ByteDance Abandoning the Gaming Scene, Discontinuing Nuverse Plans
Chinese tech company ByteDance has decided to abandon its gaming impulse after a two-year foray, discontinuing its plans for the multi-player augmented-reality gaming platform Nuverse. The company said it wanted to focus on its core social media products, including TikTok.
ByteDance staked its place in the gaming industry in 2019, when it acquired a popular gaming studio and announced Nuverse, which is sure to have captured the attention of young gamers globally. After investing more than $1 billion into the gaming business, it was widely expected that it would gain substantial market share in the lucrative gaming industry.
ByteDance’s decision to drop its gaming plans to focus on its core competency in social media may have been prompted by the Chinese government’s scrutiny of Tencent, the country’s biggest gaming company. Beijing has been adamant about wanting its citizens to devote their time to more wholesome activities than video games, and introducing competition to Tencent would not have been beneficial to the authorities or ByteDance.
At the same time, the sticker sales typical to Eastern messaging apps, such as Line and WeChat, have been declining over the last two years, leading to fewer sources of revenue for popular chat apps. This may have led ByteDance to re-focus on its main source of income.
ByteDance’s retreat from the gaming business is a timely reminder of the progress made by the world’s leading game developers in engaging players and creating immersive experiences. With the future of gaming becoming increasingly intertwined with augmented and virtual reality, ByteDance would have likely had a hard time breaking into the mainstream games market. Nonetheless, this is a minor hiccup on its way to becoming a leading tech giant.