ByteDance, the creator of TikTok, has revealed plans to wind down its Nuverse gaming brand and step back from the mainstream video game sector, according to four individuals familiar with the situation.
Details of Restructuring
A spokesperson for ByteDance informed Reuters that the decision to restructure its gaming business had been made after a thorough review, though no additional details were provided. The spokesperson stated,
“We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to center on long-term strategic growth areas. Following a recent review, we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business.”
Impact on Employees and Unreleased Games
Sources indicate that ByteDance will instruct employees on Monday to cease work on unreleased games by December and will explore options to divest from titles already in circulation. The impact of this decision is expected to affect numerous employees, some of whom learned about the move over the weekend.
Market Withdrawal and Future Plans
It has been clarified that ByteDance does not plan to re-enter the $185 billion global video games market. The decision comes as ByteDance seeks buyers for its game-developing subsidiary, Moonton Technology, and restructures its virtual reality company, Pico.
Nuverse Performance and Nuverse in 2021
Notably, ByteDance’s creation of Nuverse in 2019 was initially seen as a significant foray into the global gaming arena and a strategic move in its competition with domestic rival Tencent Holdings. However, Nuverse’s performance has been inconsistent, with its most prominent game, “Marvel Snap,” gaining a cult following but not achieving commercial success.
Casual Games Unaffected
Casual gaming brand Ohayoo, featured on Douyin (TikTok’s sister app in China), and casual games on TikTok will reportedly remain unaffected by the restructuring. Nuverse, which was formally recognized as one of ByteDance’s six business units in 2021, had previously acquired external studios, including C4games, in an effort to enhance production capacity.