It’s been three years since Genshin Impact first launched on mobile, colliding with the games industry and sparking shockwaves still felt to this day. As miHoYo’s real breakout hit and the company’s flagship, one might rightly expect the third anniversary to be filled with thunderous festivities...
And yet, instead, the sense of celebration seems rather muted.
With this year’s anniversary comes the Version 4.1 update, bringing a map expansion to Fontaine, the return of popular character Venti, and rewards like Primogems and Fragile Resins. However, many fans have been left unsatisfied by these rewards being much the same as last year’s, the lack of a new profile background, and a greater focus on selling more bundles than free-to-play celebratory content.
On the social media side, miHoYo is hosting a further Primogems giveaway this week by encouraging fans to use the #GenshinParty3rd hashtag while tweeting about their most memorable tracks from the game’s OST; it’s a clever promotional campaign, akin to one soon to be deployed with Honkai: Star Rail.
Compared to many gachas which make a huge effort to motivate players around their anniversaries, Genshin Impact celebrating with recycled content does seem bizarre. However, it isn’t the first time miHoYo has underwhelmed players with an anniversary, and the developer has its new golden child, besides.
After Honkai: Star Rail broke records with 20 million downloads on launch day and zoomed to $500 million in mere months, could Genshin Impact’s unambitious anniversary be a sign of shifted priorities? After all, monthly spend in Genshin Impact fell 38.6% when Star Rail released while the new title nearly tripled its revenue.
At the same time, it is unlikely that Top 50 Game Maker miHoYo would outright stop supporting Genshin Impact. The game outpaced Pokémon Go to the coveted $1 billion milestone and had generated $3.6 billion by its second anniversary, so is sure to remain a cash cow even if miHoYo’s focus is elsewhere.
Honkai: Star Rail will in fact be reaching its six month anniversary later in October, but whether a stronger celebration is planned for the new star remains to be seen.