a lesbian. They believe that this coding supports the plausibility of a romantic relationship between Yae Miko and Raiden Ei, reinforcing the ship's potential canon status. Therefore, she would never date a man and it would be problematic to ship her with a man. Antis have been reported to flood the Yaeyato tag on Twitter with spam and unpleasant images.
  • IttoSara vs Sarabaal.
  • Xiaother vs Xiaoven.

Example Fan Works

Fan fiction

Genshin Impact has inspired plenty of fanfiction, and is one of the largest and fastest-growing fandoms on AO3. As of 16/02/2023 there are 116,715 works in the Genshin Impact tag, making it the largest videogame fandom on the site (not counting Harry Potter and Star Wars, which are not primarily videogame fandoms).

Fan art

Fan Craft

Vids

Cosplay

Meta

Zines, Fan merch

See List of Genshin Impact zines and Genshin Impact Fan Merch

Notable Fans

Move this to a new page? List of Notable Genshin Impact Fans

Fan Events

External Links

Official

  • HoYofair] posts fanwork of their series
  • Official Discord channels

Fan communities and archives

Resources

References

Genshin Impact
Characters DilucChildeKaeyaZhongliXiaoTravelerVentiScaramouchePaimonmore
Ships Childe/ZhongliAlhaitham/KavehDiluc/KaeyaVenti/XiaoAlbedo/KaeyaChilde/LumineChongyun/XingqiuRaiden Ei/Yae MikoCyno/TighnariBeidou/NingguangJean/Lisamore
Locations MondstadtLiyueInazumaSumeruFontaineNatlanSnezhnayamore
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