On February 20, the CEO of miHoYO Cai Haoyu introduced the development history of the company in the past ten years, and also revealed the current staff size, industrial layout and annual income, as well as his own thoughts on game creation and miHoYo’s 10-year plan for the future. The most interesting was definitely the mention of a massive virtual world from miHoYo, expected by 2030.
He confirmed that the company numbered 2400 people in 2020, which is an increase of 1000 people compared to 2019. 700 people work on Genshin Impact alone! After its great success following the release at the end of September last year, their revenue in 2020 exceeded 5 billion yuan, or about ~$772 million USD. In addition to the growth, he also commented “I hope to create a virtual world that one billion people around the world will want to live in by 2030!”.
Speaking about the popularity, he mentioned that he was surprised that even close acquaintances and classmates who hadn’t been in touch for a long time were also playing Genshin Impact (asked for primogems). It made him realize its popularity even more than the data from the backend. For a qualified commercial game, he says miHoYo has two evaluation criteria. One is fun, and the other is a reasonable business model. Therefore, starting from “GunGirlsZ”, they gradually combined the business mechanism of card games. He credited “Puzzle and Dragons” for the business model.
Genshin Impact is a product that exceeds both the industry’s expectations and their company’s. Cai Haoyu admitted that although the strategy of globalization was set from the start, the global market performance eventually exceeded expectations. It landed at the top of the best-seller charts in more than 30 markets. That includes China, Japan, and the United States. It also the Top 10 of the best-seller charts in 108 countries and regions worldwide.
He mentions that there are a lot of articles out there that say miHoYo spent $100 million on the development of “Genshin Impact”. It did cost $100 million, but what they don’t say is that they may have to spend $200 million per year after the launch. In addition, the development costs for the past three years are even higher.
One of the key points in 2014 was the fact they managed the rhythm of releasing a core product every 3-4 years. He clarified the company’s strategy is to make products that exceed users’ expectations, which is expressed in their internal development philosophy of “something new, something exciting, something out of imagination”. In terms of the organizational structure, there is more than the China headquarters. miHoYo has also set up branches in Japan, Korea and Canada. The US and Singapore branches are under planning as well.
When summarizing and reflecting on the past decade, Cai Haoyu said. “After the hurdle in 2013, it looked like every product after that had better progress. But we actually just stuck to the consistent strategy.” He also admitted that before the launch of “Genshin Impact”, he was once confused about the strategy. Worried that the span of hardware performance and handheld game quality upgrades had become too small to exceed user expectations. This is also the reason why they made the game “all platform”.
The game continues to exceed expectations and miHoYo got strong positive feedback. However, Cai Haoyu could not help but think about what the upper limit of a single product was. That’s where the “second curve” of miHoyo comes in. We can interpret that as a new growth point, and can also be seen as the future direction of their evolution. They are actively “spending the money earned from “Genshin Impact””. Their slogan is “tech otakus save the world” and they aim to “use the best technology to make content that meets the needs of users”.
Sword Art Online
miHoYo hopes that in the next 10, 20 or 30 years, they will be able to make virtual worlds like the ones depicted in fiction. Movies like “The Matrix” and “Ready Player One” or anime like “Sword Art Online” can definitely make fans excited, and the current vision of miHoYo is to create a massive virtual world. One where 1 billion people around the world would like to live in by 2030.
According to the article, miHoYo does not consider itself as a game company. Cai Haoyu also pointed out that the reason why he made “Genshin Impact” was because of the open world concept. It happens to be the closest prototype to the virtual world at present. From this prototype, they will iterate step by step. Every 3 or 4 years, they intend to gradually approach the virtual world they want.
A virtual world like Genshin Impact sounds amazing for the average weeb, though miHoYo needs to make sure to make logging out easy. I just hope it becomes accessible to the general public before I grow too old for it.
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