A new wave of leaks that surfaced Wednesday night has revealed information about the upcoming 3.0 patch that will bring the Dendro-inspired Sumeru region into the game. The patch is a way out – it doesn’t have a release date yet, but the typical release schedule suggests it could be around August 24th. However, fans are already reacting to the new content leaks with criticism that developers have repainted characters.
Genshin Impact has a robust leaking community that shares details about updates before they are rolled out. (For example, the latest new characters, Yelan and Kuki Shinobu, were accurately leaked from multiple accounts before their official release.) Multiple characters from this upcoming 3.0 patch were leaked with varying degrees of credibility. This includes a render of the Dendro Archon Kusanali, who serves as the leader of the new region. Twitter user Sagiri, who leaked the image, said that it “is not the final version”.
Fans have already reacted critically to the leaked images, with some saying the Caucasian models suggest the designers are glossing over the characters from that region. Hoyoverse has not confirmed that Sumeru is based on any specific real-world region. sign on Genshin Impact have described it in-game as a land of scholars that has both deserts and rainforests, so some fans have theorized that it may be based on Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures.
Fans have also previously voiced criticism Genshin Impact for only having two visibly dark-skinned characters: Xinyan and Kaeya. Wednesday’s leak sparked similar concerns. In a response to the tweeted leak, one user wrote: “Really…all my hopes for a brown milf went to a pale kid.” Other answers are just clowns on the designs or they include funny pictures like a Screenshot of the Beatles’ white album.
Polygon has reached out to Hoyoverse to confirm the leaks’ accuracy and comment on the matter. We will update the article when we receive a comment.
Some fans have also responded by sharing their own drawings of the characters darkening their skin tones.
This is not Genshin Impact Fandom’s first exposure to controversy. In 2021, fans launched a hashtag called “#boycottgenshinimpact,” which prompted members of the community to criticize the company for allegedly using indigenous peoples as models for the hilichurl grunts.