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Tiktok’s parent ByteDance to enter hardcore, non-casual gaming

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2020

Makes over 1,000 hires; first two games to be out by spring

      ByteDance, the parent company of short video-sharing platform TikTok, is venturing into gaming with the development of hardcore, non-casual games, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

      The move marks a major strategic shift for ByteDance. The Chinese company has already built a full-fledged gaming division for the foray, the report said.

      New gaming division

      Having taken social media by storm with TikTok, ByteDance has been quietly acquiring gaming studios and exclusive rights to multiple titles, the Bloomberg report said. The company has been on a hiring spree, poaching some of the best talent in the industry. Its gaming team already has over 1,000 employees.

      It will be releasing its first two games under this venture this spring, targeted at both Chinese and overseas gamers.

      Targeting Tencent

      With its latest foray, ByteDance will be directly competing with Tencent Holdings Ltd, which enjoys a majority share of the gaming market in China. Tencent has already acquired a lot of big companies in the gaming industry including Supercell, the creator of one of the most popular mobile games, the Clash of Clans.

      The games produced as part of ByteDance’s new venture will be different from the casual games it has released in the past. Apart from being more hardcore, the games will be built around a more ‘freemium’ revenue model, where players will pay for in-game weapons, cosmetics and other perks. ByteDance’s strategy with the gaming division is to branch out in terms of revenue models apart from making ad revenues, the report said.


      Apart from TikTok, ByteDance has already broadened its horizons with news aggregator app Toutiao. It entered the music streaming industry with its latest app, Resso.

      ByteDance is the most valued start-up in the world, according to a Bloomberg report. A Reuters report says the company has a current valuation of $78 billion, and its revenue amounted to $7 billion in the first half of 2019.

      Published on January 20, 2020

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