Genshin Impact developer Hoyoverse has officially unveiled its next game, Zenless Zone Zero, with a cryptic teaser site pointing to a proper reveal on Friday, May 13.
The site (opens in new tab) went up over the weekend after the game’s official (English) Twitter (opens in new tab) account whirred to life. “Dear citizens, a sub-Hollow disaster has occurred in the district you are traveling to,” the tweet (opens in new tab) revealing the teaser site reads. “We are playing a special entertainment channel for you to enjoy while you wait.”
The teaser site currently consists of English and Chinese versions of two broadcasts. One is a short news segment on the appearance of one of the so-called sub-Hollows in a semi-modern city. “Public security has established a Level 2 control zone and is currently evacuating residents,” a news reporter explains, suggesting these sub-Hollows are a regular occurrence treated almost like natural disasters.
The other broadcast is a longer message sent from an unknown man – perhaps one of the higher-ups in the faction or squad that Zenless Zone Zero players will ultimately join in the fight against these sub-Hollows or whatever’s inside them.
“OK, long story short, we’ve recorded this as a declaration, but of course, not officially,” the message begins, broken up by intermittent static. “Just look at these, doomsday … curses. Don’t believe it. Aside from that, doomsday, disaster, curses, lies. In short we are being reborn. You are involved. Partner of ours, a professional. We need you to undertake difficult commissions. You must step up and be involved. Don’t be afraid, even if it’s annoying, dangerous, difficult, impossible. It will not be a problem. You understand, right? They aren’t just … and they aren’t … You can do it, I’m sure of it. When you’re done, you can leave. That’s all I have to say. It’s OK if you didn’t understand, all said and done. Goodbye.”
Genshin Impact players are no stranger to dangerous, difficult, and indeed annoying commissions, but it’s clear that Hoyoverse has a very different tone and setting in mind for Zenless Zone Zero.
These teaser messages line up with the “paranormal” vibe first teased when Hoyoverse – then known as MiHoYo before building its global publishing arm – announced a new project with “shooting-based gameplay” featuring vehicles and a destruction system of some sort. It’s possible this mystery game is Zenless Zone Zero, but Hoyoverse may have another project in the works as well.
That mystery project was positioned as the primary focus of Hoyoverse’s new Montreal-based studio, meaning the job listings at the company’s Canada location can shed some light on it. For starters, the studio says it will be hiring “over the next two years,” which suggests this game is still a ways out. It could well launch within two years and continue to grow afterwards, but with “hundreds” of positions apparently still open, it’s likely still relatively young.
Zenless Zone Zero is never listed by name, but Hoyoverse Montreal does describe its project as “a brand-new, AAA open-world action-adventure title.” Various job listings (opens in new tab) still mention a destruction system – which could be tied to the environments apparently being built in Unreal Engine, or perhaps destroying enemies systematically – as well as “vehicle-related gameplay design” including driving. Online play is also mentioned, which comes as no surprise given Hoyoverse’s multiplayer pedigree.
Hoyoverse has another new game in the works, too, and it seems to be much closer to launch. Sign-ups for the second closed beta of Honkai: Star Rail opened just last month.