A mobile game that was scolded for plagiarism, why is even Elon Musk obsessed?

A game that is often scolded for plagiarism and has information security concerns, why does its operation repeatedly break records, and even Tesla founder Musk and Japanese actor Takayuki Yamada are fascinated by it?

First-line seiyuu dubbing, exquisite style
Successfully entered the US and Japan markets

The Chinese mobile game “Genshin Impact” is the most discussed game in 2021 on Twitter and the US forum Reddit, which has applied for public release. According to the statistics of Sensor Tower and App Annie, the global app database, it ranks among the top three in terms of annual mobile game revenue worldwide. Name, revenue in 2021 is as high as 1.8 billion US dollars (about NT 49.6 billion), and it is also the fastest game in history to exceed 1 billion US dollars in total revenue.

Compared with the other two top-grossing games in the world, the rich dad Tencent is behind the game, but the game is a research and development operation of “Mihayou” founded by three self-made graduates of Shanghai Jiaotong University.

“Genshin Impact” allows players to fully manually operate role-playing, free to download, but encourages players to pay for in-game lessons. This model is not only popular in China, players in the United States and Japan have contributed more than 20% of revenue, and even Musk once said on Twitter, “I can’t wait. Join the world of Genshin Impact.”

After all, why are these three people able to make games that are popular all over the world?

Co-founder and chairman Cai Haoyu explained in his speech: Because they not only sell games, but also services. The content is completely in line with the needs of the target customer group, giving an experience beyond the specifications.

“Genshin Impact” targets players who love the two-dimensional culture (press: generally refers to the audience who love animation, comics and video games). This group of people attaches great importance to the details of the game’s dubbing, voice actors, character painting style, etc. to create a unique world view.

In order to capture their hearts, compared to most games that are only dubbed for the domestic language market, with one person playing multiple roles, Mihayou invited first-line voice actors from all over the world, such as Ayumi Murase who dubbed the hero of the anime “Volleyball Boys”, which sold millions of dollars. And Chinese first-class Peking Opera actors sing the episodes in the game. Music is also performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

Compared with ordinary mobile games, the light and shadow presentation of characters may not be considered, and many accessories only swing in one direction. A character can be polished for 3 years, just to make the headgear swing more naturally. This kind of intention is also reflected in the operation. In September last year, the new character “General Raiden” was revised several times before his debut. According to Sensor Tower data, it generated about US$151 million (about NT$4.16 billion) in revenue in one week, surpassing the entire month of August and dominating the mobile game revenue list in more than 40 countries that month.

The service not only covers the content, but also covers the user interface.

Mobile phone, desktop seamless integration
And remove various constraints and considerate players
Usually most mobile games can only be run on mobile phones, but Genshin Impact can also be played on Sony PS (PlayStation) and computers, and the data is interoperable, allowing players to play on mobile phones when commuting, and seamlessly integrate immediately when they get home. The screen continues to enjoy a more immersive sound and light experience. And it makes it easier for “Yuan Shen” to impress European and American players who are used to playing computer and TV games.

“When Europe and the United States are fascinated by stand-alone games and value high-quality, mass-produced games, while Asia is fascinated by sophisticated and cute mobile games, Genshin Impact combines the advantages of the two.” U-ACG founder Liang Shiyou observed.

What’s more detailed is that even the player’s spiritual level is in place. In general, mobile games will strengthen player connections and create constraints through mechanisms such as organizing guilds and automatically hanging up. However, Mihayou does the opposite, removing almost all of the above mechanisms, freeing players from various psychological constraints.

Oda Norika, a heavy player of “Genshin Impact” and chairman of Noriga International, said: “This is the spirit of serving players, so that you can play without pressure.” He explained that there have been many comparisons in real life, and “Genshin Impact” will not require social interaction. Eliminate competition and return to the original intention of playing the game – to be happy, even letting the characters sit on the edge of the cliff to watch the sunset and be in a daze is also a kind of fun.

However, behind all kinds of thoughtfulness that go beyond specifications and break common sense, we must endure the disadvantage of “slow and expensive”.

The life cycle of 70% of mobile games is only 3 months, but Mihayou took a long-term view from the beginning and set it to run games for more than 4 years. “Yuan Shen” has a small update about 2 months, and only 1~2 major updates a year. “For mobile games, this is slow. Many companies can update every 2 weeks, and updating every 1 to 2 months can easily lead to loss of players.” Liang Xinyuan, founder of the game operation observation station of Flying Bird Cooler, said.

What’s more, the production cost of Tencent’s masterpiece “Honor of Kings” is about 78 million US dollars, but “Genshin Impact” has cost 100 million US dollars just to develop, and it will spend another 200 million US dollars to maintain it every year after it goes online. Cai Haoyu had foreseen this earlier, but he didn’t mind it because he had a bigger blueprint in his heart. He hoped to create a “virtual world in which 1 billion people around the world would like to live in” by 2030.

The success of “Yuan Shen” is to serve the target users in a long-term manner, not in a hurry to let them take out the money, but let the customers pay more determinedly.

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