Genshin Impact English cast can’t talk about their work, even after release

Genshin Impact

It’s been almost a month since the rising anime game Genshin Impact released, and the English voice cast still can’t talk about it.

UPDATE: On October 30, 2020, miHoYo announced in a tweet that the English voice actress for Amber is Kelly Baskin. More voice cast were revealed later and we have an English cast list available here.

The action role-playing game has exploded in popularity, gaining 17 million downloads in the first four days and $60 million in the first week. It’s being called “the biggest global launch of a Chinese game ever”, as a result. Yet despite the success of Genshin Impact, there’s a noticeable lack of crediting for the staff behind it.

Most of this is due to being a mobile-focused game, which tend to forego including credits. However, this usually doesn’t stop staff from speaking about their work after the game’s release. That’s where this recent trouble comes from, as the English voice cast of Genshin Impact still can’t mention their involvement.

This comes from voice actor Benjamin Diskin who tweeted about the unusual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that the Genshin Impact voice actors are under.

Before a game comes out, it’s natural to be under an NDA to prevent talking about aspects of a project. This is especially important for voice actors, who are almost an extension of marketing given their celebrity status among fans. Because of that, publishers control when they reveal this info to maximize impact.

After a game comes out, voice actors usually can talk about their role. This helps market the game as well as promote the actors themselves. In the case of Genshin Impact, Chinese-based publisher miHoYo announced and confirmed voice actors in a similar way, but only for everyone except the English cast. And miHoYo even announced the Japanese cast more than a year before Genshin Impact released.

While they understood these effects in China, Korea, and Japan, the same can’t be said for the West. The English voice cast not only hasn’t been announced, the actors are still under NDA about their involvement.

Why is the Genshin Impact English voice cast being kept silent?

This NDA treatment of the English cast is similar to uncredited individual manga translators. Instead, there’s just a blanket credit to the localization company.

However, we haven’t been able to confirm if miHoYo themselves handled the English localization of Genshin Impact or if it was a separate localization company. If it was a separate company, then this could be the result of an agreement between the company and its contracted voice actors. Meaning, miHoYo isn’t responsible for keeping them under NDA. The voice actors would be bound to their contracts with the localization company.

Unfortunately we can’t confirm a separate company’s involvement due to the lack of staff credits in general. We’ve sent a press inquiry to miHoYo about this, but haven’t heard back.

While we don’t know the exact reason for the NDA, it’s frustrating for fans to not know who voices their favorite characters. Some even made Reddit threads to figure out the English voice actors.

Genshin Impact released on September 28th for Windows, PS4, Android, and iOS, with a Nintendo Switch version coming soon.