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Posted by11 months ago
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Expecting to get downvoted to all hell because of this, but here we go. Before you call me a Mihoyo shill or white knight, please first let me explain my reasoning. I have often been first in line to criticize most of their (many) bad decisions, and I'm not writing this post to say "This was a great decision!" either. I think the way Mihoyo is treating their content creators for this is pretty garbage. But most of the complaining around this event I've seen has nothing to do with that, so I want to take a second to address some of the most common complaints I've seen and have a discussion about it.

 

1. "I thought they would be free!"

If you genuinely thought this was ever going to be the case, I'm sorry, but ... that was never going to happen. CN players were not able to get the wings for free, we weren't going to either. If you think this is a PR nightmare now, imagine the PR disaster Mihoyo's head office would have in China if they'd announced that players all over the world would have access to an item they had to pay (and wait hours in line) for. So straight up, that was never on the table. I think most people here are aware of that, but I've seen it crop up, so I thought I'd get it out of the way first.

 

2. "They should have just kept it with KFC. I'd rather have the chicken. At least then I'd have some food for my money."

Good for you, but realistically, this was also never going to happen.

 

Have you considered what a logistical nightmare it would be for Mihoyo to organise a collab with every different arm of KFC all over the world? Some countries don't even have KFC. Hell, even if you live in the US, the number of participating KFCs would probably be restricted to about five in the big cities. Don't live near to New York, California or Seattle? Too fucking bad, you can't participate. Oh, your city has a participating KFC but they're in lockdown because there's a worldwide pandemic? Too fucking bad, you also can't participate. That's even assuming that the different arms of KFC in each country would even agree to participate. What's in it for them? Genshin isn't popular everywhere. Just because you would rather have the chicken, doesn't mean you'd even be able to get it. And for every person that could, there would be a hundred other people who couldn't.

 

So if we got the wings at all, they were always going to cost a similar amount of money to what they cost in CN, and they were always going to have to be distributed via an online purchase of some description.

 

3. "I get why they have to make it an online purchase, but I don't care about Twitch or Twitch streamers. Why can't they make it an in-game purchase, or a donation to charity?"

This one actually does sound like a reasonable complaint with a reasonable solution on the surface, but there are actually a number of logistical problems with it.

 

First off, yes, making it an in-game purchase is possible-- probably. However, it's not likely. Let's consider: if people can redeem it with Genesis Crystals, obviously there will be people redeeming it with crystals saved up, or from purchasing multiple welkins, etc. Once that happens, you again you have the CN playerbase in an uproar and claiming it's unfair. Not to mention, if they make it a set dollar direct-purchase price, people will then complain again that Mihoyo is greedy (true) and that it's unfair to people in countries with a weak currency (also true). Hell, we already see this problem with the Genesis Crystals. Because Mihoyo does not account for how far a dollar goes in each country and just does a straight up conversion, people in countries like Brazil, Mexico etc are all left out in the cold.

 

But maybe that doesn't apply to you because you live in the US and your dollar is fine and fuck everyone else, am I right? If this is you, I beg you, please find some empathy for others and grow up.

 

(Side note: I will also take this opportunity to mention that we flat out Do Not Know what was in Mihoyo's contract with KFC China. It's not uncommon for collab contracts to stipulate that the special item can't be gained through certain other means after the collab is over. But that's just a speculation so it's neither here nor there. It's not really a talking point, but I think it's worthwhile to point out that we never know everything that's going on in contracts behind the scenes.)

 

Second of all, making it a donation to charity, while it seems like a good PR move, also comes with it's own problems. Every country has different laws around donating to charity which is already a logistical hurdle. But let's say that's not a problem. Then, how do you verify that people have donated and allow them to transfer that verification to the game? What system are you putting in place? How much money and manpower do you have to put towards this verification and transfer system that will ultimately net you no profit?

 

But let's say none of that is a problem either. So then, how does Mihoyo decide which charity to donate to? They can't just say "Donate to whatever charity you want!" because then you run up against the above verification logistics problem-- it all has to be handled by a central system of some kind. They have to pick a charity to partner with. Who do they pick? It has to be someone global, capable of receiving global donations. Okay, let's pick the Red Cross! Oh wait, there's some drama and bad PR surrounding the Red Cross because of their mismanagement in Haiti and known homophobic discrimination in some countries, oopsie! Do you see where I'm going with this? Oh, and let's not mention, you also run into the same problem of donation amounts needing to be standardized across the globe somehow, which will probably once again lead to people in weak dollar countries being left out.

 

Like, it sure does sound good on the surface, but it's really just not the easy solution it sounds like. But hey! You know what online service does have a platform set up to handle and verify loads of money and is one of the few globally accessible services that has actually somewhat HAS already adjusted their set prices based around the value of a dollar in each individual country and is already partnered with Genshin's internal systems?

 

OH RIGHT. TWITCH.

 

4. I don't want my money to go to some streamer I've never heard of and will never watch, though.

But... you'd rather give it directly to Mihoyo who is already swimming in billions of dollars? Or... you'd rather give it to KFC, who is also already swimming in billions of dollars AND contributing to the mass factory farming and harming the environment? Gotta be real fam, I don't understand this one.

 

If you're someone who'd rather give the money to charity, then why not pick the smallest participating streamer you can find and give the money to them and just consider it a donation? Small streamers are usually really struggling to make bank. This isn't a secret. You only have to look at the Twitch leak from a few weeks ago to know that unless you're in the top 0.010% of streamers, you're barely covering rent.

 

Maybe you don't care about streamers. Maybe you don't even think they should exist. That's fine. But at the end of the day, picking a small streamer and giving them a $10 donation ensures you're almost certainly giving the money to someone who could really use it and you know exactly where it's going. Isn't that kind of the best of both worlds?

 

5. "I have a moral objection to giving money to Amazon."

Yeah, okay, this one's valid. Can't argue with that. I haven't really seen this one come up in discussion at all, but if that's the reason you're mad, then you do you! Keep boycotting Amazon. I would also encourage you to also send feedback to Mihoyo explaining that you won't be taking part in this promotion because Twitch is owned by Amazon, and make it very clear that is your reasoning and nothing else. (And I hope it goes without saying, but please do not be an abusive dickhead about it.)

 

6. "I have a moral objection to the way Mihoyo is treating their streamers! The terms of the contract are bad!"

Yeah, the terms of the contract are TERRIBLE. But somehow I don't see people talking about that either! Let's talk about that, hey!

 

I want to preface this by saying it's not unusual for game companies to specify that content creators cannot stream other games while they have an event/promotion going on. However, they usually offer the streamer some monetary compensation in exchange, in recognition of the lost potential revenue the streamer could be getting from other games and sponsorships. By not offering the participating streamers anything, they have essentially said they are expecting the playerbase to subsidize the difference. THAT is shitty. This is essentially a very risky gamble for any streamer to take, and I don't blame anyone who doesn't take it. It's really only a certain thing if you wouldn't be getting sponsorships or playing other things anyway.

 

This does set a bad precedent for the way Mihoyo treats their content creators, and I wish more people were talking about it in discussion around the wings, but that's not really what most people are complaining about, funnily enough.

 

TL;DR VERSION:

Boycott or complain about the event if you want, but keep in mind what you're really complaining about, and keep your expectations reasonable. Make your displeasure about Amazon and Genshion's treatment of their content creators known if that's what you're mad about. But don't punish small streamers for Mihoyo's bad decisions. Mihoyo won't see a cent either way, so they won't suffer from you abstaining on the wings-- but the small time Twitch streamers who have taken this horrendous deal will.

 

Now I've said my piece, I hope we can generate some actually sane discussion on the topic.

 

EDIT: whoops haha forgot paragraphs exist.

EDITx2: doing my best to keep up with replies but I'm flagging and it's bedtime in my country so I'll probably head off. thanks for the discussion! always a fun time.

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