miHoYo has announced that their newly released optional costumes for Genshin Impact will become the characters’ default appearance as NPCs.
Previously, miHoYo announced four of the game’s playable characters would have their default outfits censored on Chinese servers. This was likely a result of stricter regulations regarding sex appeal for video games being sold in communist China.
These censored costumes were originally stated to only be replacing the originals on Chinese servers. For all other servers, they would become optional costumes instead. Chinese servers also saw characters turning invisible if players attempted to focus the camera on their buttocks while gliding.
However, in the announcement for the costumes being distributed, miHoYo revealed that the costume changes would be made permanent for NPC versions of the characters.
They announced, “The appearances of the NPCs Jean, Amber, Rosaria, and Mona will be adjusted to the Alternate Outfits in Version 2.5 and in the quests of previous versions.” They also noted, “Adjustments will be made to the ‘Wanderlust Invocation’ Standard Wish banner.”
In the upcoming Version 2.6 — launching March 30th — miHoYo detailed, “For animation cutscenes from Version 2.6 and earlier Jean, Amber, Rosaria, and Mona’s appearances will be adjusted to the Alternate Outfits.”
Fans discussing the announcement on Hoyolab, Twitter, and Facebook had mixed reactions. Some were outraged miHoYo had censored the game, especially enforcing censorship from the Chinese government onto all players internationally.
Beggining by quoting miHoYo’s statement about the changes, user Fishian posted, “1. For animation cutscenes from Version 2.6 and earlier, Jean, Amber, Rosaria, and Mona’s appearances will be adjusted to the Alternate Outfit’ So what you’re saying is, you’re enforcing global censorship from the Chinese government. How absurd.”
Dw_Rinku voiced his fears. “This is only the beginning of censorship in Genshin impact… I’m really scared for the future of the game… I’ll probably quit the game sadly… I don’t want to play a game where there’s no creative liberty anymore…”
Others stated that this new update violated their previous promise that “the default outfits of the above characters will be retained.” This is still technically true, as the character’s original outfits will remain for playable characters.
“So you are censoring the NPCs and cutscenes for the west?” Ginyz rhetorically inquired. “That’s extremely messed up. You said they were alternate outfits, not the new default.I’m so disappointed, how long before you just remove the original outfits from the playable versions?”
Others shortsightedly hoped miHoYo would move out of China. “Thanks for censorship mihoyo,” Kamila posted sarcastically, “please move away from China.”
In response, Gahgahblah noted “they literally changed publishers to get away without a lot of censorship. And these arent even that bad.”
Iz715 was far more curt to Kamila. “They’re never moving away. China is their home and where they’re family are form [sic], get your western weeb brain fixed.”
Even if all involved were happy to abandon friends and family, such a move for a company who’s game made $1 billion in its first six months alone would likely face resistance from leaving China. The legal repercussions for not censoring combined with social credit doesn’t bear thinking; let alone attempting to leave China with a cash cow.
Then again and as aforementioned, miHoYo did manage to get Singapore company Cognosphere to publish Genshin Impact outside of China around November 2021.
This was done “to ensure the safety and convenience of online transactions” as miHoYo “seek more eligible payment options globally.” It is hard to imagine this would have enabled miHoYo to resist Chinese censorship, but nonetheless it seems some fans hoped this was the case.
Other fans lamented this would likely affect the designs of future characters, and likely meant other existing characters would soon face censorship. “The fact, that future characters will be designed to please china’s censorship really kills my mood…” Lachskaffee posted to Hoyolab.
Eclair2020 meanwhile feared Yanfei- added to the game April 28th, 2021- would be next to be censored; and conveyed his point with an edit on the Ralph Wiggum “I’m in Danger” meme.
YouTuber Hero Hei also offered his opinion stating, “I actually don’t mind the appearance of the new outfits what I do mind however is censorship and of course the now increased looming concern of more censorship coming to miHoYo, coming to Genshin Impact forced by the Chinese Communist Party. ”
“Because this also is not the first time censorship has hit Genshin Impact, for example, what happened to Rosaria’s anatomy. And it does seem the censorship is getting more and more excessive,” he added.
This isn’t the first time the international servers have made compromises some would expect purely on Chinese servers. In October 2020, players discovered that the words “Hong Kong” and “Taiwan” were censored in multiplayer chat.
The question now is how far will encroaching Chinese censorship go, and when or will Genshin Impact fans become outraged into boycotting or just quitting?
Past outcries from the community have seen free premium currency being given out- Primogems- such as after the lackluster one year anniversary rewards, and the KFC glider being available outside of China, in exchange for buying Twitch subscriptions.
What do you think the future of Genshin Impact is? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.