Genshin Impact players are review bombing the game on Google Play to protest its anniversary rewards and the relative silence around the game’s one-year milestone.
At the time of writing, Genshin Impact’s Google Play (opens in new tab) rating is waffling between 1.9 and 2.0 out of 5, and it may well dip lower before all this blows over. As recently as September 16, 2021, it was sitting comfortably at 4.6 with some two million reviews. That’s a precipitous drop for just under two weeks.
This drastic nosedive is a function of two things. The first one is obvious: players mad about how developer MiHoYo has handled Genshin Impact’s one-year anniversary are dumping one-star reviews left and right. The newest reviews are heavily negative and a significant chunk of them specifically call out the anniversary rewards.
As of now, a login giveaway on par with a previous holiday event is the only major in-game reward explicitly tied to Genshin Impact’s one-year anniversary. This event will give players 10 Wishes, which is around $20 worth of Genesis Crystals or Primogems. The game’s one-year milestone received a cute web event but hasn’t been mentioned much anywhere else, and while other rewards have been offered through external art contests, these have largely just irritated already disappointed players.
Genshin Impact isn’t the only MiHoYo game being targeted in this review bomb. Honkai Impact 3rd (opens in new tab), which was released several years before Genshin Impact and is wholly distinct from it, is also seeing one-star reviews mentioning Genshin Impact’s anniversary, though its overall rating is still holding at 4.3 – more than double Genshin’s current, reduced score.
Another big factor here is Google Play’s rating system. According to Google’s review policy (opens in new tab), ratings are “calculated based on the app’s current quality ratings from user reviews, rather than the lifetime average value of user reviews, unless the app has very few ratings.” This gives more weight to an app’s latest reviews, but while this approach is meant to let ratings reflect how “apps can change over time, and often add and remove features,” it also makes review bombs like this extremely visible.
Genshin Impact anniversary backlash has reached more than Google Play, too. The game’s official Discord, as well as other community apps, are being spammed (opens in new tab) with a despondent sticker emote that’s become a symbol of disappointment among players. A new promotional video (opens in new tab) posted by the official Genshin Impact YouTube channel earlier today has also seen an inordinately high number of dislikes, with 87,000 likes and 25,000 dislikes at the time of writing. The previous video saw 34,000 likes and 2,800 dislikes, for comparison.
Google Play’s review policy does notably forbid fake, inaccurate, repeat, and other misleading reviews. Between bot accounts and sheer hyperbole, many of the latest Genshin Impact (and Honkai Impact 3rd) Google Play reviews definitely fit those criteria, so Genshin Impact’s store rating will likely recover as flagged reviews are taken down and normal reviews balance things out. Nevertheless, Genshin Impact’s one-year anniversary is today, September 28, and this review bomb isn’t the kind of event that anyone wanted to see, least of all MiHoYo.
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