Genshin Impact developer Mihoyo is allowing fans to make their own creations and works based on the game. The studio says fan art, writing, and other merchandise can be made and sold, but that there are some caveats fans must pay attention to.
What do you need to know about Genshin Impact fan works?
After several Genshin Impact leak platforms were DMCA targeted by Mihoyo earlier this year, it seemed like the Chinese developer was getting more protective over its IP. Now, however, Mihoyo has revealed that it will allow fans to create and sell works based on Genshin Impact, albeit with a few asterisks. You can create Genshin Impact fan art, merchandise, and novels or short stories, as well as figurines or capsule toys, but you may need to declare your work for authorization if it's intended for sale.
If you're drawing fan art, as long as you don't violate your country's laws or register the work as a trademark, you're OK. Similarly, writing novels and stories is allowed as long as you're not breaking any laws. Selling merchandise is fine as long as you keep it to under 200 units if you're a group, and 500 units if you're an individual. Any more than that and you'll need to request authorization. Any fan-made figurines, capsule toys, or similar must be declared for authorization, no matter how many you're making. As you can see, if you're making Genshin Impact fan works, you've got some hoops to jump through.
You'll also need to comply with some Mihoyo rules. You can't retouch or modify official Genshin Impact material, and you can't sell products as if they were Mihoyo products. You also can't counterfeit official stuff (obviously). If you're selling authorized fan-made works, then you'll need to clearly display the words "fan-made merchandise" on the product page, and you can't imply a connection to Mihoyo in any way on your page. It's well worth reading the full Mihoyo announcement on this, as it's pretty long and contains some labyrinthine terms and conditions you'll nevertheless want to familiarize yourself with if you're making fan works.
How do you apply for Genshin Impact fan work authorization?
Mihoyo outlines the authorization application process in its announcement. You'll need to email Mihoyo with the subject heading "Merchandise Authorization". In the email, you'll need to include your name or your organization's name, as well as proof you own the derivative works, a link to your launch platform, and several other pieces of information pertaining to your work. Permission will be granted on a per-item and per-character basis, so you'll need to apply each time you're making something new or including a new character in your work.
Despite some optics wobbles with the aforementioned DMCA takedowns, it seems like a pretty good time for Mihoyo. The developer is reportedly getting ready to create a new AAA project, and Genshin Impact is performing extremely well financially. Setting out terms for fan creators like this is a savvy move; it shows Mihoyo is willing to engage with the fan community, but means they don't have to relinquish any control over their IP. We'll have to wait and see how the community responds to these guidelines.
Are you a Genshin Impact fan creator? How do you feel about these new guidelines? Let us know in the comments below!