Genshin Impact was a failed get Xbox doesn’t want to repeat

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A new report from Reuters says that Microsoft was in talks with Shanghai-based game studio HoYoverse (then known as MiHoYo) early in the development cycle of Genshin Impact, but could not come to an agreement that would put the game on Xbox consoles. The game launched on PC, mobile and as a console exclusive to PlayStation.

Ultimately, Microsoft missed out on one of the biggest commercial successes in live service games “Microsoft regretted missing out on Genshin Impact,” said one of Reuter’s sources. “Picking up ‘Genshin Impact’ made Sony a lot of money,” added another. It was a learning experience for Microsoft, which has since been trying to match Sony’s success with investments in Chinese games.

While data on console revenue from Genshin Impact is not public, estimates put its lifetime mobile revenue at $3 billion. Though free-to-play, it sustains healthy income through microtransactions and platforms like Sony, Apple and Google get a cut from every transaction. In Sony’s May financial report, it listed Genshin alongside Apex Legends and Fortnite as key sources of player spending.

“Chinese game developers are trying to standardise their development tools, create advanced production processes, invest in really large-scale teams,” said Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at Niko Partners and frequent commenter on developments in gaming. “Ultimately, that helps provide them with the competitive edge to reach a broad audience both in terms of geography and platforms.”

Genshin Impact Xbo

A huge part of the surge of interest in Chinese studios, big and small, is that they develop actively for cross-platform multiplayer, and if you’ve been following our output here at Xbox Outsider (or Xbox news in general) then you already know that cross-platform functionality is a huge part of Microsoft’s vision for the future of Xbox. It’s unlikely Microsoft will find the next Genshin Impact for Xbox, but it doesn’t want to rule out any future hits that might complement its strategy.

I’ve always been bullish about device agnostic gaming. Being able to keep all my progress and achievements on games like Forza Horizon 5 has allowed me to spend many more hours than I ordinarily would a racing game. I guarantee that in the future, we will all expect to be able to take our gaming everywhere and anywhere we are.

But I digress. The fact remains that Microsoft is now pursuing similarly talented studios in the region, and playing catch-up with Sony, which has actively supported Chinese developers in publishing games like FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch and Anno: Mutationem on the PlayStation through The China Hero Project initiative.

One studio has signed a licensing deal with Microsoft three years ago to feature one of its games on Game Pass and was offered an even bigger deal for the sequel. An executive representing this studio said, “We are not signing it yet because we think that when we fully complete our game, it will get an even better offer.”