Microsoft reportedly passed on the chance to make Genshin Impact an Xbox console exclusive, something the company regretted after the game blew up.
As reported by Reuters, sources familiar with the matter said Microsoft met with Chinese developer miHoYo early in Genshin Impact’s development but failed to reach an exclusivity deal. Sony would later secure the deal for itself, making the game a PlayStation console exclusive.
“Picking up Genshin Impact made Sony a lot of money,” one source said, adding that missing the opportunity is the driving force behind Microsoft’s current pursuit of independent Chinese developers.
The company is reportedly building a team specifically to scout out Chinese games and developers with high potential in an attempt to emulate the same move made by Sony in 2017 with its China Hero Project, an initiative to help Chinese developers publish games on PlayStation.
While Microsoft has been doing so already in a smaller capacity for years, Genshin Impact reportedly added “a sense of urgency” according to Reuters’ sources. It was one of 2020’s biggest games, with its action RPG gameplay and anime-inspired open world setting drawing in millions of fans.
It’s also seen a ton of updates since it first launched, adding new characters, quests, items, and more, and has even seen crossovers with other franchises including Horizon: Zero Dawn. As with every new version stream, three new codes for Genshin Impact’s premium currency and other rewards were released too.
In our 9/10 review, IGN said: “An incredible open-world and addictive exploration make Genshin Impact anime-zing adventure.”
Genshin Impact Version 2.0
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.