It has been several months since I uninstalled the weeaboo pyramid scheme that is Genshin Impact from my PS5. I’ve been a regular since its release, drawn to its Breath of the Wild style of gameplay, compelling world-building, and beautiful cast of anime characters. On paper, it was a game that seemed made for me, but it also encompassed all the more cynical ways of exploiting my worst impulses. So I walked away and never looked back.
Since my teens I have had an addictive personality, and will spend money or jump through hoops to get things in games like Genshin Impact or Overwatch, even if I am not in a position to do so financially. That doesn’t matter, I’ll worry about the consequences later as I spend precious pennies on primogems or loot boxes to earn a hero or skin that will elude me forever unless I find a way to earn it right now. I could struggle for hours, but I don’t have the attention span for such a task when I know there is an easier way out. Genshin Impact knows this too, which is the most disgusting part of all of this.
I’m not going to say how much money I’ve spent on Genshin Impact, I’m not sure if I know it by heart, but I know it was all wasted for the wrong reasons. Mihoyo has built a beautiful fictional world and an overarching narrative to go along with it, but all of these achievements are undermined by a gacha system that makes his characters the stars above all else. Every time a new update comes out, we’re not talking about a new region or where the questline will take us next, we’re thinking about new character designs and lamenting all the primogems we’ll have to earn to get a chance to roll them. .
This isn’t fun, we’re not sinking hours into Genshin Impact for any real sense of satisfaction or enjoyment, we’re catering to the whims of an anime girl slot machine that doesn’t give a shit how we end up feeling at the end of it all. If anything, the odds are always against us, as we are encouraged to spend money or complete quests to earn primogems rather than get lost in the world that has been built here. I learned this a long time ago, but I kept coming back, my social media teasing countless heroes I’d love to see join my roster. I wasn’t even using them, I was throwing money away to roll them up and bathe in the temporary high before never touching them again. The game wasn’t what I was here for, just a gacha system that preyed on my addictive insecurities.
So I went cold turkey, uninstalled the game, and told myself I’d never touch it again. I’m thankful that unless you keep up with every new update, Genshin Impact is more than happy to leave fallen players behind as they get buried in an avalanche of quests and lore to catch up. However, the new character banners and optional activities remain the same, so it feels like the game is designed to keep us immersed in its corrupted ecosystem for as long as possible until, like me, you give up and quit for good. complete.
I get why people love this game, even more so when the gameplay systems and open world structure are so generous for a free-to-play endeavor, possibly setting a new benchmark in the genre when it comes to quality and breadth of content that can be accessed without spending a dime. All you need to do is stick to the grind until the FOMO becomes too much and you end up giving in to their gacha hell. Some people spend months amassing primogems only to place them on a specific banner as part of a massive spree, almost guaranteeing a free legendary amount alone.
That still has the same problems, though: You’ve spent God knows how long earning this meaningless currency, only to throw it away in a vain hope that the underlying systems don’t screw you up. You’re left elated or devastated, with little room for interpretation once the thrill has worn off, and you’re expected to do it all over again.
Mihoyo became an industry giant by creating beautiful worlds and fun game mechanics held hostage to a gacha system that remains one of the worst in the business. It could make a profit through a greater reliance on cosmetics or a battle pass that isn’t complete rubbish (currently just serving to draw more attention to the existence of primogems and other currencies used to roll characters). It all comes back to a singular focus, and once that was clear, I had no choice but to call it quits.
Genshin Impact is a good game, maybe even great, but it’s also dangerous and I’ll never play it again if I can help it. Gacha is the devil and walks among us.
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