On April 24th, a man walked into the offices of MiHoYo in Shanghai, armed with a knife and nothing else. With his knife and pent-up hatred, he snuck through the office cubicles, making his way to the CEO offices. News spread throughout the building that a trespasser entered the property. Taking no chances, law enforcement was contacted. The assailant was then caught before any harm was done. Police escorted the man out of the MiHoYo company building.
What were the perpetrator’s plans? To target MiHoYo, a popular video game developer known for Genshin and Honkai Impact, and their founders and CEOs, Cai Haoyu and Liu Wei, only to shortly kill himself right after. And the perpetrator’s motive? The girls in his favorite video game, Honkai Impact 3rd, aren’t in the bunny girl outfits he so desperately wanted.
Two days before the attack, MiHoYo’s Honkai Impact launched an event to celebrate its 3rd anniversary. Honkai Impact 3rd is a free RPG where the world is collapsing from a mysterious disaster. Players would have to progress through the story, saving their dystopian world. The event would’ve had new cosmetic costumes for characters featured in the game. Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Wrong. The costumes were bunny girls, the scum of society, the sin that will land you in the 9th circle of hell. Putting aside all the jokes, this event wouldn’t even harm a fly (unless being incredibly lewd counts).
Remarks about MiHoYo’s special treatment towards global fans, rather than Chinese fans are written. Yet, this article wouldn’t need to be written if everything went peachy. Outrage and criticism were sparked, especially among the Chinese community. This event was made for global servers, meaning everyone but the Chinese servers had the opportunity to get these bunny girl outfits for their characters. The Chinese community was livid, people were either mad they weren't allowed to have their dear bunny outfits or were just angry that this event existed in the first place since they saw the event as inappropriate and “out of character”.
MiHoYo noticed this, so they posted an apology on the Honkai Impact twitter.
The Chinese community’s crying and toxic whining worked, leading to the event being canceled for the global servers. Even though the global servers were robbed of this event, they still got their 500 crystals to pull for their waifus!
But of course, this wasn’t enough. Fans in the Chinese community protested around the MiHoYo offices, putting up banners regarding MiHoYo’s treatment of their home country, only for it to eventually escalate into an attempted assassination attempt. Below, remarks about MiHoYo’s special treatment towards global fans, rather than Chinese fans are written.
Honkai Impact’s “bunny girl drama’ is just one of many MiHoYo’s Twitter dramas. MiHoYo’s relationship with Twitter varies from being incredibly good to disastrously bad. Fans and haters alike will find ways to critique and ruthlessly criticize MiHoYo’s plethora of games. Twitter is a notorious platform where people can voice their opinions, regardless if they’re morally right or not. And with such power comes responsibility, and unfortunately, 99.99% of people on Twitter lack responsibility.
MiHoYo’s relationship with Twitter is on a constant seesaw, where public favor isn’t guaranteed. Many movements and “cancellations” have been attempted against the company, most of them falling flat after a couple of days.
There have been a couple of notable and recent ones (excluding the Honkai incident), that gained a lot of traction in the community. One attempt was
#BoycottGenshin revolved primarily around the representation of certain characters, enemies, and NPCs. One character that was targeted was Kaeya. Kaeya is a character that you get at the beginning of Genshin Impact and is also one of the only characters of color. The way he was described as a character was “exotic”, which rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Another issue came with the game’s main enemy, hilichurls. A tour on MiHoYo and their development progress showed the references for hilichurls, which were indigenous people. MiHoYo has yet to address these issues, and even though they had reasons to be angry, most of them can be easily debunked. Kaeya being “exotic” doesn’t signify his skin tone, but rather the fact that he came from a different place. Hilichurls are enemies in a video game that are misunderstood creatures, they do not signify MiHoYo’s political or racial values.
People that supported and posted under the hashtag had one problem though, they couldn’t actually cancel playing the game. So, they started a new hashtag, #DoBetterMiHoYo, claiming that they simply wanted the company to improve their practices when it comes to their games. #BoycottGenshin was just one of many failed attempts to ‘cancel’ the million-dollar company, and although they had reasons to be mad, they simply didn’t hold up. It focused on issues that hold little to no weight, ignoring the real problems that the game possesses such as the gacha system not favoring those who are free-to-play, resin (regenerable income) and how the game relies on it too much, and the lack of content for people that are in the end game.
MiHoYo doesn’t have the cleanest track record, and many times they have been insensitive, and the same goes for the multitude of fans on Twitter; boycotting a video game because they’re “misrepresenting” a subject that they really aren’t, and even taking things too far with trying to murder someone over a video game. MiHoYo has been in rocky waters, and the waves won’t stop anytime soon. Criticism is expected when it comes to anything that we do, yet these critiques focus on nothing of importance, creating drama for no reason other than some sadistic entertainment. The real issues aren’t being addressed, and people are getting mad over a video game. So my message to these people? Touch grass, and do something that matters.