Genshin Impact is the free-to-play fantasy RPG from Chinese developer, miHoYo, and was released in September, 2020. Since the game released for iOS, Android, Windows, and Playstation 4, it has already racked up a huge following. Despite being free-to-play, Genshin Impact still has in-app purchases and the game cleared $245 M within the first month of launching. For added context, Pokémon Go is the only mobile game to have eclipsed those numbers through the first month of its release.
What Pokémon Go doesn’t have though? Fan-made condoms that appear to be extremely high quality.
Because of its popularity, a bevy of fan-created merchandise has been popping up since the game’s launch and was recently given somewhat of a direct approval by the developer itself. In May, miHoYo dropped a merchandising guide which permitted the commercial sale of fan-made items that capped out at 200 units (this figure jumped to 500 units in November, courtesy of Kotaku.
The devil is in the details— The natural instinct to fan-made sexual protection, based on a video game, would be high-level skepticism. Observing the packaging though might curb those initial feelings of doubt. The packages containing the condoms comes with a hologram coating, and the wrapper itself appears to have a sleek, matte finish.
There’s even an instructional infographic that lines the inside of the packaging. Apparently the condoms have been produced sustainably, without harmful chemicals or spermicide. The lone warnings: Check that expiration date and do not try to open with scissors or teeth!
Zhongli is the character featured on the front of the packages. The half-dragon, half-qilin god is a defensive-minded archetype, much in the same vein as a World of Warcraft player opting to use a tank-styled character during a raid. One of his most potent abilities is the jade shield, which essentially absorbs a shocking amount of damage. As Kotaku noted, it’s only fitting that Zhongli is the primary choice to be featured on a product that is designed to protect the user against sexually transmitted diseases.
The existence of Genshin Impact, fan-made condoms stands in hilarious contrast to Capcom’s recent collaboration with the Osaka police, in which characters from Ace Attorney encourage kids to put down the weed through a series of educational (?) flyers.
Responsible sexual health is cool. I’m not sure I can say the same for video game IP being leveraged by cops.