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Is Bytedance no longer dancing in the gaming market?

Is Bytedance no longer dancing in the gaming market?

Not even Marvel superheroes save developers from the industry crisis. And so Bytedance, the house of TikTok, fires Nuverse, a software house that made it earn 116 million with just one video game…

The crisis that has hit Big Tech, particularly affecting the video game sector , is also nipping at the heels of Chinese software houses. To get the exact proportions of the gravity of the situation, just think that even an important company like ByteDance, the Asian company that owns TikTok, has announced to its employees, according to Reuters previews, a heavy restructuring, which will concern its videogame branch .


Those affected by the cuts, therefore, are the Nuverse team, a software house in ByteDance's portfolio since 2019, when the Asian multinational decided to create it from scratch to challenge its neighbor: Tencent.

The software house affected by the corporate restructuring, for its part, via Twitter, effectively confirmed the press rumors, hurrying to announce that support for its already marketed video games will continue.

«Dear SNAPPERS, some of our players have expressed their concerns regarding the structural changes reported to Nuverse – the message appeared on X -. We want to thank you for your concern and assure you that regardless of any changes to Nuverse, SNAP will continue to operate and thrive in the future!”


As we read on TechCrunch , the number of fired employees is not known but we know that until a few years ago the company employed around 3 thousand people. However, according to what was reported by the 36Kr website, approximately 700 people could be left at home. No risk, however, for the employees of Oyadoo, the division that deals with the development of casual games on TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin.

ByteDance's decision to affect the team responsible for Marvel Snap is destabilizing not only because it is the first prominent Chinese software house to proceed with staff cuts, in the wake of what has been done in the last 11 months by its Western counterparts (going spans, we can say that global layoffs have now reached 8 thousand units in the videogame sector alone, but they triple by zooming in on the software houses working on other things, if we consider that Microsoft alone has sent home over 10 thousand workers), but also in as the last title marketed turned out to be a gold mine for the company behind TikTok.


According to what Games Industry reported last January, the digital card game from the creator of Hearthstone was able to total 14 million downloads in just over two months, generating revenues of 30 million dollars in microtransactions between the month of October 2022 (date of its release) and the end of December of the same year.

The majority of revenue was made in the United States, with 17.5 million, where evidently the majority of Marvel's fanbase is nestled. In the same period, 2 million arrived from the rest of the world from South Korea, 1.4 million from Japan, 1.2 million from Canada while the European state that had spent the most with the Chinese app was France: 915 thousand dollars.

Today, one year after the debut of Marvel Snap, we know that the total earnings are around 120 million dollars (over 116, to be exact) and that the title has been downloaded on 22 million devices. The success is due to the Californian studio Second Dinner, created shortly before the pandemic by Ben Brode , director as already anticipated of one of Blizzard's most successful titles in recent years: Heartstone . The US software house was acquired by ByteDance through Nuverse for 4 billion dollars in 2021.


According to rumours, the House of TikTok's intention would be to exit the videogame market once and for all and therefore stop competing with compatriot Tencent, now the undisputed queen of the market. For this reason, ByteDance would be looking for buyers interested in its software house capable, as we have seen, of performing real miracles.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia-on-demand/bytedance-non-danza-piu-nel-mercato-videoludico/ on Tue, 28 Nov 2023 09:51:11 +0000.