Free-to-play RPG Genshin Impact has mostly been discussed for its likeness to Nintendo’s Zelda: Breath Of The Wild since it released in late September. Since then, players have discovered that the in-game chat censors “Hong Kong” and “Taiwan,” leading to calls to boycott the game.
Here is a clip I just recorded. Just in case if this changes for whatever reason here is recorded proof. The entire word “Kong” has been censored in Genshin Impact. pic.twitter.com/JCWjOEUBaf
— Kazuma Hashimoto (@JusticeKazzy_) October 6, 2020
As explained by games analyst Daniel Ahmad, who specializes in the Chinese market, Genshin Impact is published by MiHiYo, a developer based in Mainland China. This means it has to comply with a number of strict censorship rules set by China’s national games regulator, including one that prohibits games from containing “anything that threatens China’s national unity.”
People have asked me why this is:
1. MiHoYo is a Mainland China based developer
2. China’s laws and games regulator state that games cannot contain “Anything that threatens China’s national unity”
3. All Chinese games censor phrases such as Taiwan / Hong Kong due to this https://t.co/QZ6PerqiTC
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 6, 2020
This goes for both games developed in China and games being released in China, which is why a majority of foreign-developed games never get an official Chinese release. According to Niko Partners, only 55 foreign-developed games had been approved for release this year in China, as of August.