Genshin Impact
Image: miHoYo

If you're familiar with mobile games, you've probably heard of a game called Genshin Impact. This anime gacha-style action RPG is an absolute money-making powerhouse for developer and publisher miHoYo - banking close to four billion in its first few years.

According to Reuters, Microsoft has reportedly sped up its search within the Chinese market in hope of uncovering the next big game like Genshin Impact. It's supposedly targeted "big-brand titles" but is now apparently "offering big money to small developers" for their games as well - with the end goal to release these titles on its Game Pass subscription service. Sony is also hoping to attract Chinese developers to its PlayStation Plus subscription service, according to the same report.

The Reuters report also mentions some of Microsoft's past payments to Chinese-owned developers. For example, filings have revealed Microsoft paid around $2.5 million for ARK: Survival Evolved on Game Pass and $2.3 for its sequel. Wildcard - the Redmond, Washington studio behind it, is now owned by China's Snail Games. The upcoming title Party Animals by Recreate Games in China has also done an exclusive launch deal with Xbox.

According to the report, Microsoft is now playing catch up, and apparently "regretted missing out on Genshin Impact" for Xbox, which Sony was able to secure for PlayStation at launch through its "China Hero Project" in 2017 - aimed at helping local developers in this region publish games on its system.

"'Microsoft regretted missing out on "Genshin Impact', two people familiar with the matter said. It spoke to miHoYo early in the game's development but did not reach a deal, one of them said. The other person said the experience is the driving force behind Microsoft's more active pursuit of Chinese developers...'Picking up Genshin Impact made Sony a lot of money,' the second person said..."

Reuters' sources also mention how Naraka: Bladepoint is another title that unsurprisingly turned the heads of both Microsoft and Sony. And as we know, it ended up becoming a Game Pass exclusive in June.

Apart from Genshin Impact, are there any games from this part of the world, or the Asian games market in general, that you would like to see Microsoft secure for Xbox and Game Pass? Comment down below.

[source, via]