Genshin Impact's Bizarre Monetization Model: Making Free-to-Play Good?

Genshin Impact has a strangely optimistic monetization model that I haven't seen anywhere before, or at least not implemented in this way in a game like this.

#JayRPG #JRPG #GenshinImpact

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Jay RPG:
*Please Read:* I don't want to have to explain this over and over in the comments, maybe I didn't explain it well enough in the video but the gacha is not good. The gacha in Genshin Impact is just as scummy as the gacha in most other gacha mobile games. The reason Genshin Impact's monetization model is good is because the gacha is *not the game.* There is a satisfying, compelling, fun, non-grindy, single-player, open-world RPG here that you can play for free, and they don't hamper your progress or stop you from playing or make things take a really long time if you choose to play for free. This RPG experience is almost separate from the other portion of the game which is the standard scummy character gacha.

Once you reach "end-game" there is nothing to do other than grind gems to upgrade characters and get new characters so you can grind gems to upgrade characters and get new characters. You don't need to stick around and play this garbage gacha end-game, you don't ever have to worry about the gacha on your way to the end-game, you don't even need to acknowledge that this game has an end-game. Complete the story, explore the gorgeous world, do what you want to do and then shut it off like any other single-player RPG. It's hard to criticise a model that is essentially providing you a free 100+ hour amazingly fun single-player RPG in the hopes that you'll stick around once you've finished it to spend money using the gacha for no purpose other than to grind more to use the gacha more in an endless loop.

It's really hard to convey just how weird of a strategy this monetization model is. They are hoping that giving people a good game (that is it's own complete experience) for free will make those people want to stick around to play a bad game (IE the end-game).
vivi xD
vivi xD:
Tldr. It's not pay to win. It's pay to waifu
star 8444
star 8444:
Can we just appreciate how much work they put into making this an actual good game rather than having it revolve around gacha?
Dr Schanzl
Dr Schanzl:
Check the business models of both Honkai Impact and Genshin Impact, and how they are quite similar. That’s why Mihoyo chose that model, because it worked before.
Jon S
Jon S:
Is not so much that games can't be on mobile, but rather our expectations of what mobile game has become.
Misu Satriyo
Misu Satriyo:
I hope Genshin Impact can make a significant change for the future of mobile gaming.
Brad Bradson
Brad Bradson:
If I'm invested in the world and the gameplay I'll probably spend money on a free game
Realistically this is a good model. Make a good game, first and foremost, and the players will swarm. Optimistic business model? There are always whales in gachas, it'll make plenty of money off of them.

As for the person with a normal amount of money? Well I spent $60 on BotW, and so far I've not only enjoyed this game more but have gotten more hours out of it (I quit BotW pretty early to be fair). So yeah I'll probably buy something, a few somethings, because it's a really good game and I think quality deserves rewarding in an industry where we don't do enough punishing of mediocre products.
Naomi Kitsune
Naomi Kitsune:
9:30 I disagree with this assumption. I've been playing their previous game for the past 4 years, and it's not miHoYo's style to employ such tactics to convince people to play the gacha. Even though I've been max level on Honkai Impact (the previous game) for a year now, everything still feels the same as when I started the game in regards to the gacha, in fact I make even more currency, and hit the gacha more often just by doing the usual gameplay.

I also know all the ins and outs of how their gacha system works (works the same in both Honkai and Genshin) and a smart f2p player can easily get the best stuff without spending a dime. They have a 10-drop guarantee that players call 'the pity system' and it means within 10 drops, you are guaranteed either a character or a high level item. This count resets after each guarantee, so chaining multiple is both possible and pretty common. That and they have rotating gacha's that focus on specific characters and loot. A f2p player who has hoarded their earned currency while waiting for a specific focused gacha to cycle in, can guarantee they get the character they want.

Also as far as the single player goes. There's still 5 more nations they are going to add over time, meaning their story is going to be expanded, and lots of new content will be added, so those who finish the story now have more to look forward to. Genshin is going to be a continuous project like their old game, Honkai Impact 3rd. Which might I say, is still getting updates and new story chapters every month. So don't worry too much, there's going to be fresh content for Genshin, for years to come.
They don't want my money up front, but I still want to pay for a physical release
This doesn't look bad at all actually. Its not intrusive and looks well made. I hope this is the trend for the future
Eddy Ducreo Music
Eddy Ducreo Music:
Everyone's talking about a waifu... I'm thinking of husbandos :D
even if it has monetization, based on the beta, the gameplay alone gets me hooked on playing.
Colton Stephens
Colton Stephens:
I mean the model they've created is that they make a good game that people want to support. So far they seem open to player feedback and the game I've played thus far is great. If they make a game good enough that people want to support, then that sounds like a better model than the recent pre-purchase and early access model that only ends in disappointment when the promises don't happen. The model of Genshin Impact is more of a demo in a sense they are so proud and confident of their game that they hope players will support it financially, which I think many players will as I see the potential in this game. If the game becomes too grindy later and no other elements of the game are expanded on, then I will abandon the game. But for the time being, it's great and I want to support it.
There are two reasons to play this game after the story and the beautiful world exploration:
More story from updates
I'm very confident both will be of excellent quality
Coming from a Honkai Impact 3rd player
i would have paid 80$ for this game seriously. (in canada its 80, 60$ in US)
Cherrybuu Ch. チェリブウ
Cherrybuu Ch. チェリブウ:
Their strat is basically the same thing as Honkai Impact 3 with a slight modifications, and it works.
Haruna Kai Ni
Haruna Kai Ni:
Just a heads up:
since this game is developed by the same guys who made Honkai Impact 3, you could expect some spin-offs of characters and costumes based on the "totally unrelated side-story" events like they do in Honkai Impact.
Daniel Klein
Daniel Klein:
Playn for free through the storry exploring an nicely put together world doing some dungeons. And then pay the creator a lidle bit of respect in form of money. Thats my plan with the game.
Vitor Leão
Vitor Leão:
W8 till you reach the point of receiving only 60 primogems a day.
just want to say that
the real reason why you want to get a 5star character
just because that's your wifu/husband you want in genshin,
it's really just
"what you want " not
"what you need "

really just that simple。
500 Afk Farm
500 Afk Farm:
I can't wait to play this game. Already counting the minutes until I can pre load it
Heartless Alchemyst
Heartless Alchemyst:
“Free-to-play is a dirty word in most circles” Not in the Warframe community. That’s for sure.
Louie Macorncan
Louie Macorncan:
this game need to go on steam, perfect for players go eye-boggling on it.
Meanwhile Dragalia Lost has it where you can have 3 star characters be very useful. Not at first, but now three star and four star characters are as good as 5 star characters.

Edited due to me accidentaly putting "as good as 4 star characters".
Hey There
Hey There:
I'm gonna probably treat it as a single-player story RPG and move along
Mujtaba Rafid Ibrahim
Mujtaba Rafid Ibrahim:
I just wanna finish the story without too grinding or paywall.
If they add some end game co-op dungeons in the future without the whole "can only be cleared by a super p2w squad thing" this is gonna be a game a play for a while and drop a lil money
6:18 , i have to stop you there, ever heard of Honkai Impact 3rd or PGR or Honkai Gakuen/ GunGirlZ?
you have not done your research deep enough
Hi Ich Bin Barney
Hi Ich Bin Barney:
honestly though...
It would've been killer to spend some money for this game to not have lootboxes.
Rathernot Disclose
Rathernot Disclose:
3:43 "and really love goku -for some reason-"
lol if this was a shot at Goku, I approve. Garbage char.
Ionut TB
Ionut TB:
Welp, Honkai Impact has been getting a litte more free to play friendly lately so I'd assume that this one will follow the same path.
Dude explaining the whole lore of mobile games to get past 10 minutes
gakpad the junkrat boy
gakpad the junkrat boy:
it gives me so much hope seeing monetization models like genshin uses making a comeback and the distinction between p2w and f2p games being reinforced. this take is coming from someone who primarily plays mobile games for the last few years but grew up on early consoles and pc games. I have been waiting forever for the predatory p2w/gacha bubble to start to pop. Developers have become wolves and the players the sheep when it used to be that we were on the same team. We should all be making sure to take note of how good it feels to be considered and RESPECTED as PLAYERS and not just treated as walking paychecks by a developer that focuses on gameplay first and monetization second, and adjusting our standards accordingly for the games we choose to play in the future. The toxic gacha monetization model has become the game development equivalent of dropshipping. "Make as much money for as little effort as possible and prioritize profit over quality" is the mantra and quality isn't a factor as long as a developer isn't losing money.

As players it's exhausting having to constantly defend against the assault of developers trying to squeeze as much money out of us as possible with no regard for our gameplay experience. The average player-developer relationship has become abusive, and just like how it goes in abusive relationships in real life, players' self worth has become so eroded by the abuse that they have become complacent in their mistreatment, unable to recognize that they deserve better. And just like in real life, the first step to escaping an abusive relationship is to recognize that "better" exists. We as a community need to empower ourselves with the self respect to demand better and stop settling for shitty games. Games like genshin will help that process along and we should make sure we recognize and appreciate it for that. I was just lucky to have been shown better early on growing up spending my 15 dollars a month on my wow subscription or 30-50 bucks for an N64/gameboy/playstation game in exchange for access to a fully contained and complete experience, and I wish I knew a better way to help people understand how terrible the current norm has become for monetization in comparison.

people only tolerate the terrible monetization models because they don't know better. We need to help show this generation of gamers what "good games" look like so that they can seek them out instead. they only don't know better because the market is flooded with hastily made garbage that only exists as whale bait ("whales" are the big spenders that make up a miniscule percentage of a gacha game's playerbase but are the source of a vast majority of the profits). That shitty gacha monetization may be good for short term profit but it's at the expense of having any REAL community or long term viability for the game because *by design* it isn't simply isn't supposed to appeal to most players. It's a toxic model and it's poisoned the current game market, and good games that respect their players are the antidote. I hope more developers follow this lead and continue to take the monetization high road.

The gameplay first model is the only one that's win/win for both players and developers. We as the players all win when there's a competitive market for games based on gameplay, that should be self evident. And for developers, for reliable, long term profit, focusing on gameplay will always be the best route because it cultivate a loyal playerbase who is willing to support you in exchange for keeping the game around and aren't just giving you money because there's nothing better for them to play instead. games like Dota, CS:GO, Fortnite, league of legends, etc. are all excellent examples of what monetization done right looks like. Yes, it takes more effort to make a GAME rather than a shallow husk of a game that is really just a vehicle for microtransactions with the bare minimum elements required to fool its players into thinking they're having fun for long enough to become financially invested. But that extra effort does not go unrewarded - when players love the game , they are going to be willing to support it, and the more they love it, the more they are going to be willing to support it. The more they are respected, the more they will love it. Duh. Us as players have a responsibility to make sure developers see that they will be rewarded for putting out good games too if we want to see any change so i ask everyone who took the time to read up to here to please keep all of this in mind when deciding on the games you choose to support and how much you choose to support them.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk and aylene you're a cutie
Trai Harder
Trai Harder:
I caught that Vegeta love.

I don’t mind Gacha games tbh I play many of them I usually get who I want without spending money.

I think they’ll eventually add a lot more characters to make the Gacha more important. An they’ll add stronger and stronger raids.
They’ll definitely add characters who have extremely unique abilities that will only be able to be obtained by the Gacha.

Either way I’m super excited to play the game.
I honestly thought i stole this game with it’s content
Noob Abyss
Noob Abyss:
Problems is this is the best anime animations of all games..
My main problem is this: Is the story "finished" at launch or does it end as a tv season cliffhanger?
JCC Toys
JCC Toys:
Base on the update on Honkai Impact's story I have high hopes for Genshin Impact's future.
Delusional Dunmer
Delusional Dunmer:
I would like to state there are no limited characters who are 'gone forever' like how they do in many gacha games. There will always be another rate up banner they will appear in, so if you really want that character just save up a ton of primogems until you can roll for them.
Lilitha11 a
Lilitha11 a:
Having played the game for a bit now, I think there are definitely roadblocks that slow you down if you don't play. However you can reach all the same content at a slower pace by taking your time and just enjoying the game and exploring around. The 'slow' path is still very enjoyable so it doesn't feel too bad.
Naufal Catra Imanna
Naufal Catra Imanna:
5:52 100 hours of content

Extra 25 hours grinding tower
this might be one of the best games period imo, its more like a solo action rpg plus it being free to play with gacha elements tagged one rather than gacha being the main feature
Alyssa Wompman
Alyssa Wompman:
Honestly I was worried when I heard there would be limited daily quests and something called an "Adventure rank."
I assumed they'd lock story elements behind your adventure rank and you'd have to pay money if you wanted to refresh the quests before the the daily reset in order to level up quicker and access more of the game.

Thanks for the explanation, it abated my fears of getting too attached to the game because damn is it fun.
With this finally released and having spent quite a bit of time with the game, I am shocked this is free to play. I'm enjoying this more than I have many of the recent pay to play games. I even dare say I am even enjoying it more than the short time I spent with BotW. Coming off Honkai, I am pretty confident in what miYoHo can and hopefully will do with the game. I like that this is more straight forward of a game with a full fledged single player experience (though the co-op is very nice), but I also expect them to add plenty more to do. Regular new content would be very nice, but the game is so good that I feel comfortable leaving it installed on my PS4/phone and returning to it whenever they add new content. I could even see them charging for new episodes and expansions and people willing to pay for those. It's one thing when a company produces a crappy gambling simulator disguised as a poorly made action/puzzle/whatever, but something else completely when the game is focused on quality content, with the risk taking and money spending aspects being secondary. I can feel a lot more comfortable spending my money to support the company. I certainly will do that with Genshin.
I'm confident it will have a PvP type mode in the near future.
Ircha Gaming
Ircha Gaming:
It looks so pretty though! Looking forward to it!
Nizam Jamil
Nizam Jamil:
I really hope they make returns with this game. I tried it, they honestly put effort on it . You can play it mobile and its the same game content!
Xenoblade chronicles 2 is a full price game with free loot boxes
Max Truong
Max Truong:
I spent 10 hours already and so far so good, you can finish this game single player without spending any money but it gets hard to process at the end game but not that bad.
Ah, I thought it would be an MMO ;c
I played an older gacha game called Another Eden, many players are spending money to support the studio, to this day there are already many existed expansions and they are still making new content (new characters, new main storylines, new sidequests, etc), story is really good, the director is the one who created chrono cross and chrono trigger
MinusUltra OneForNobody
MinusUltra OneForNobody:
I just hope it doesn't end up like wizard101 for example.

"Free to play" they say
David N
David N:
At this point, I'm just waiting for the game to release on Switch to play it since it's my platform of choice.
Matt Ogle
Matt Ogle:
So I think it kind of sounds like what SE did with Avengers, just without a sticker price. Seems like a new monetization experiment for non-mobile games. Will be interesting to see if it shows up in any other releases soon.

EDIT. Omg you mentioned Avengers right near the end lol.
Szekesa Xikuuze
Szekesa Xikuuze:
I'm currently installing it, and my outlook is;

If I enjoy it I'll buy something now and then, if I don't I wont
Seanan Riley (student)
Seanan Riley (student):
There very much is frontloading. You get almost 50 rolls in the first 30 minutes and you wont get another 50 for at least a hundred hours. And the resin stamina system is pretty awful once you reach ar 30+
Markjohn Cruz
Markjohn Cruz:
I hope this is like warframe where you can get almost anything without paying, just hard work
It's been years since I found something I can sink my teeth into. I can't stop playing!
jake mitchell
jake mitchell:
Makes you wonder how they’ll go about the switch release. I hope they make the switch version more single player friendly, since the switch is portable, but it doesn’t always have internet access
Jason Talerico
Jason Talerico:
I'm definitely looking forward to playing this!
Sleepy X
Sleepy X:
Ill wait to drop alil coin on the game to see how the first few updates go. This game has alot of potential just hope they don't squander it
love the game already, hope it gets a good support from devs and people playing it
Teysind's Gaming Spot
Teysind's Gaming Spot:
Thanks so much for the detailed and helpful information Gaius! I look really forward to playing through its story. Hope you've been safe and well buddy!
ihate mylife
ihate mylife:
For anyone who has played honkai impact you will realise that they like long stories. although its just my thought i feel that genshin has the possibility to get players invested more into the story and history of the world we are in. also i heard they are adding skins, i feel like people will spend more on the skins then the gacha

spoilers i guess (its really just the end of the anemo area a good day or 2 grind of ar and story quests will do it)

if people have been reading the story then you would know of the whole corrupted queen, ancient civilization that was built in the sky. and also the other twin (i think possessed by the corrupted queen) there is also a ton of hidden secrets around telling of different stories(i have found more within the geo area). as far as a history and world building stand point i want to learn more about the order of events and their impact on what the present story is.
also my guess on why the anemo area has a lot less of history compared to geo is because of venti being a free lance bard compared to a advisor that comes once a year
Theodoros, The Thotsbane
Theodoros, The Thotsbane:
I saw that Vegeta > Goku flash on the screen. Nothing escapes my gaze.
Ice Neko
Ice Neko:
from the email I got since i preregisteted, it seems like the post game model will have events and possibly story updates. which is exciting. haha.

the fact its ftp, did not discourage me in the slightest.
Igor Santos
Igor Santos:
3:45 I totally agree, Jay.
Will L
Will L:
Bruh, they get you to pay money for the waifus!
Jexter FTW
Jexter FTW:
Been playing since 3am (release in my country) and haven't encountered p2w got venti first try on draw Soo
Really lofty monetization scheme. With decent reviews I would have paid up front eventually, but I’ll take it now for free, I guess?
Dave L
Dave L:
What an excellent bit of work. Well done, lad. You’ve a keen mind by my estimation. Subbed.
Hannover Fisst
Hannover Fisst:
Thanks for the detailed explanation! I've been following this game for a couple years and was concerned how such a good looking game was going to handle the micro transactions, etc. and your explanation really cleared that up.
Juan Pablo Cano
Juan Pablo Cano:
The game is optimized and pretty enough for me to keep playing it as long as I can manage to continue playing it and I am willing to pay money cause I think they did a great work and offer it to us for free. A game with this graphics and development behind cost usually more than 50€.
Waifu Hunter
Waifu Hunter:
I played this game completely free and i got keqing at my first drop
Plebasaurus Rekt
Plebasaurus Rekt:
Ive put more than 30 hours into this game in 2 days. I love it, and im sure most others will too!
ero s
ero s:
you dont have much experience in gacha game do you? hahaha...
The Tiny Trex
The Tiny Trex:
I had very few expectations for this game. But OMG I love it. It's gorgeous. The music is so relaxing. The dialogue is enjoyable (especially with Japanese voice actors). I'm in love. Happy to throwdown $40 or whatever in Gacha since that's what I would pay for a single player standalone of this quality anyway.
Well this definitely helped clear up my worries with this game. Saw the whole gatcha system and was about to just write the game off.
Third Street Saints
Third Street Saints:
I haven't watched the video yet , but the title makes me think you never heard about Warframe before... Warframe is also pretty popular and the monetization of that game is very generous and fair. Basically you can achieve every piece of weaponry , characters in that game (even the best ones) without spending a single penny on the game.
Lex Avaritia
Lex Avaritia:
I have my doubts. Maybe for a year genshin would try to keep a good F2P game
Then they would go honkai impact mode where there are leaderboards, endless grinding and teambuild that relies on gacha to clear higher content
Zero Fang
Zero Fang:
I can honeslty see theses characters in a musou style game.
The story is nowhere near to the end, we will hop worlds once teyvat has concluded, teyvat is chapter 1.
It's a single player game, they can have as much F2P and P2W as they want, it won't affect my experience either way as I dont have to pay a dime and am not affected by others who do.

It's a very unique approach to monetization, and it makes me wonder if the developers know what the hell they're doing. But hey, at least there's no unvoluntary don't-pay-to-lose.
this game is the only game that i actually wished it was $60 i love this game and im literally addicted too it now
Imagine wanting to finish a story and then move on, except the story will be continuously expanded...
Basically the plot of this game is about your main hero fighting against a herscher and eventually get separated by his/her twin i the process. Lol
nice guy
nice guy:
I really like this free to play model of this game, its looking pretty amazing on release so i can only expect it to get better.
the implementation of an END-game would be the most important thing for this game, if they apply it well then this might be one of the best anime games of 2020
Arif Rahman
Arif Rahman:
I wonder if this game can get their business model like warframe did. But based from Honkai Impact, it is going to be gacha heavy.
Eduardo Alencar
Eduardo Alencar:
since this game is super high quality, i dont mind spending some money on it, and honestly i dont even need to, atm every comp is viable, and also if future content comes for free, this might be one of the best f2p titles right now
Blast test
Blast test:
This game is amazing I'm loving it
Poke Oh
Poke Oh:
This is the forth good gacha game I've seen, I'm good at mobile gaming I guess
Fábio Nunes
Fábio Nunes:
im gonna play it for sure, for how long well see
Mr Salty
Mr Salty:
Can’t say the same for there last game honkai impact.
It looks and plays good but the gatcha system makes the game a struggle
Loving the breathe of the wild vibes in this game
I’ve actually been enjoying this game :,)
jbud 47
jbud 47:
as a f2p! btw! gacha player for years , im ready for this game,lol
I like the fact that even in places they could've pulled some bullshit F2P mechanics, such as making cooking take too much time, they literally make it automatic after 5 perfect attempts.
Sasha Alex
Sasha Alex:
I wish they just sold character packs.... It slowly pushes me away the way getting characters is now.
Daniel Kurtz
Daniel Kurtz:
As long as I can get thicc Mona without absurd amounts of in game purchases or grinding, I will be fine. It seems that I will just have to make an offering to RNJesus and hope for the best