MiHoYo is best-known as the studio behind the absurdly successful Genshin Impact, the free-to-play open world RPG that generates billions of dollars each year. But MiHoYo also has another goal: Science.
As reported by Pandaily, MiHoYo is a major investor in Energy Singularity, a startup dedicated to exploring commercialized fusion technology. Founded by a body of experts from the world’s top universities, the company was able to raise $63 million in its first round of funding. Other investors include NIO Capital, Sequoia China’s Seed Fund, and BlueRun Ventures.
Energy Singularity is working on a tokamak reactor — a device that uses powerful magnets to confine plasma particles in order to achieve fusion. Tokamak reactors have existed for decades, but recent advancements in fusion technology have sparked hopes that a commercial reactor will soon be viable.
Commercial fusion would have profound implications for the world’s energy consumption, harnessing the power of the sun to provide what is effectively limitless clean energy. As we speak, a giant reactor called the ITER, or International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is under construction in France, with the goal being to achieve the state of burning plasma that is crucial to sustained fusion.
To give you an idea of the power of these reactors, ITER’s Central Solenoid — the strongest of its magnets — can actually lift an American aircraft carrier out of the ocean.
“Tech Otakus Save the World”
So why is MiHoYo suddenly so interested in fusion energy? It’s baked into the company’s motto: “Tech Otakus Save the World.” This ethos has driven investment in projects such as brain-computer interfaces as well as a major interest in the Metaverse.
MiHoYo’s interest in science should be no surprise given its roots. It was founded by Cai Haoyu, Liu Wei, and Luo Yuhao, who met as engineering postgraduates at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and started the studio out of a mutual love for anime. With seemingly little interest in making additional money — MiHoYo recently rejected a sizable investment from Tencent — the studio has directed its profits elsewhere.
In the meantime, MiHoYo continues to enjoy great success with Genshin Impact. Earlier this month, Genshin Impact released version 2.5, featuring a new playable character in Yae Miko. We also nominated it as one of the best ongoing games of 2021.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN