MiHoYo has announced that they will prematurely end the latest Honkai Impact 3rd story event, a celebration of the mobile action RPG’s third global anniversary, and remove a promotional video featuring the game’s female characters dancing in bunny outfits following an outpouring of complaints from Chinese players.
Titled [Unequaled, Unrivaled], the third-anniversary focused on Fu Hua, whose human body was left as “a soulless shell” following the Battle of Shicksal (seen in the game’s eighth story chapter), as her former physical form is possessed by the Will of Honkai and is reborn as the powerful [Herrscher of Sentience]
“The [Herrscher of Sentience] we see in the story is a newborn sentience and an observer of Fu Hua’s life,” explained the writing team in an interview with MiHoYo. “With crude yet realistic reasoning, she became an idealized Fu Hua in extreme circumstances. We hope [Herrscher of Sentience] and Fu Hua are the polar opposites of each other. She resembles some of our expectations and imaginations for Fu Hua, which boils down to a question asked to Kiana but answered by players: ‘Who do you like better?’”
Alongside the event, MiHoYo also debuted the animated music video Brilliant Bright, which features a number of the game’s female Valkyries dressed in bunny suits and performing a dance routine to a song of the same name.
However, a little under two months after the update and animation debuted to players on March 4th, MiHoYo announced that they would be working to “remove any content related to the 3rd-anniversary bunny girls and cancel the view count event.” They also announced they would compensate players with 500 units of the in-game Crystal currency as a consolation.
“As we reflect on our decisions, we promise to safeguard the quality of our content with higher stands to ensure this kind of issues never occur again,” reads the official statement released by MiHoYo on April 22nd. “In the future, we will dedicate more effort to improving your gaming experience with more exciting and diverse content, and creating a healthy environment where everyone can have fun.”
MiHoYo also specified that they would modify “the art of in-game stigma Yae Sakura: Peaches (B)”, which depicts the former-shrine maiden as a bunny-outfit-clad casino hostess.
While the developer did not specify any details regarding which group of players issued the complaints or what specific subject matter said players took offense to, according to social media discussions surrounding MiHoYo’s announcement, the removals were done in response to outrage leveled against the game by its Chinese playerbase.
First and foremost, Chinese players believe that their feedback has constantly been ignored by MiHoYo. To them, the release of the Brilliant Bright video, which did not air in the country due to its content, has been seen as a deliberate exclusion of China from the game’s global community.
As reported by @Moriya_Ichigo, whose Twitter profile places them in Shanghai, “Chinese gamers were angered by treat differently (they knew the censorship, such video could never on air in China) [sic]”.
The second issue concerns Fu Hua, one of the 3rd-anniversary story event’s main characters and an in-game native-born Chinese citizen who serves as the Guardian of Shenzhou (another name for China originating from the Warring States period which translates to “Divine Land”).
As explained by Chinese player @Reburn17022, “When Chinese players see Fu Hua dancing on the stage in exposed clothes, they will be very sad because they think it is disrespect for China.”
@Reburn17022 would also note that this concern extended to how “the Valkyries put on their exposed clothes and danced” in the Brilliant Bright animation, as “Chinese players believe that such a plot is essentially an OOC (out of character) and a disrespect for Valkyries.”
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