If there's one way to know you've made an impact with your game, it's by having another developer blatantly clone it. Genshin Impact developer MiHoYo is the latest victim of this tried and true cycle. As pre-registration for mobile MMORPG The Legend of Neverland open up, its similarities to the mega-popular Chinese open-world adventure are just too blatant to ignore. That isn't to say it won't be a fun little adventure, though.
What is The Legend of Neverland?
According to Niko Partners' Daniel Ahmad, The Legend of Neverland comes from Korean publisher Game-Ark, with the Senior Analyst remarking that it "uses the same art, font, designs and other mechanics used in Genshin." And it's not hard to spot the similarities in the game footage and photos shared in his tweet.
Similar-looking characters are seen in familiar places, detailed locations from Genshin Impact can be spotted in the official artwork, and the themes of its combat are, while certainly a little bit different, too similar to pre-existing MiYoHo characters like Amber and Noelle to call a mere coincidence. Heck, there's even an Abyss Ruins gauntlet included to match Genshin's Abyssal Spire test of strength.
As it turns out, though, The Legend of Neverland isn't some new title that's suddenly materialized out of thin air. A simple Google of the game's name shows people were play-testing this particular adventure as early as September. Facebook users on the game's page are even clearly upset with just how long the game has been in a Closed Beta Test state. Rather than focusing on the gods of the elements and their nations, The Legend of Neverland seems to have its heart set on forests and fairies.
What is The Legend of Neverland Release Date?
There's no official The Legend of Neverland release date just yet, but with pre-registration up on Android, it's only a matter of time until the masses can jump in and see whether this is a Genshin Impact killer or just another mobile MMO.
That being said, this Korean-made title may only be set for an SEA region release for now. There are ways around this, but don't expect to be able to grab it from Google Play and the Apple App Store outside of these regions without a little work.
Was Genshin Impact a Clone of Breath of the Wild?
There's a difference, but it's true: we can't poke fun at this potential "homage" without looking back at Genshin Impact's problematic beginnings.
MiYoHo's chart-topping open-world adventure first made waves on the internet for being, for lack of a better word, a rip-off or clone of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The similarities were there for the world to see: a vast and cel-shaded open-world, stamina meters that could be upgraded by finding hidden collectibles, puzzles and chests littered about the place, and small dungeons and shrines designed to test your skill.
Once the game released, though, the similarities stood as mere inspirations. The developers weren't afraid to admit what they borrowed and what they iterated on. Combat was tweaked to suit multiple unique characters, weapons and skillsets, an extensive new story was etched out with impressive voice acting, and complicated character builds and other staple RPG systems were baked in to create a game that could be played and expanded upon for years.
Homages, clones, and copycats exist in gaming. There's no denying that. But just because The Legend of Neverland looks like a Genshin Impact clone, there's no saying it won't have its own unique aspects and hidden charms. Many wrote off MiYoHo's title before release, but it brought enough new ideas to the table to stand out on its own. There's no saying that won't be the case here as well.