On September 28th, PlayStation 4 fans will have the opportunity to check out Genshin Impact, an all-new, free-to-play RPG. Created by developer miHoYo, Genshin Impact’s open-world owes a bit to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The title seems rather ambitious, and gamers will soon get an opportunity to see whether or not the game can live up to its lofty aspirations. With Genshin Impact set to release soon, ComicBook.com chatted with the team at miHoYo to discuss the upcoming Nintendo Switch version, the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s role in the soundtrack, and the game’s manga tie-in!
Do you plan on checking out Genshin Impact when it releases on September 28th? Have you been following the game’s development? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!
ComicBook.com: First of all, congratulations on the upcoming release! What was the genesis for Genshin Impact’s development?
miHoYo: “Something new, something exciting, something out of imagination” has been miHoYo’s motto since day 1. In 2017, we began to feel that it would be exciting for both ourselves and players to create a game that players using different types of devices can enjoy together. The open-world concept was a good vehicle for many of our concepts and gives players greater freedom, and thus the concept of a cross-platform open-world adventure was born.
ComicBook.com: Genshin Impact seems to draw inspiration from Breath of the Wild. What impact did the Zelda game have on development?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most popular and respected titles in the industry, and one which our staff hold in high regard. In a post that our team circulated to players last year, we mentioned that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of our inspirations for creating Genshin Impact as an open-world action RPG. That said, it is important to note that once you actually pick up the game, you will find the experience of Genshin Impact to be very different from that of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Genshin Impact features a fully original story and characters, and the core gameplay revolves around assembling a party of multiple characters and engaging in a combat system based on interactions between different elements. In the first few closed betas we invited select players to experience the game and provide us with feedback. With the game launching on September 28th, we are hoping that players can experience the uniqueness of the game first-hand, and of course that they will enjoy the experience.
ComicBook.com: The game is set to release later this month on PS4, PC, Android, and iOS. Is there anything to announce regarding the Nintendo Switch version’s release date?
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.
We have plans regarding next-gen consoles, and we will be announcing them as these plans take shape. The Switch version is already in development and we will release more information as we progress further along. We do not currently have plans to release the game on Xbox.
Genshin Impact is our first cross-platform open-world game. The relative youth and inexperience of our team presented a challenge; the complexity of developing an open-world game exceeded our expectations, and changing one thing often affected many others. This meant that our team needed to be very coordinated, because something as simple as a small terrain tweak could have unexpected consequences.
Developing a cross-platform game requires the developers to think about game development from a multi-platform perspective, ensuring that the game runs smoothly on PC, mobile and console, while leveraging the hardware capabilities of each platform. This called for efficient resource creation and management across platforms, and putting in the effort to optimize for each platform’s hardware.
The launch on September 28th is only the first step in an ongoing process as we continue to update the game based on player feedback, delivering new main quest and side quest content, challenges and characters. One could say that the real work has only just begun.
It is not easy to develop a game and be confident that players will continue to enjoy it, and we expect that many more challenges lie ahead. However, we are very passionate about Genshin Impact, and we believe that this will give us the motivation to overcome any such challenges.
ComicBook.com: Genshin Impact is a free-to-play game. What kind of in-game transactions can players expect to see?
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.
ComicBook.com: How does the Genshin Impact manga tie-in with the game? Will players have to read it to understand parts of the story?
The Genshin Impact manga forms part of the world-building process of Genshin Impact, telling background stories that we could not fully cover in the game itself. Reading the manga series will allow players to learn more about the inhabitants of the world of Genshin Impact and their stories, though it is not necessary to do so to enjoy the game. The story of Diluc and the Knights of Favonius is one of many that is further expanded in the comics.
ComicBook.com: The London Philharmonic Orchestra created music for the game. How did their involvement come about?
Music is crucial to a game. It is one of the first things that sets the mood when you launch the game for the first time, and it plays a key role in the emotional impact of key scenes and plot points. Genshin Impact is an open-world game with distinctly different cultures in different regions of the world, so we also wanted the music to capture the sense of switching between different styles in different regions. The soundtrack of Genshin Impact is primarily orchestral with elements of world music added in, highlighting the different cultures of each region and giving them each a different feel.
When we asked the London Philharmonic Orchestra to record music for Genshin Impact, what we were looking for was the unique self-expression and emotional range that only a live performance can provide. As capable as electronic music software may be, the essence of truly rousing music stems from the emotional input of the musicians themselves. As a world-class orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra has extensive experience in recording game soundtracks, including for many well-known titles and franchises. Not only are their musicians incredibly talented, they also showed an exceptional understanding of the various cultural elements that HOYO-MiX tried to integrate into the music. It has been an honor to work with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and we believe that their outstanding rendition of Genshin Impact’s music will serve to draw players into the game world.
Genshin Impact has been conceived as a live service game, with continuous updates and new content that will improve the player experience.
We will be making continuous improvements based on player feedback and suggestions. More characters and stories are in the pipeline, as well as richer social interactions, more variety in the gameplay experience, and more optimized domain farming. As new features are implemented, any materials required will be added to the game world, with the goal of having the open-world experience permeate every part of the game. Domains will become increasingly dynamic, increasing player engagement and the importance of team planning. Ways to customize your appearance are also being discussed.
miHoYo, PlayStation 4
World news – US – Genshin Impact Interview: miHoYo Discusses the Game’s Zelda-Influence, Manga Tie-In, and More