Genshin Impact and Honkai Impact 3rd developer Mihoyo has rebranded itself to Hoyoverse. The studio says its new brand will be aimed at creating an "immersive virtual world experience" to players through various different entertainment media.
Why has Mihoyo rebranded as Hoyoverse?
In its official announcement post, Hoyoverse says it's changed its name in order to "create a vast and copntent-driven virtual world" that integrates not only games, but also anime and other types of entertainment. Mihoyo (and now Hoyoverse) founder Cai Haoyu says the company will continue its mission to innovate in the worlds of gaming and tech in order to "meet the expectations" of its worldwide fanbase. Hoyoverse doesn't make mention of the metaverse, but it does explicitly talk about "virtual worlds" in its announcement. With that in mind, we could see it moving towards a shared universe-style virtual environment in a similar vein to the way Fortnite has been used to host live concerts and as a hangout space.
Interestingly, the announcement doesn't make any reference to Mihoyo's home office in China. Instead, Hoyoverse says it's "actively engaged in globalization" and mentions offices in Los Angeles and Montreal, as well as Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, and "other areas". It's worth noting here that Mihoyo has already done something not a million miles away from this Hoyoverse rebrand; on the Epic Games Store Genshin Impact listing, the developer and publisher for the game are both listed as "Cognosphere", which is a proxy publisher for Mihoyo based in Singapore. Cognosphere now publishes the game internationally, so the Hoyoverse brand could be a further consolidation of that move.
There's further evidence to suggest the Hoyoverse branding is only for the West, too. When visiting the Chinese Mihoyo website, the Mihoyo branding is still intact, but it's been replaced by the Hoyoverse branding on the UK site and other Western platforms. This could point to the rebrand only applying to the West; given that Mihoyo recently censored some of its character designs in China to appease the CCP, perhaps the studio is trying to distance its Western operations from its Chinese efforts. We've contacted Mihoyo/Hoyoverse for comment on this.
What's next for Hoyoverse?
The future looks pretty bright for the studio now known as Hoyoverse (in the West, at least). Genshin Impact is getting a major new update in a few days, adding a new banner, extra quests, and more activities to the game. There are also reports that a new AAA project is in the works at Hoyoverse, so even if you're not a big fan of any of the studio's previous projects, you might have something new to look forward to in the future. Those reports are unsubstantiated as of yet, though, so we'll have to wait for more info.
You can download and play Genshin Impact right now for free on PC, PlayStation consoles, and mobile devices. A version of the game is also currently in beta for Nvidia's Geforce Now streaming platform, which lets you play the game without dedicated hardware. Genshin Impact can occasionally be a little demanding on even good gaming PCs, so if you're rocking an older machine and want to give it a go, that might be your best shot. We'll bring you more on Mihoyo, Hoyoverse, and this rebrand as soon as we get it.
How do you feel about Mihoyo changing its name to Hoyoverse in the West? Let us know in the comments below!