Genshin Impact: The 'Right Before It's About to Launch' Interview
Genshin Impact launches next week for PlayStation 4, PC, and mobile devices. It looks to offer a vibrant anime-styled open-world RPG with a wide set of characters and some interesting combat mechanics, as stated in my impressions of the closed beta test.
Ahead of launch, we had a chance to ask a few questions about the game, its systems, and its future, to Sam Lai, head of miHoYo communications. You can read our conversation below.
RPG Site: How will events be structured in Genshin Impact? With Honkai Impact 3rd, there were a lot of events that drastically changed the game for a limited time - even changing genres. Can players expect the same for Genshin Impact?
Sam Lai: There will be in-game events that fit within the world setting that will be similar to the festival event that we launched in the beta to enrich the player's experience.
RPG Site: Will Genshin Impact have special limited-time gacha banners that raise the rate of acquiring high-rarity characters temporarily, similar to Granblue Fantasy’s Premium Gala summons?
Sam Lai: Team will continually update special events and banners to enrich players’ options in the Wish system so stay tuned for more banners to be released when the game is officially available.
RPG Site: Will there be events in Genshin Impact that lets players earn new characters for free by playing them or will future characters only be added through gacha banners?
Sam Lai: As Genshin Impact is updated, additional characters will be added to the game. By progressing through the storyline, players will be able to unlock 4 additional characters with whom they may explore the world. Players can obtain materials, equipment, weapons, and other characters by completing challenges and quests. Of course, the Wish system is also available for players who want to have access to more characters and equipment.
RPG Site: Genshin Impact seems to have lots of characters, but it seems that not all of them are directly relevant to the main story. Can we expect to see these characters more involved with future content, such as limited-time events?
Sam Lai: There will be more than 20 characters available for the game’s official launch on Sep 28 which offering varied options for players to choose based on their preference in elements and combat style. Since Genshin Impact will be a live-service game, the content is continually evolving. So far, players will experience the story of two cities of Teyvat — Mondstadt and Liyue. The rest of the five cities’ stories will take quite a while to be finished, not to mention more characters. So we would suggest players to hold on and see what we prepared coming soon.
RPG Site: Genshin Impact looks to be miHoYo’s biggest project yet. It has garnered a lot of attention internationally thanks to the partnership with Sony for the PlayStation 4 release of the game. Can you tell us how this partnership came about?
Sam Lai: It’s been a quite pleasing journey and experience to develop a game for the PlayStation platform, which is something that the team’s been longing to accomplish for years and now it’s finally happening. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has always been supportive in many ways to help us understand the console platform sophisticatedly and show clear directions in the game’s optimization. Genshin Impact is a live-service game with a long way to go, and we are honored to work with PlayStation’s professional team and expecting the days coming to bring out something even more exciting.
RPG Site: You mentioned that Genshin Impact will be coming to the Nintendo Switch earlier this year, but it’s been a while since there’s been any news on it. How is the Switch version of Genshin Impact coming along?
Sam Lai: The Switch version of Genshin Impact is currently under development. More information regarding Switch beta testing and launch dates will be announced at a later time.
RPG Site: In Honkai Impact 3rd, there was a dorm that you could decorate. Does Genshin Impact have any sort of housing system that you can customize?
Sam Lai: We are also discussing ways to customize your appearance, such as new character skins, and we will keep players posted on any new development. We currently do not have plans to introduce mounts to the game.
RPG Site: A lot of games these days, especially mobile games, have a lot of fun limited-time collaboration events with popular properties. Are there any plans for Genshin Impact to hold these sorts of collaboration events in the future?
Sam Lai: We don’t have any collaboration events in our schedule yet, but when the right time and opportunities come, then let’s do it!
RPG Site: Genshin Impact takes place on a massive landmass in the world of Teyvat with all sorts of different places to explore. Do you plan to add more regions to explore in the future and if so, will these regions be located on another completely different landmass or added onto the current one?
Sam Lai: The cities of Teyvat each have their own distinct local culture. Mondstadt is inspired by European culture and style, while Liyue Harbor is a realm of oriental fantasy. The scenery of Liyue Harbor and its surrounding area draw heavily from natural landscapes, architecture, and culture of East Asia, with distinctive Chinese landscaped gardens, terraced farms, and flora, giving it a sense of drama and natural beauty that you may recognize from Chinese historical dramas. Mondstadt and Liyue Harbor are merely the first two of seven majors cities in the world of Genshin Impact, with other cities slated to be added to the game in future updates. Each city will have its own distinct setting and history, bringing a unique visual and audio experience as you explore each of them.
RPG Site: In Genshin Impact, there are options to purchase premium currency to roll for weapons and characters in the gacha. Will there be any options to purchase some sort of monthly pass or subscription to continually receive this currency over a limited-time period?
Sam Lai: Genshin Impact is free-to-play. Players can download the game and experience it for themselves completely for free. The in-game shop allows players to buy Genesis Crystals, supply packs, as well as Primogems. Primogems are used to purchase Wish items, such as Intertwined Fate and Acquaint Fate, which in turn can be used to obtain rare weapons and characters. Other items like Gnostic Hymn and Gnostic Chorus are used to upgrade the Sojourner's Battle Pass and obtain in-game items.
RPG Site: What kinds of co-op events and challenges can players expect in Genshin Impact?
Sam Lai: Our goal with Genshin Impact is to deliver an immersive open world, combining both single-player and co-op modes to allow you to explore the massive game world with your friends and join for certain challenges such as boss fights and domains. Which one you choose is entirely up to you — there are no stages, events, or challenges that can only be completed in co-op mode.
RPG Site: Thank you for your time.