With the reveal of stylish brawler Zenless Zone Zero still in our rear-view mirror, Genshin Impact developer Hoyoverse is preparing yet another game for its rapidly expanding stable.
Genshin Impact has made roughly $3 billion mobile on platforms alone according to Sensor Tower (opens in new tab), and Hoyoverse is evidently channeling that money into multiple projects across a global fleet of studios. Zenless Zone Zero is only the latest addition; Honkai Star Rail, a turn-based entry into the universe established by Honkai Impact 3rd, was announced only a few months before it. Which is to say nothing of Tears of Themis, which got its global release just under a year ago.
Hoyoverse also teased another game late last year: a “paranormal” action game with shooting-based gameplay, vehicles, and a destruction system in the works at its new Montreal studio. The reveal of Zenless Zone Zero left some fans wondering if it and this mystery game were one and the same. The bizarre Hollows plaguing its futuristic city do have a bit of a paranormal vibe to them, and some of its characters are quite clearly using big-ol’ guns, so while the connections were tenuous, they were definitely there.
However, Hoyoverse affirmed in a statement to GamesRadar+ that Zenless Zone Zero is indeed separate from the project still in the works at Hoyoverse Montreal.
This helps put the studio’s production pipeline, and its goals for Zenless Zone Zero, into perspective. Honkai Star Rail is entering its second beta while Zenless Zone Zero is gearing up for its first, so while they’re still very much works in progress, they’re at least actively approaching release.
However, job listings at Hoyoverse Montreal describe its first project as a “brand-new, AAA open-world action-adventure title,” one that’s seemingly in the early stages of development seeing as how the studio’s projecting a two-year hiring cycle. This sounds much bigger in scope than what we’ve seen from Zenless Zone Zero thus far, which looks more like Honkai Impact’s tighter, arena-based action spliced with the funk of Jet Set Radio.
Whatever this unannounced game is, it could end up being on the scale of Genshin Impact – handily Hoyoverse’s most successful game. But between a focus on shooting and vehicles, it also sounds substantially different from Genshin’s fantasy world, at least thematically.
As today’s Genshin Impact 2.7 reveal shows, Hoyoverse’s primary breadwinner isn’t slowing down despite brief COVID-related delays.