ByteDance wants to restructure Nuverse as it exits gaming business – Portal

The ByteDance logo can be seen in the company's office building in Shanghai

The ByteDance logo is seen at the company’s office building in Shanghai, China, July 4, 2023. Portal/Aly Song acquires license rights

  • TikTok maker will tell employees on Monday
  • I will ask staff to stop working on unreleased games
  • Look for ways to separate yourself from established titles
  • Does not impact the Ohayoo casual gaming brand or TikTok’s games
  • Nuverse’s performance has been inconsistent since its founding in 2019

HONG KONG, Nov 27 (Portal) – TikTok maker ByteDance plans to wind down its gaming brand Nuverse and exit mainstream video games, four people familiar with the matter said.

ByteDance told Portal it had decided to restructure its gaming business after a review, without providing further details.

“We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to focus on long-term strategic growth areas. Following a recent review, we have made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business,” the spokesperson said.

The sources said ByteDance would instruct employees on Monday to stop working on unreleased games until December and look for ways to divest itself of already released titles.

The decision is expected to affect hundreds of employees, some of whom only learned of the move over the weekend, the people said.

The Chinese tech company has no plans to return to the $185 billion global video game market, they added, declining to be named because the information is not public.

Casual gaming brand Ohayoo, whose games can be found on Douyin – TikTok’s sister app in China – was not affected, nor were casual games running on TikTok, one of the people said.

Portal reported this month that ByteDance had begun seeking buyers for its game development subsidiary Moonton Technology. Additionally, virtual reality company Pico underwent a revamp and eliminated much of its content team.

ByteDance’s creation of Nuverse in 2019 was widely seen as a major push into global gaming and a strategic element of competition with domestic rival Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), the world’s largest gaming company.

But Nuverse’s performance was patchy. The most famous game is Marvel Snap, an online card game that achieved cult status but was not a commercial hit.

Other titles include the action games “One Piece: The Voyage” and “Crystal of Atland”.

Nuverse came into focus again in 2021 as ByteDance formalized its status as one of its six divisions as part of a broader structural overhaul.

To build production capacity, Nuverse acquired external studios in 2021, including C4games.

Reporting by Josh Ye; Edited by Brenda Goh and Christopher Cushing

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