Some games are worth their weight in gold to their developers, and it certainly seems as though Genshin Impact falls into that category for miHoYo. It’s been revealed that the highly popular RPG is about to top the leaderboard for being the most expensive game ever made.
This is pretty impressive considering the game was only released in 2020, but according to recent research, Genshin Impact is now on course to cost $500 million by the time its anniversary rolls around in September. In a post shared by Reddit user KeiraFaith recently, the game originally had a development budget of $100 million. However, in the year that followed miHoYo put out a statement explaining that the running costs of keeping Genshin Impact going as a live-service model would be closer to double that amount. In addition, the studio currently employs more than 700 people to work on Genshin Impact alone, so factoring in their salaries will undoubtedly also have an impact on the RPG’s ongoing running costs.
Given that the game is coming up on two years since it launched, it’s perhaps unsurprising that these ongoing maintenance costs have grown for the developer. Maintaining a live-service game as well as continuing to expand on and develop new content for it every six weeks or so is bound to take a toll on the company’s finances. Having said that, the popular game currently makes up 67% of the global gacha market and generates a reported billion dollars every six months, according to a recent analysis from the intelligence firm SensorTower.
Also detailed in the post are the games most likely to compete with Genshin Impact in the ‘most expensive’ category. The closest contender for the next most expensive game is Star Citizen, followed closely by CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077, which takes third place. Although Star Citizen is yet to actually be released in full, the game costs a reported $400 million to run. Cyberpunk 2077‘s costs were a little lower, coming in at $316 million.
Whether or not these kinds of maintenance costs are sustainable in the long term for miHoYo remains to be seen. However the popularity of Genshin Impact shows no sign of slowing down, and its revenue model is also clearly paying dividends for the developer. With another new content update on the horizon for the RPG, players certainly have a lot more to look forward to from this game. Although there’s no specific date for the release of the new 3.0 update, it’s expected to launch in line with the game’s ongoing six-week update schedule, so perhaps at the end of this month.
Genshin Impact is free-to-play and is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, iOS, and Android. It’s also planned to release on Nintendo Switch at an as-yet unannounced date.