Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-01-05 13:47 JST)
miHoYo has announced that they are releasing Alternate Outfits for four Genshin Impact characters. The outfits themselves are less revealing redesigns of their current outfits. In the global release of the game, these outfits are being treated as alternatives, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in China.
Compared to the default designs, these new outfits cover more chest and skin, along with changes to their transparent tights. miHoYo notes that these are “the current design drafts of the Alternate Outfits. Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of the final product.” In their global facing announcement, they also say the current default outfits will be retained.
However, the Chinese facing announcement is a little different. Firstly, with Ver.2.5, the announcement notes that character artwork will also change. That is to suggest, at least in China, that these new outfits will become the default.
It also sounds like some character depictions and cutscenes will be adjusted as well. miHoYo has also issued an apology to players in China and will be distributing 1,200 Primogems as compensation. Compared to the global announcement, the one in China doesn’t quite take the same tone.
This difference likely stems from strengthening regulations in China on what can be shown. In the country, there has been a movement toward stronger regulations on video game content, and in September of last year, self-regulation guidelines were released with many industry firms pledging their support of them. These guidelines also include voluntary restraints on depicting sexual content (related article).
miHoYo is among the companies that have pledged to abide by the guidelines. In other words, these outfit changes could be to self-regulate sexual content within the game. There’s also the possibility that the changes are being made at the direct request of the Chinese government.
Genshin Impact previously had another occurrence of possible self-regulation when new character Shenhe’s navel disappeared. The character was revealed in November of last year with her navel being visible through her tights, but in artwork released in December, the material of the tights was made thicker, and her navel wasn’t visible anymore. This change and the alternate costumes both bring changes to depictions of bare skin.
With these costume changes thought to be due to regulations in China, miHoYo seems to be in a tough position. These costume changes may likely impact the designs of upcoming characters as well.
Genshin Impact’s latest update, Ver.2.4 Fleeting Colors in Flight, is now available as of January 5th.