Fans of miHoYo’s Genshin impact caused two hashtags, #boycottgenshimpact and #DoBetterMihoyo, to evolve on Twitter on Tuesday, in response to mass criticism of the free-to-play gacha game. So far, the tag #boycottgenshinimpact alone has been tweeted over 12,000 times.
It all started when an unconfirmed leak about the game claimed that new content, which allegedly includes new sites to explore, would be delayed. MiHoYo did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Genshin impact has not had an expansion of the area since December 2020, and although there have been updates and events, these additions are considered bad by the fandom. Fans are hungry for new content, so the idea of holding something back struck a nerve. But despite no official verification, the “leak”
Hashtags became the home of what looked like years of resolved complaints about the game. While some issues are not constant talking points with the fandom as a whole, they are worth repeating here just to give a sense of the many people contained in the #boycottgenshinimpact. Some players encountered a lack of account security in the game, which has been broken in the past. Other players also discuss the portrayal of one of the game’s few darker characters. Another set of complaints drew attention to an NPC expressing romantic love for a character who appears to be a child, prompting fans to say there is pedophilia in the game.
Among all these, a claim became the center of attention and generated a large number of retweets and responses. A Twitter user pointed out that the Hilichurls – the goblin-like common enemies in the game – were based on indigenous peoples. Soon, many players shared a clip where a developer from miHoYo could be seen using footage of natives dancing as a reference for Hilichurl animations. The short highlight was part of a larger video linked to the official Genshin impact‘s Bilibili account released on September 29, 2020.
Despite the call for action in the hashtag #boycottgenshinimpact, many people using the hashtag said they did not actually intend to drop the game. Instead of these offended fans – who often sported Genshin impact avatars or references to the game on their Twitter profiles – said they just wanted the developers to fix what some players saw as the more problematic content.
A tweet said, “#DoBetterMihoyo is more appropriate to use if you do not actually have plans to delete the game, and that too just calls miHoYo as a business.” So fans adapted the hashtag language and switched to using “#dobettermihoyo” instead.
One person who wanted to remain anonymous due to the heated nature of the online counter told Polygon via Twitter messages that many consider Genshin impact a “comfort” game, so the initial hashtag was not entirely serious to begin with.
On Wednesday, both hashtags are still going strong, with naysayers and supporters of the game continuing to discuss the benefits.