During the first beta test, the developers were discouraged, but then things went smoothly.
Genshin Impact is one of the most popular Chinese games, with billions of dollars in revenue from the project. For the miHoYo studio, this is the first truly big game, its development was very difficult for the team.
At the Shanghai festival, Liu Wei, co-founder of miHoYo, looked back on the development of Genshin Impact and how the game went from failure to success. Here is what we learned from Liu Wei’s speech.
Development of Genshin Impact began in 2017, 3 years before the full release. In hindsight, the studio realizes that they have taken on an extremely difficult task. If miHoYo had known in advance that the development of Genshin Impact would be so difficult, the studio might not have started work on the game at all. At the time of development, miHoYo was small and not very experienced studio: the team had no engine and no idea how to make open-world games at all. While creating Genshin Impact, the developers regularly encountered very serious problems. But the real test was the closed beta test that started in 2019. At first, everything seemed to be fine: the developers created a prototype of Mondstadt, an open world running on smartphones. miHoYo was proud of the work done and believed that the game would be to the taste of testers, but it turned out differently. Many test participants did not like what they saw – the feedback from beta testers turned out to be completely different from what the developers thought.
What’s with the reviews?
Liu Wei doesn’t say it directly, but it seems to be a comparison between Genshin Impact and The Legend of Zelda. The developers were actively accused of copying, dissatisfied fans of The Legend of Zelda held various actions like the destruction of the PlayStation 4 (Genshin Impact was done with the support of Sony) at the ChinaJoy festival.
The closed beta test, which was expected to be a resounding success, turned into a failure and a crisis. Criticism greatly shook the confidence of miHoYo employees in the project. Many young developers came to Liu Wei and simply cried, trying to find out what they had done wrong. In miHoYo, they decided not to give up and make another location – the prototype of Li Yue, region, not very similar to the world of The Legend of Zelda. It took several months, but it turned out that the decision was right. When the beta test participants saw Li Yue in February 2020, criticism was replaced by an interested attitude: the players began to understand what Genshin Impact would be like in the end. The developers were inspired and realized that they were doing everything right.
Although the criticism and crisis dealt a serious blow to the developers of Genshin Impact, it was then, according to Liu Wei, that the team truly grew and gained experience. It is this growth, the founder of miHoYo is sure, that has allowed the studio to achieve its current results.
This is interesting