Action-RPG Genshin Impact has released to a less-than-favorable reception after players discovered that the game allegedly censored the name of a Hololive Vtuber and installed a kernel level anti-cheat program on PC platforms.
The latest title from China-based Honkai 3rd Impact developer miHoYo, Genshin Impact follows the player’s custom character as they explore the world of Teyvat in search of magical stones, called Visions, that allow its user to control a specific element.
First announced in 2019, the game gained widespread attention after fans drew comparisons between it and Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, particularly due to the similar gameplay and art styles shared between the two titles.
While the game was highly anticipated by some, particularly due to its free-to-play model, Genshin Impact released on September 28th to a wave of outrage from fans who took issue with the game’s alleged inclusion of two heavily anti-consumer practices.
Upon the game’s release in Asian territories, specifically Japan, users discovered that miHoYo had censored the name of Hololive Vtuber Kiryu Coco on the game’s Chinese servers.
The alleged censorship of Coco’s name comes just days after the popular Vtuber was banned from Chinese video-sharing platform Bilibili and issued a three-day suspension from their management agency for viewing a Google-generated analytics list that listed recognized Taiwan as a country independent from China.
The exact extent to which Coco’s name is censored is currently unknown, as one Japanese user also alleged that ““Kiryu Coco” passes normally,” while the term “Kiryu OK” is set as a prohibited word.”
Simultaneously, some players, such as @Megabloodoedji, also discovered that the game installed “a level 1 kernel for anti-cheat” that would potentially allow miHoYo access to a given user’s personal files and information.
Some users even reported that Genshin Impact had begun to copy the contents of their ‘clipboard’ each time the game’s software was launched.
Japanese user @nagatei wrote that “The contents of the clipboard are acquired at the time of starting,” and shared a screenshot of an iOS 14 security feature alerting him to the fact that the game had accessed his clipboard.
“I’m sorry. I can’t defend this,” @Nagatei concluded.
In light of the complaints about the game’s invasive anti-cheat program, miHoYo released a statement in which they clarified that “the anti-cheat program only reads system information; it does not process, save, or upload information in any way whatsover.”
The company also justified the anti-cheat programs continued background operation as a way to “to prevent the use of certain external plug-ins that operate when the game is closed; this is to help protect the fairness of Genshin Impact for all players.”
However, as fans widely found this explanation to be unacceptable, miHoYo issued a follow-up to their initial statement and announced that “this issue has now been resolved.”
“The game’s anti-cheat program will immediately end once the game client is closed or uninstalled,” the statement explained. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this issue. We will do our utmost to prevent such issues from occurring again in the future, and will continue optimizing our workflow to bring the highest-quality gaming experience possible to all of our Travelers.”
Despite the company’s swift response to their anti-cheat measures, as of writing, miHoYo has yet to comment on their alleged censorship of Kiryu Coco’s name.
Genshin Impact is now free-to-play on the PC, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Android platforms.
What do you make of miHoYo’s decisions? For those excited to play Genshin Impact, have these developments had any effect on your anticipation? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!