‘Zelda Clone’ Wins Game of the Year Honors From Apple, Google

While Chinese-developed role-playing game Genshin Impact has been a critical and commercial success, some say it borrows heavily from Switch hit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

A popular but controversial mobile role-playing game has become the first Chinese-made title to net game of the year honors from not one but two major app stores.

On Tuesday, both Apple and Google announced that Genshin Impact, developed by Shanghai studio miHoYo, had won their “iPhone Game of the Year” and “Best Game of 2020” awards, respectively.

The story-based action role-playing game — playable on phones and tablets as well as PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch — invites players to explore and battle through the beautifully rendered world of Teyvat. As they progress, they assemble a growing party of anime-style characters, each with different skills and magical abilities.

Since Genshin Impact’s release in late September, the free-to-play title has been a critical and commercial success, not only in China but also worldwide. It’s the biggest-ever global launch for a Chinese game, scoring favorably on authoritative Western game review sites like IGN and PC Gamer. It has enjoyed thousands of hours of airtime on Twitch, a major game-streaming site, and made $400 million dollars in just the first two months after its release — equivalent to more than $6 million per day.

Genshin Impact is also notable for being the first-ever global hit role-playing game made for mobile, as previous such titles had only ever achieved regional success.

“Gamers aren’t accustomed to encountering free-to-play titles of this caliber on any platform, let alone mobile,” Randy Nelson of Sensor Tower, an app market research site, told tech news outlet VentureBeat. “There really isn’t another mobile game like it.”

Though popular and well-designed, Genshin Impact has also faced backlash over its monetization system. Buying the in-game “wishes” with real cash is essentially a crap shoot: Players can win in-game characters, items, and upgrades, but the chances of nabbing the rarest ones are slim. Continue to read the full article here


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone