Sometimes there’s a disconnect between game developers and their fans and developers often push things on the community that it doesn’t want. Things like, say, an Elon Musk-themed event for the Breath of the Wild-style Gacha game Genshin Impact. On Wednesday, Genshin Impact developer MiHoYo tweeted out that it would try to collaborate with Musk if enough people followed it. The negative reaction from the community was so swift and overwhelming that MiHoYo deleted the tweet soon after.
But the internet remembers.
The Elon Musk themed event was part of a celebration for the Genshin Impact twitter account surpassing 2 million followers. But MiHoYo runs several accounts including @Paimon2theMoon. The account uses the name and avatar of the Genshin Impact character Ella Musk. The event encouraged fans to follow Ella and gave tiered “rewards” for the amount of follows the account earned.
According to the event tease, when Ella hit 1 million followers the official Genshin Impact account would follow Elon Musk on Twitter. At 3 million followers, Genshin Impact would invite Musk, a notoriously busy billionaire who runs the electric company Tesla as well as the space rocket company SpaceX, to stream the game. If 5 million fans followed the account, the CEO of MiHoYo would invite Musk to visit the company’s headquarters. Musk encouraged the event by tweeting that he “can’t wait to be in Genshin Impact,” followed by a cry laughing emoji.
The fans didn’t react positively to the event. Genshin Impact players descended on the Twitter accounts and let them know that they weren’t interested in watching the developer’s of the video game they enjoy simp for a billionaire.
“It was free, forced marketing that MiHoYo got, and the community got literally nothing. Despite what people try to say, the player base largely does not care about rewards outside of the game,” one player said on Reddit. “Also Elon Musk is a piece of shit.”
MiHoYo deleted the tweet, but the fans continued to drag them online.
“Don’t worry Paimon you may have deleted your Elon Musk tweet but twitter will never forget your sins,” one fan said in a tweet. “I feel like I'm in a fever dream, like I genuinely cannot believe this is a real thing that happened.”
“This community event may not affect any of us, but damn, this just highlights how out of touch the marketing/pr team are with the fanbase (or just the internet in general),” player SnarkyHummingbird said on Reddit. “It's especially funny given the fact it's held on twitter. Like does MHY know the Twitter fanbase has a huge chunk of kids who are very into social justice and do not give a crap who Elon Musk is...or that Elon musk's image has fallen out of favour and he is no longer regarded as the ‘funny Tesla man’ like years ago? I'm just flabbergasted by this decision.”
MiHoYo did not immediately respond to Waypoint’s request for comment.