When fun becomes dangerous

Genshin Impact: The Dark Side of the Game

Gaming
Genshin Impact

Image Credit: miHoYo

The action RPG Genshin Impact was released in late September, but it is already enjoying massive success and making waves in the gaming industry. But it also has its dark sides...

"I refuse to further promote the Gacha system in this game."

A statement made by Michael "Mtashed" Tash, who has more than 600,000 subscribers on YouTube. He was referring to the new action-RPG Genshin Impact which is currently a global gaming success. The free-to-play title has already been downloaded more than 10 million times after only one week and has had a whopping $245 million in revenues in the first four weeks after release.

Genshin Impact - Official Launch Trailer (Quelle: IGN via YouTube)

The Danger of Genshin Impact

Now you might ask yourself how this game could have made this much money so quickly only as a Free-to-Play title. Since the game is free, the developers of Genshin Impact of course like many other games make money via microtransactions. In Genshin Impact, you can invest money to buy wishes and in turn unlock weapons and characters randomly. The term "Gacha" is the common term for this style of lootbox.

While you technically don't have to spend money to play Genshin Impact the game is intentionally designed to encourage players to do so. It is believed that they sometimes experience a combination of frustration and temptation that makes them want to pull out their credit cards.

Genshin Impact

Wish System (Image Credit: miHoYo)

When Addiction Takes the Upper Hand

Let's get back to YouTuber Mtashed. In a video, on Tuesday he announced that he would not play the game anymore.

"I regret having reported on this game. I'm close to tears because I'm a content creator and I can write this off as a business expense. My tip video has raised $7,300 [CAD] and so I have recouped all the expenses for the wishes I bought. And I know that other people can't do that."

In the video, Tash seemed justifiably close to tears as he talked about his experiences.

"One of the great moments was that I wished I had a certain weapon. However, it was not a 'man, I'm excited that I can show this thing'. It was more of a 'holy shit, when am I going to get this thing to show it? I'm one of the lucky ones who's doing all this for my work. But I kept getting the wrong items and started calculating until I just got sick. I can imagine that there are a lot of people out there who think: 'Next time I'll make it. Just a few more dollars'."

"I QUIT": Why I Am Going F2P in Genshin Impact (Video Credit: Mtashed via YouTube)

Tash's review of Genshin Impact quickly became one of his most popular videos and the Livestream afterward was his second-best stream in terms of the number of simultaneous viewers. Tash explained that he would continue to play the game, but without spending any money.

"This system is predatory indeed," said one of the most popular comments about Tash's original video. "Hats off for worrying about your viewers and warning them."

So to sum it up, you have to be very careful with Gacha Games. Genshin Impact is not the first game to use real money gambling, but its danger lies in its current popularity. When young viewers see their favorite Streamer or YouTuber pulling a certain weapon or rare character, they automatically get the feeling "Hey, maybe I'll be lucky too!" You should just pay attention and always remember that the game can be fun without investing money.

If you want to learn more about gaming and esports, please have a look at EarlyGame.

Original article by EarlyGame's Alisa Eiber.

Paul Hayes

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