TikTok parent company looks to challenge Tencent in mobile gaming

ByteDance might be looking to tango with Tencent.

Photo via Tencent

ByteDance, the parent company of social media platform TikTok, is looking to work its way into the mobile gaming market, according to a Bloomberg report.

The company has already taken steps to build a gaming division by buying game studios, obtaining title distribution rights, and hiring people to build a division of more than 1,000 people, according to Bloomberg. The company’s goal is reportedly to have two games released this spring.

Tencent has dominated the gaming market in China, but the massive popularity of ByteDance’s social media outlet TikTok has made the company an appealing partner for Chinese game publishers looking to grow on mobile. 

ByteDance has attempted to make games in the past, but this deeper dive into the marketplace is reportedly coming with a larger investment and a change in the way the company is approaching its efforts. In the past, ByteDance has relied on ads for revenue in games, but this strategy has shifted to involve in-game cosmetics and perks, similar to other popular free-to-play games like Fortnite, according to Bloomberg.

Tencent has a stranglehold for rights in the mobile gaming market with rights for games like PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor. The company has also invested in other major developers like Epic Games, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard.

ByteDance’s TikTok app has grown significantly in the past two years with more than 1.65 billion downloads, peaking at 219 million downloads in Q4 of 2019.