Genshin Impact hit the internet a few short weeks ago, and this open-world RPG has gotten very popular in a very short time. While the game has suffered a few controversies -- namely, for censorship forced on it by the Chinese government -- that seems to have done little to quell the game's meteoric rise in popularity. And now, after two short weeks, it's managed to earn 100 million USD globally... which means it's officially recouped development costs and can finally start making a profit.
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play game with a heavy focus on single-player exploration and combat. And I've been told by people who play the game that it's easy enough to grind materials and never spend a penny on the game. But you can spend money on gotcha-style loot boxes that unlock characters and other loot (it is pay-to-win because this stuff affects your power level, but there's no PvP), and it seems people have been more than happy to spend on them. So happy, in fact, they've turned Genshin Impact into the biggest and most successful Chinese-developed game in history.
While I haven't played Genshin Impact, nor do I plan on it, I'm a bit troubled by this trend. It's undeniable that this game is polished, and the fact that it's so popular must mean it's at least kind of fun, but it's also one of the first proper console/PC games that fully embraces the mobile "everything is a microtransaction" economy, and whats more, it's clearly being rewarded for it with unparalleled success. Genshin Impact is probably the signal flare that's going to tell other developers that this style of game is the wave of the future: and we're probably all going to be worse off for it.
But hey, maybe I'm wrong. That'd be nice.