Chinese game developer miHoYo on November 24 announced the formal dissolution of Project SH, a game product led by Cai Haoyu, the co-founder and CEO of the firm and producer of Genshin Impact. Using UE5 engine, Project SH focuses on ACG open-world shooting games.
A miHoYo spokesperson responded that the decision was due to an internal business adjustment. According to an announcement, “Success is always much harder than failure, and everyone has a feeling about whether it is going right or not. Since this road can’t go on, be decisive and bury it. We don’t have to waste time writing high-sounding emails. Fail fast, learn fast. Starting this week, we will try our best to transfer the team members to other departments, but if there is really no suitable opportunity, we will provide labor compensation for laid-off employees.”
Project SH was established in 2019. At that time, Jensen Huang, the president and CEO of Nvidia, announced six games supporting ray tracing technology at NVIDIA GTC China, including Project X of miHoYo, which was the predecessor of Project SH.
miHoYo had high expectations for the project, and R&D was led by the Shanghai headquarters together with Los Angeles and Montreal branches.
However, news emerged last year that Cai Haoyu was not satisfied with Project SH’s demo play, and wanted to scrap the game and redo it. After that, miHoYo started recruiting new talent, including Zheng Kai, the chief level designer of God of War 4, from Sony’s Santa Monica Studio. The company would also set up a studio in Montreal, Canada, which would produce a AAA open-world adventure shooting game.
Some people thought that Project SH once would create a rendering similar to virtual YouTuber YoYo into the game world, combined with multi-person online interactive gameplay, which greatly improved the difficulty of R&D. Other speculation suggested that Project SH has a highly completed Demo, but there is something wrong with the underlying code.
Since the beginning of this year, many companies in the game industry have laid off employees or shut down projects. Facing tightening policies and economic downturn, belt-tightening may become a common phenomenon in the industry.
In an environment where mainstream categories such as MOBA, MMO and card are seriously solidified, game manufacturers can only invest more resources in emerging categories. The great success of Genshin Impact has greatly accelerated this process. In addition, with the declining success rate of products, the unclear policies and the shortage of game approvals in China, game developers are more cautious and conservative when establishing projects.