With a stellar reputation in the gaming arena, the Shanghai-based company miHoYo, which later rebranded as Hoyoverse in 2022, stands tall as the architect behind Genshin Impact. Its global outreach is evident, boasting approximately 4,000 dedicated employees and established offices scattered around the globe.
Origin and Founders
Delving into its history, miHoYo came into existence in 2012, thanks to three visionary students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Cai Haoyu, Liu Wei, and Luo Yuhao. These young minds, united by their admiration for anime, dared to dream of crafting anime-inspired games at a time when few such studios existed in China.
Their bond reflected not just in their shared ambitions but even in the company’s name. “miHoYo” isn’t just a random moniker; it carries traces of the English letters from the founders’ given names. As they embarked on this journey, the Shanghai Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Center played a pivotal role, providing them with an interest-free loan and an office space, free of rent.
Company Evolution and Philosophy
From its modest beginnings, by 2017, miHoYo had metamorphosed into a major player in the gaming domain. Staying true to their love for anime-style games, they boldly chose this path, undeterred by the prevalent market skepticism.
Liu Wei, who later assumed the role of miHoYo’s president, expressed confidence in the power of fan-driven content, emphasizing its potential to foster brand loyalty. The company’s recruitment strategy, too, resonated with this belief. Many of their initial hires were fervent gamers, echoing the sentiment that true fans make the finest products.
Genshin Impact: From Development to Global Success
The gaming community buzzed with excitement when miHoYo unveiled their ambitious open-world fantasy RPG project, Genshin Impact, at E3 2019. While some drew parallels with popular titles like Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact’s allure was undeniable.
Its staggering development and marketing budget, estimated at around one hundred million USD, showcased the company’s unwavering commitment. As pre-registrations for the game soared past ten million, a significant chunk hailed from regions outside of China, underscoring its universal appeal.
Despite facing regulatory challenges during its development phase and opting to withdraw its IPO, Genshin Impact, upon its launch, quickly claimed its spot as a global sensation.
The Gacha System: A Pillar of Genshin Impact’s Success
One can’t discuss Genshin Impact’s success without mentioning its innovative gacha system. This virtual currency mechanism transformed the gaming experience, offering players the exhilaration of earning random prizes to elevate their characters. Even though the gacha system faced criticism, the game’s soaring popularity in markets like the United States, where it raked in over US$20 million, speaks volumes about its universal appeal.
Cai Haoyu, beyond being a co-founder, played a pivotal role as the main producer of Genshin Impact, and presently dons the hats of chairman and president of miHoYo. But Genshin Impact is not the vision of a single person. A cohesive team of programmers, artists, designers, and writers, alongside eminent composers like Yu-Peng Chen and Dimeng Yuan, synergized their talents, making the game the masterpiece it is today.
Company’s Vision and Future Directions
As a testament to its progressive vision, miHoYo transitioned to Hoyoverse in 2022. This wasn’t merely a name change but signified their intent to offer gamers immersive virtual experiences spanning diverse content. The very essence of the company is captured succinctly in its slogan: “Tech Otaku’s Save the World.” With such a forward-looking approach, the gaming community eagerly anticipates what Hoyoverse will unveil next.