Genshin Impact, the wildly popular free-to-play mobile game released in September 2020, which has since ascended to cultural-touchstone status with over 60 million players in August and a consumer revenue chest of $3 billion to date, is now growing its empire with a new venture that looks to multiply its phenomenal success: an anime TV show.
The first trailer for the show debuted on Friday, illustrating the game’s magical forest, prairie fields of flowers, and the long-lost twins at the center of its adventure in vivid, immersive detail. Sweeping shots reveal the mythical universe of Teyvat as a serene landscape of crumbling castles and ancient runes, which players of the game will know belies a fierce underworld of dragons, knights, and dueling gods.
The show is a collaboration between the game’s Shanghai-based developer miHoYo, and the Tokyo-based animation studio Ufotable, which is also the creator behind the smash hit anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. The Genshin Impact anime is still in the early phases—the title card for the teaser, at the moment, is simply “Long-Term Project Launch: Concept Trailer.”
It comes just as the game nears its two-year mark. It has already gathered a basket of accolades: This past spring, data.ai reported that Genshin Impact ranked No. 1 for global consumer spend in the first quarter of 2022, topping $530 million. And last fall, App Annie reported that as of July 2021, Genshin Impact had surpassed Pokemon Go as the No. 1 game by lifetime consumer spend. Its developer miHoYo is set to release a new version of the game (3.1) later this month.
That Genshin Impact took off in the thick of the pandemic is perhaps no surprise: A world in lockdown seemed primed to dive into an escapist fantasy with stunning graphics and a whimsical backstory, where monsters can be vanquished once and for all, and players, known as “travelers,” chase the one true goal of the game: to find their way back to a long-lost sibling after 500 years apart.
Genshin Impact won’t be the first game to be adapted into a TV show—in fact, it follows a growing trend. In November 2021, Netflix premiered Arcane, a series based on the video game League of Legends, which won a host of trophies at the latest Emmy Awards. And earlier this week, Netflix dropped Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, based on the recent video game Cyberpunk 2077.