MiHoYo have reduced the breast size of soon to be playable character Rosaria in Genshin Impact, leading to accusations of censorship.
Rosaria first appeared in 1.2’s story quest as an NPC during several cutscenes. She will make her full debut as a playable 4-star character in the upcoming 1.4 Invitation of Windblume update as part of Childe’s limited time wish banner.
Players first noticed about a month ago that this curvy nun from Mondstadt may have had her design altered when people began leaking pictures from the closed beta servers, and started comparing them to her original appearance. One of the most notable ones was a character mesh overlay comparison released by the user lumie_lumie on Twitter, who frequently posts leaks from closed beta tests and data miners.
Now that more videos and images have been officially released, it has become more apparent that the character has indeed had her breast size reduced. This is noticeable in both in-game comparisons and her updated artwork splash when the character is pulled from a wish banner.
Now that it’s official that Rosaria’s chest has been downgraded, fans were quick to announce their displeasure in numerous forum posts and across social media. One user even released a screen cap that allegedly comes from MiHoYo’s customer support, who say that the new design is now “more appropriate.”
As to why Rosaria’s breasts were reduced, that is still up to debate as MiHoYo have yet to release an official statement on the issue. There are plenty of theories among the fanbase, however.
The most popular theory is that this was self-censorship to avoid trouble from the Chinese government. MiHoYo are a Chinese developer, and China is no stranger to entertainment media censorship.
Likewise, it’s possible that another company complained (like Sony and their ongoing censorship of anime fanservice in games on PlayStation platforms “to meet global standards“), or MiHoYo decided to self-censor to get ahead of any potential issues raised by platform holders or angry social media mobs.
While censorship is the most immediately obvious explanation since the changes involve a character’s bust size, there are some inconsistencies in that theory. Genshin Impact is a game that generates revenue arguably because of its huge cast of attractive characters.
Anyone who has visited a fan group for the game has no doubt been exposed to the mountains of sexually suggestive and pornographic fan art and animations of the game’s vast cast of waifus and husbandos.
Even so, the upcoming Ayaka was altered in development. Under her knee-length skirt, her panties were extended with frilly parts. Whether this is censorship to have her panties changed to shorts, or a change of underwear to something more lingere-like was also debated.
That aside; the game is still full of female characters with skimpy clothes, skintight leggings, or ample and exposed cleavage. These include Lisa, Mona, Noelle, Xinyan, and Signora. As such, reducing a character’s bust size would seem illogical when others in the game already do “far more.”
Further, Rosaria still sports skintight clothes and mesh leggings that place a large emphasis on her curvy assets, including her (even reduced) breasts, thighs, and rear. In other words, if MiHoYo was reducing her bust size to avoid the dreaded “stop creating sexualized female characters” argument, making her a few cup sizes smaller wouldn’t do anything to deter such complaints on social media.
The more likely explanation could be something much simpler and less sinister; her original boob size being too big for the character model once it was fully animated.
MiHoYo reuse character riggings and meshes a lot for Genshin Impact. As a character-driven gacha game, this helps introduce new characters in a steady and frequent enough stream to maintain player interest. This means most characters are based on one of several “core models,” depending on their general age range and build.
For most female characters, you can roughly break these down into the small girl characters like Klee and Qiqi, the more teenage girls like Hu Tao and Xiangling, and the older women like Ningguang and Beidou.
Characters in the same general build type and age range tend to have the same proportions, and even reuse a lot of animations, especially if they use the same type of weapon. Rosaria appears to use the same model as Ningguang and Beidou, and her new breasts appear to be roughly the same size as those two characters.
It’s possible that her previous bust size was simply too much work to animate without clipping, and therefor needing to develop new character models and animations. Considering that she uses a two-handed weapon, clipping also could have been a noticeable issue with her larger breast size. While the far bustier Lisa could share some animations, she is armed with the one handed Catalyst (a magic tome).
Ultimately though, we can never know if Rosaria’s design change was due to censorship or animation issues, unless MiHoYo decide to make an official public statement on the matter. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Genshin Impact is available and free-to-play on Windows PC (via the official website), PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, and coming soon to Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)
Thanks to @20yoBoomer and @MiuHarper for the additional information.