of commodity for all department
The way that content producers in general, and video game publishers in particular, deal with the art and content created by their biggest fans varies wildly. There are the Nintendo of the world, where strict control over all things IP is privileged instead of allowing fans to do a lot of things with its properties. Other game companies at least allow fans to do some things with their properties, like making videos and that sort of thing. Other game companies like Square have succeeded in letting fans realize important and amazing projects with their IP.
And then there is the Chinese game studio miHoYo, creator of the hit title. Genshin Impact, where the studio not only allows fans to create their own art and merchandise … but also flatout tells them they can go and sell it, too much.
On May 21, miHoYo released its Genshin Impact Overseas Fan-Made Merchandising Guide, which explicitly allows commercial sale of fan-made items up to 200 units. There are only a few restrictions and artists do not have to contact the studio for smaller lots below the limit.
The legal environment for fan art is so tense that conventions like NekoCon have restricted the sale of unofficial products. Entertainment companies like FUNimation have explicitly stated in the past that the creators of artist aisles, which are exhibition spaces at fan conventions where independent artists can sell unofficial merchandise, “infringe the rights of author of Funimation ”. And it is generally accepted among artists that properties owned by companies like Disney are totally prohibited.
With certain rules in place on quantities sold, this means that when it comes to miHoYo properties, fans aren’t sued for doing merch. They are not prosecuted for selling this product. Hell the fans don’t you even have to ask permission to sell the goods. Instead, it is an open and refreshing policy.
And because of that, as it should come as a shock to absolutely no one except all the game publishers who want to go the prosecution and DMCA route, Genshin Impact has an incredibly active and vibrant fan community that keeps the name of the game on top of everyone’s minds.
The studio’s policy of openness has allowed Genshin Impact fans to make more diverse products than the prints, key chains and charms that are typically sold in artist aisles. As of this writing, a quick search on Kickstarter shows unofficial earrings, sweaters, book bags, plush toys, and berets. And the fans were ready to put some money in for their enthusiasm. At the time of writing, there were 28 Genshin Impact Kickstarters with funding of at least $ 10,000.
There are also many independent artists who advertise their fan-made articles on Twitter. Olivinearc sells Genshin Impact products in her online store, and although she only opens twice a year, she receives a few hundred orders each time she opens. She uses the revenue to fund the development of her visual novel game, and she cites the revenue from Genshin Impact’s unofficial merchandise as the reason she was able to expand her soundtrack.
This kind of symbiotic relationship that fascinates Genshin Impact the fans have for the game could be obtained by a lot of other game companies, if they ceded only a little control over their properties to their bigger fans. It seems miHoYo understands this, rather than taking offense or offending a fan who makes money with his properties. By treating these passionate fans in a real and human way, the company is instead reaping the rewards of all that free publicity that only solidifies the fandom it has worked to build.
The only real mystery here is why more and more game companies are not following this path.
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Filed Under: fan art, genshin impact, resale