In late December last year, the popular video game Genshin Impact announced a partnership with the Sanxingdui Museum with interactive experiences both online and offline, as well as a short video. On 9 January, Genshin followed up on the crossover with a music video for a collaborated song “Bronze” (青铜), performed by pop veteran Liu Huan with words written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang.
Sanxingdui is a Bronze-Age archaeological site in Guanghan, Sichuan.
.,Part of the ancient Shu kingdom, Sanxingdui dates back to between the 17th and 11th centuries BC and is on the UNESCO list of tentative World Heritage Sites. The Sanxingdui Museum opened in 1997 at the northeast corner of the ruins.
The collaboration includes an HTML5 (H5) online interactive event where Genshin players can gain in-game prizes by completing tasks in the H5 experience. The H5 experience involves solving mysteries after learning about Sanxingdui artefacts. A 6-minute mini-documentary was also released, introducing the museum and its artefacts to a new audience in the gaming community. By checking in at certain points in the museum, offline visitors can also get exclusive co-branded gifts.
On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, the topic “Genshin Sanxingdui” (#原神三星堆#) reached number 22 on the hot search list and gained 210 million views. A later hashtag “Genshin Sanxingdui Liu Huan” (#原神三星堆 刘欢#) got to number 15 with 42.11 million views.
Genshin Impact, developed by Shanghai-based miHoYo, is set in a fantasy world that includes Liyue, a “reimagined” Chinese culture. Sanxingdui, being the ruins of an ancient kingdom and a somewhat “lost civilisation” of Shu, fits with the game in terms of narrative and aesthetics. With the huge popularity of Genshin Impact as well as Liu and Fang, Sanxingdui aims to capture the imagination of the younger audience who are increasingly fascinated by China’s culture heritage.