Genshin Impact Anniversary Community Event Draws Fan Backlash

Genshin Impact, the game that as taken over the world this year, is turning one year old on 28th September. To celebrate this wonderful occasion, miHoYo plans to hold an anniversary event for the community.

They revealed the anniversary event to the community on 20 September. However, the response to that from the community was quite negative.

Let’s take a look at these community events and figure out what all this backlash is about.

There are multiple events that are taking place, here are the details:

“The Promise of a Worldly Encounter” Photo Submission Contest
Event Duration: September 1 – October 11
Event Rewards: Primogems, Paimon Food Theme Blind Box (Full Set), Trick-or-Treat Party-themed Merchandise Set (Random Character), 1-month subscription of Discord Nitro
How to Access Event: From the link here

“The Promise of a Worldly Encounter” Fan Art Submission Contest
Event Duration: September 16 – October 17
Event Rewards: Primogems, Apple iPad 10.2″, Apple AirPods, Trick-or-Treat Party-themed Merchandise Set (Random Character)
How to Access Event: From the link here

“The Promise of a Worldly Encounter” Video Submission Contest
Event Duration: September 16 – October 17
Event Rewards: Primogems, Apple AirPods, Razor DeathAdder V2, Trick-or-Treat Party-themed Merchandise Set (Random Character)
How to Access Event: From the link here

“The Promise of a Worldly Encounter” Cosplay Submission Contest
Cosplay event
Event Duration: September 22 – October 20
Event Rewards: Primogems, Apple AirPods, Razor DeathAdder V2, Fateful Gift Series Merchandise Set (Random Character)
How to Access Event: HoYoLAB

“An Unforgettable Journey”
This is a recap of your own experience in Genshin Impact. You will be awarded for watching it and can exchange rewards with their friends
Event Duration: 28 September – 12 October
Rewards: Primogems, Mora, Mystic Ore, Hero’s Wit (Unknown Quantities)
How to participate: Will be revealed on 28th September

“A Message in Time”
The players are asked to make their own anniversary card and by submitting it, you are entered a raffle for rewards.
Event Duration: September 29 – October 7
Event Rewards: Blessing of the Welkin Moon ×1 (Chance to win 10%), Mora ×100,000 (Chance to win 90%)
How to participate: Will be revealed on 29th September

Anniversary Congratulatory Art Repost Prize Giveaway
This is also a raffle which you can enter from the game’s social media accounts
Event Duration: September 28 – October 2
Event Rewards: iPhone 13 Pro Max ×3, share daily to participate in the raffle for cash prizes
How to participate: From the link in the game’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

Genshin Impact Anniversary Event “Recording Your Anniversary Memories”
There is a description given for this event as the time of the writing.
Event Duration: September 28 – October 7
Event Rewards: Primogems ×100 (1,000 winners)
How to participate: From the link in the game’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

Genshin Impact Anniversary Event “Let’s Solve Word Puzzles”
There is a description given for this event as the time of the writing.
Event Duration: October 7 – October 13
Event Rewards: Primogems ×100 (1,000 winners)
How to participate: From the link in the game’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

Genshin Impact Anniversary Event “Recording Your Anniversary Memories”
There is a description given for this event as the time of the writing.
Event Duration: September 28 – October 7
Event Rewards: Primogems ×100 (1,000 winners)
How to participate: From the link in the game’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

Looking at these events, one can notice that these so called “events” are in a way, giveaways. Meaning that in order to get these rewards from various events, you have to work for them.

The general feeling that the community have for this is that miHoYo is using the fanbase for their own marketing of the game.

For example, the first four events which is mentioned above involves the player participating a fan art, video, photo and cosplay competition. Those are things that can clearly be exploited for promotional purposes.

While it is not illegal to do this to celebrate the anniversary, the fact remains that the purpose of having anniversary event is to show gratitude for the support given by the community. After all, it is the community around Genshin Impact that helped the game make the splash it did last year.

As such, some fans argue that making the community work for the rewards instead of giving them away freely is unethical and exploitative.

Speaking of exploitation, there is one event which needs to be pointed out; “A Message in Time”.

It is an event where you make anniversary card and enter a raffle. In other words, there is a gatcha system incorporated while giving the rewards.

The players have a 10% chance of getting a “Blessing of the Welkin Moon” which is a one month subscription where you get 300 Genesis Crystal and 2700 Primogems.

This means that they can do 18 pulls (i.e. 18 spins or rolls of the dice or whatever chance-based visual you prefer) and be left with an extra 120 Primogems by the time the subscription ends.

However, players have a 90% chance of getting 100,000 Mora (the currency of the game), which is a relatively tiny amount for high-level players that have presumably been playing the game longer and likely contributed to its success.

It is also worth noting that a “Blessing of the Welkin Moon” normally costs USD 4.99 per purchase.

Additionally, while players who are fortunate enough to win this subscription can get 300 Genesis Crystals all at once, the 2700 Primogems will be given out to them at the rate of 90 Primo a day.

To put this in the simplest terms, the event known as “A Message in Time” will give players a 10% chance to win a subscription worth around USD 5, 300 in-game items immediately, and be drip fed an important in-game resource over the course of a month.

It’s not hard to see why some fans are seeing the whole thing as a slap in the face.

But there’s more.

The in-game event that will take place on the anniversary comes in the form of a daily log event called “Passage of Cloud and Stars”.

Looking at the rewards, it becomes clear that players are just getting only 10 Interwined Fates.

To put into perspective, Interwined Fate and Acquint Fate are the only currency which can be used to pull for the banners and Primogems are the currency used to buy them.

It takes 160 Primogems to buy 1 of the either Fate. Hence, this event is only giving players enough Fates to do 10 pulls.

The game did something similar to this back during the “Lantern Rite” event that took place during 10 to 28 February this year.

This was an event which resembled the Lunar New Year celebration and took place during the same celebration period of time.

Claims that the community is being greedy and are just hungry for free rewards is holds no water when taking a look at the immense amounts of revenue miHoYo is making from banners.

Below is a chart made by GenshinLab which shows the amount of revenue being made per banner since the release of the game.

These banners are actually character banners and some of them already have been release more than once, hence the phrase “rerun”.

The Kokomi banner was released just a few days ago but Raiden Shogun’s banner was released before it and currently has the biggest revenue generated to date.

Also note that this chart only shows iOS revenue of the Chinese Market. If we were to look at a worldwide chart consisting of revenue generated from all of the platforms on which the game exists, the total of USD 270 million would be easily dwarfed.

Some gatcha games can be quite generous during anniversary events by giving free rewards as they want to keep their community happy. After all, it is the community that keeps the game alive in a very competitive market.

miHoYo’s reluctance to properly reward and appreciate the very players who made their game a multimillion dollar success in a single year reflects very poorly on the company and its priorities.

That being said, one of the good example where a gatcha game did well for it anniversary would be Honkai Impact which, in an ironic twist, was made by miHoYo itself.

During the game’s 3rd anniversary, players were able to obtain 35 Supply Cards, spring outfit, and a large amount of crystals. Players were also able to obtain an S-tier Battle Suit for free from one of the events.

For context, S-tier in Hontai Impact is comparable to 5-star in Genshin Impact.

This only makes miHoYo’s handling of the first anniversary of Genshin Impact that much more egregious.

Once again, the gaming industry proves that it is beyond parody in its lack of self-awareness when the example of what to do and what not to do come from literally the same company.

Along with backlash, the community are also giving suggestions to improve the anniversary rewards.

One of the most common suggestions involves miHoYo giving out a free character, most preferably a 5-star character.

One from the “base” five star characters that are included in the regular pool outside of the specialty banners: Jean, Mona, Diluc, Keqing and Qiqi.

They are the game’s original 5 star characters and most of the players have already obtained them.

However, the older players would benefit getting another copy of any of the character which are called constellations and they are used upgrades to a character, while new players would get a strong 5-star character to enjoy.

Another suggestion involves the same idea but this time, the players suggest for the inclusion of base 5-star weapons in the loot pool. Unlike the characters, it is actually much harder to get these 5-star weapon from a banner.

It could be argued that the reason the developers might not want to provide such rewards is out of fear that it might devalue the gacha economy of the game. These characters, banners, and items are only worth something because they are rare, right?

Sure. However, it could also be argued that manufacturing scarcity to the point of enraging and alienating passionate players who might stop playing altogether would also devalue the economy.

Just food for thought.

For a studio whose slogan is “tech otakus save the world”, it seems that miHoYo has a long way to go before it can save anything.

We at Emmen Gaming hope that the company is able to sort out its priorities and make the upcoming anniversary a wonderful time for all the dedicated fans who have spent hours of their lives and piles of literal real-world money on the game.

We also hope that other gacha games, whether they are new, old, or in development, learn from this situation and never forget that it is their player-base that gives them value.

Not the other way around.


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