MiHoYo's spending that Genshin cash on an experimental fusio
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.
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.
MiHoYo (Genshin Impact) and the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (Ruijin Hospital) have set up a joint lab to explore the application of brain-computer interface technology. Current project is focused on neuromodulation therapy to treat depression. pic.twitter.com/2zpFXmMD53March 8, 2021
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.