A weekend crossover event between the wildly popular Genshin Impact and Kentucky Fried Chicken had to be shut down at Shanghai and Hangzhou locations after apparently violating China’s ongoing covid-19 prevention measures, the fast food chain announced on Chinese social media site Weibo today.
Genshin Impact-themed KFC restaurants across China attracted huge crowds overnight as fans lined up for a chance to score special pins featuring playable characters Diluc and Noelle, who over the last month have been used to promote the ongoing crossover.
According to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, customers were asked to shout, “Meet in another world, enjoy delicious food!” at the employees to get a pin with their meal.
While some may consider its stringent lockdown tactics overbearing, China has largely gotten the pandemic under control within its borders after the global outbreak started in the city of Wuhan a year ago. Life has mostly returned to normal, at least compared to the United States.
It’s unclear what specific mandate or guideline these KFC gatherings were breaking, but it’s understandable that Chinese authorities would be wary of allowing massive crowds to congregate for hours.
Genshin Impact developer miHoYo recently said that it plans to bring the exclusive, in-game items currently being offered as part of this KFC crossover — which include a red and white glider skin and special recipes — to players globally at some point in the future. The pins that caused this overnight rush on physical locations, however, will likely remain exclusive to China.