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Gameverse | October 31, 2020

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Why is Genshin Impact So Popular?

Matthew Byrd

Genshin Impact

In a little over a week, Genshin Impact went from a relatively obscure project to a game that’s reportedly been downloaded 17 million times on mobile devices alone. Whenever anything becomes that popular so quickly, the first question many people will have is “Why?”

There’s no one answer to that question (people play different games for different reasons after all), but a quick look at the title does reveal a few of the elements that have propelled its stunning rise.

Here are five of the main reasons that Genshin Impact is so incredibly popular.

Genshin Impact’s Anime Art Style

Genshin Impact’s art style certainly isn’t the biggest reason the game is such a success, but you have to recognize it as a contributing factor.

There’s really no mystery to this part of the story. Anime is incredibly popular and, to put this as nicely as possible, some people who are into it can sometimes tend to be really into it to the degree that they consume as much as possible in any format. There isn’t actually much “fan service” in the game (despite how the title’s promotional shots make it look), but yeah, anime fans have quickly embraced this title and have spent a lot of time spreading the word.

Genshin Impact Has Tremendous International Appeal

This idea kind of goes along with Genshin Impact‘s appeal as an anime game (again, anime is quite popular in various regions), but it’s also based on the fact that Genshin Impact was made by a Chinese developer.

China’s gaming market is massive and potentially lucrative. Many gamers in China have shown that they’ll support titles made by Chinese studios (at least initially), and that’s exactly what has happened in the case of Genshin Impact. The title is doing quite well in other markets, but the fact it has caught on so quickly in China bodes well for the game’s long-term prospects.

Genshin Impact is Deep For a Mobile Game

Genshin Impact is available on PS4 and PC, but its the title’s mobile game scene which has been the biggest surprise thus far.

Genshin Impact feels like a Triple-A game that runs perfectly well on many modern mobile devices. It doesn’t feel like a “mobile game” in the ways that we typically use that phrase to knock such titles for being shallow or cheap. As the Nintendo Switch has proven, the ability to take a console-quality game with you on the go is appealing to a mass market of gamers. Whatever else you can say about Genshin Impact, it does offer more than the average mobile title you’ll find on a most downloaded list.

Genshin Impact Is Basically Breath of the Wild

This is probably the first point that you consider whenever you find yourself wondering how Genshin Impact achieved so much in such a relatively short amount of time.

While Genshin Impact fans will tell you the many ways that it distinguishes itself from Breath of the Wild, there’s no denying that the comparisons are warranted. Both games allow you to navigate large open areas, solve puzzles, participate in satisfying combat sequences, and yes, even cook.

Again, the idea of playing Breath of the Wild on mobile devices is enough of a selling point for most people, but honestly, Genshin Impact is a particularly well-made Breath of the Wild-style game that really fills a void as we await the release of Breath of the Wild 2.

Genshin Impact Utilizes an Addictive Character System (Enhanced by Microtransactions)

We arrive at the question many people probably had when they heard that Genshin Impact is a popular game on mobile devices: “How bad are the game’s microtransactions?”

The answer to that question is…interesting. You can absolutely play Genshin Impact without spending a dime, but the game does utilize a “Gacha” system. For those who don’t know, that’s basically another way of saying that Genshin Impact lets you spend money on the chance to randomly unlock a particular in-game item or character.

Because Genshin Impact features quite a few characters with unique attributes, those who have found themselves playing quite a bit of the game typically also find that they’re incentivized to spend a little money (or play a little longer) just to get that “one” unlock.

It’s not the most aggressive microtransaction system out there, but the unlocks are definitely a big part of the game’s addictiveness.