Genshin Impact has made a lot of money, which has been well-documented. Keeping a cash cow like that going is expensive work, of course, and MiHoYo CEO Cai Haoyu said in a conference earlier this week that the company would need to spend $200 million per year in support to keep things going.
Overall, the company’s revenue in 2021 was five billion Chinese yuan, or about $774 million USD. (As Magicman put it, “that’s a LOT of gacha.”) These numbers come from the Google Translated account of the presentation, which was also translated by Twitter user AE Entropy. While those, and others, were pretty ambitious numbers, the most insane figure is probably the one regarding the game’s future goals.
– miHoYo aims to release a new product every 3-4 years
– Staff size has doubled each year since 2014, hitting 2400 in 2020, Genshin staff is ~700
– Plans to build a R&D center in North America
– $100M to create Genshin Impact, but it's expected to cost $200M per year of dev.
— AE Entropy (@AeEntropy) February 23, 2021
That’s right, Cai Haoyu wants to “create a virtual world in which one billion people worldwide are willing to live.” We’d have to think that he means the traditional way most MMOs count their player base — total accounts made — rather than active/current/monthly players, which would be utterly ridiculous when you consider that a game like World of Warcraft only topped out at around 12 million active players — or 1/83 of a billion — for a brief period of time.
RuneScape and Roblox each put their total accounts created totals at around 200 million. Considering Genshin Impact’s current popularity, MiHoYo’s plans to produce more games, and general factors like increased population and the overall popularity of gaming through the 2020s, maybe there’s a shred of possibility that MiHoYo could land one billion players total, across multiple games, in just under a decade. That said, Genshin Impact will cool down eventually, and there’s no guarantee that successor games will be as popular, but if you’re going to shoot for the moon, you might as well do it while you’re still on top of the world.