Genshin Impact player claims miHoYo uses “predatory” game mechanics - Dexerto
Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact player claims miHoYo uses “predatory” game mechanics

Published: 2/Nov/2021 12:44

by James Busby

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A Genshin Impact player has highlighted the various ways of plowing money into the game, warning other players about what they claim are “predatory” tactics to encourage spending.

Genshin Impact may be marketed as a free-to-play game, but things can get pretty expensive if you want to get every 5-star character and weapon in the game. While various events and quests reward players with Primogems, there are often times where this currency can be incredibly hard to obtain, particularly if you have completed all the current content. 

The limited-time nature of each new 5-star banner can also make it difficult for free-to-play accounts to secure the unit they’re after. Even if players do manage to secure a bounty of Intertwined and Acquainted Fates, there’s no guarantee that you’ll unlock the character you want. This can lead to some rather pricey transactions if you’re not careful.

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Genshin Impact fan alleges “predatory” game mechanics

Hu Tao banner
miHoYo
Unlocking 5-star characters in Genshin Impact can be incredibly costly.

In their chart titled “Whale Hunting”, Reddit user soaringneutrality outlined mechanics that they claim are designed to get the player to spend more money. The first and most prominent method is that of icebreakers, that offer “good deals” to the player. These are often the cheapest forms of microtransactions, which may make the player more likely to spend after their first purchase. 

For example, the Gnostic Hymn (Battle Pass) can be purchased for $10 (£9.99) and offers increased rewards to those that level it up. Unlike the free version, the items available are much more valuable and include an extra reward at BP Lv. 30. 

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Like most mobile games and free-to-play titles, Genshin Impact utilizes multiple currencies. Soaringneutrality suggests that this makes for “harder calculations and distances real money from the game.” This is shown in the game’s use of Primogems, the currency used to purchase Wishes. 

As of writing, 1,600 Primogems are needed to unlock a 4-star and 14,400 Primogems are needed to unlock a 5-star unit. This may seem like a significant amount of Primos, but the amount needed to purchase even a 10 pull is fairly high.

[PSA] Whale Hunting: a guide to predatory game mechanics from Genshin_Impact

Next on the list is that of “habit formation” – conditioning players to log into the game daily. Soaringneutrality claims that this is achieved by rewarding players with items for simply booting up the game. From daily quests to time-limited events, there are plenty of ways that Genshin Impact employs to keep its playerbase checked in. 

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The above directly feeds into Genshin Impact’s progression system, which heavily relies on adventurers grinding Artifacts, character materials, and weapons upgrades. All these areas take a tremendous amount of time, particularly if players want to maximize their DPS. In fact, a lot of the end-game grinding and lack of meaningful content has sparked a huge debate amongst the Genshin community

While Genshin Impact isn’t the only game to use what Soaringneutrality claims are “predatory game mechanics,” it is arguably one of the most successful. In fact, the free-to-play title recently reached staggering new heights after it secured $2 billion in revenue in its first year of release.

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Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or just getting started in your quest to save Teyvat, it’s important to be aware of the above before committing to any purchases in Genshin Impact.