How Genshin Impact is Doing F2P Singleplayer RightMay 27, 2021 | 0 Votes by Mikhail - rate Barely a year since it was released, Genshin Impact racked up a billion dollars in mobile revenue thanks to millions of players. It is doing everything right, and its rise won’t stop any time soon.
Nine months after its release, I’ve continued to play Genshin Impact, albeit with sporadic hiatuses in between. Despite its rather awful monetization aspects (hello expensive primogems and five-star draw chances), which are almost akin to gambling, it is undoubtedly one of the best open-world single-player/co-op games in recent memory. It continues to make players play (and spend), thanks to them creating top-notch content its fanbase continues to enjoy.
With that said, miHoYo, through Genshin Impact, is doing free-to-play service-based single-player games correctly, which is why it continues to be highly patronized. The thing is, what is their failure-proof magic formula? Let’s take a look at
Constant updates and new events
Single-player games naturally have short lifespans. Once one has been released with full content, like God of War, developers won’t add more content like God of War. However, developers like Ubisoft extended their games’ lifespans with post-release content, like DLCs.
In the case of Genshin Impact, miHoYo broke the mold by simply releasing what we can safely call the first chapter of a story that will continue to grow as time progresses. As new characters come into the fray, fresh missions and events will then pop up. For example, the current event involves Windtrace, which is essentially a three-and-a-half-minute prop hunt. Others include a glider challenge and the elemental crucible, which is a co-op event. Participating in these is optional but is compulsory if you want a quick way to earn primogems. With that said, the scarcity of the game’s gacha currency continues to bring players back every day.
New and well-made characters
Characters in Genshin Impact aren’t just limited to the first cast you’ll see encounter on Mondstadt and Liyue. The developers continuously add new ones to the mix, although your chances of getting them onboard are limited due to the gacha mechanic. For example, miHoYo recently added Eula, the Spindrift Knight, a powerful five-star character who is still rather elusive to me. My challenges with gacha aside, Yanfei, Diona, and Hu Tao are recent inclusions and have had their gacha banners.
Unlike other games, Genshin Impact’s cast comprises wholly unique personalities, each with its attack and movement animations. Moreover, they also have their respective hangout events, character introduction quests, and, most importantly, own elemental skills and bursts.
A continuously expanding beautiful setting
Mondstadt and Liyue aren’t just the only places in Teyvat, Genshin Impact’s ever-growing world. The content roadmap includes all nations, each representing different elements. For now, only two are available and explorable, but in the coming months(and years), places like Inazuma, Sumeru, Fontaine, and Natlan will make their way to the game in the future. There are no previews or details of these areas, but we hope they’ll be as sprawling and alive as the first two regions.
Most open-world games today suffer from the “being too big yet empty” syndrome. Despite continuously expanding, Teyvat continues to thrive by being more detailed than the worlds of other games. There is always something to do in every corner, ranging from enemies to defeat to chests to unlock and puzzles to perform.
Countless gameplay elements to keep track of
Genshin Impact is, well, overwhelming. Although this can be a bad thing, it’s a positive if you want your fanbase to continue playing. Upgrading your characters’ weapons, talents, and even ascending their levels are massive, time-consuming endeavors requiring you to gather a plethora of items and repeatedly take out numerous bosses. It doesn’t also help that the resin system, akin to an energy mechanic, is a part of the game that limits you to four bosses or eight domains or eight ley lines with a full charge in a single day.
When you receive a new character you’ve wanted to have for quite a while, you’ll be compelled to grind and do the abovementioned all over again to level them up. You’ll also need to gather new equipment, artifacts, and other necessary items.
Apart from leveling your characters, there are also hang-out missions and the new base-building and decoration gameplay element, the Serenitea Pot. In a way, this is akin to Animal Crossing, where you craft and build stuff, decorating an entire island with the furnishings you want for you and your friends to chill in.
Trailers and promotions
Finally, one of the main reasons Genshin Impact is doing single-player right is their many trailers and promotions. Many games die a couple of months after release, with only sporadic mentions from fans keeping them alive. Meanwhile, miHoYo continues to release new trailers for post-release content, creating introduction videos for new characters, showcasing their abilities, and hyping them up, so people will spend money on primogems for the chance to pull them from their wishes. Though this is outside the scope of gameplay, it continues to make players interested.
So, what do you think? Is Genshin Impact doing free-to-play singleplayer right, and do you think there are other ways for them to do it better?