MiHoYo's spending that Genshin cash on an experimental fusion reactor

Genshin Impact 2.4 update
(Image credit: miHoYo)

Developer miHoYo has been around since 2012, but 2020's Genshin Impact was its first global success: the game remains enormously popular, but in its first year made over $2 billion from the mobile version alone. The company has quite a charming motto—Tech otakus save the world—and, with this big ol' bunch of money burning a hole in its metaphorical pocket, has decided to have a go at living up to those words.

miHoYo recently led a funding round alongside NIO Capital, a Chinese investment firm, and a total of $63 million will be invested in a company called Energy Singularity (as per Beijing's PanDaily). The funds will be used for R&D of a "small tokamak experimental device based on high temperature superconducting material, and advanced magnet systems that can be used for the next generation of high-performance fusion devices."

What's a tokamak to you? A tokamak is a plant design concept for nuclear fusion, wherein plasma is confined using magnetic fields in a donut shape: a torus. It is considered, by people who know about these things, to be the most realistic and achievable nuclear fusion design.

Genshin Impact Kazuha meditating on a rock with a tree in the background

(Image credit: miHoYo)

The long-and-short of it is that nuclear fusion (where two atomic nuclei combine to create a heavier nuclei, releasing energy) will in theory have huge advantages over nuclear fission (where a nucleus is split). However despite being theorised about and researched since the 1940s, no working nuclear fusion reactor has ever been built. If it can be done, this technology could change everything about global energy supplies and become a major tool in fighting climate change (fusion even produces less waste than fission).

So, perhaps in 100 years they'll be writing textbooks about how thirsty weebs inadvertently saved the planet by buying bunny costumes.

miHoYo's not just into nuclear fusion: last year it funded a lab studying brain-computer interface technologies, and how they could possibly be used to treat depression.

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This is the first major investment in Energy Singularity, which was founded in 2021 by experts in various fields, and is dedicated to creating commercialised fusion technology. After this funding it will focus on developing what it calls an "experimental advanced superconducting Tokamak (EAST)."

Yes that name does sound a bit like a boss fight. Genshin Impact, meanwhile, continues to receive regular updates, with 2.5 arriving just under a month ago and driving fans bonkers with its new characters.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."