Founded in 2011, MiHoYo (米哈游) is a Shanghai-based game developer known for its recent global blockbuster Genshin Impact, an open-world role-playing game (RPG) that became the top-grossing game globally last year.
MiHoYo is a major backer of “social metaverse” company Soul, the social networking app aimed at China’s Gen Z. The proto-metaverse app has filed an IPO in the United States with MiHoYo as a private backer. MiHoYo also has research centers dedicated to metaverse-related projects. In 2018, MiHoYo established a center dedicated to brain-to-computer interface research. CEO and founder Cài Hàoyǔ 蔡浩宇 has also said that Genshin Impact was born out of his interest in open-world concepts, a prototype to the metaverse available in games today.
Though MiHoYo is small relative to other tech companies on this list, it is laser-focused on the metaverse vision in ways the other tech conglomerates are not — and cannot. Cai, who boasts a Steve Jobs–like confidence in reading consumer predilections, aims to create a virtual space that 1 billion people around the world are drawn to inhabit by 2030, and his company aims to make virtual worlds as realistic as those depicted in The Matrix.
MiHoYo is in the midst of a global expansion, hiring new workers and opening new offices such as in Montreal. With a group of world-class game developers, MiHoYo will likely be a formidable competitor in the Chinese metaverse space.