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Nuverse Gaming Brand to Wind Down Amid Restructuring

Gaming set up

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ByteDance, the force behind TikTok, announces a major gaming business overhaul.

ByteDance, the parent company of popular social media platform TikTok, has revealed plans to wind down its Nuverse gaming brand and withdraw from mainstream video games. This decision comes after a comprehensive review of its gaming business, as confirmed by ByteDance in a statement to Reuters.

“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,” stated a ByteDance spokesperson.

As part of this restructuring, ByteDance is expected to inform employees on Monday to cease work on unreleased games by December. The company will also explore avenues for divesting from titles that have already been launched. The move is anticipated to impact hundreds of employees, some of whom learned about the decision over the weekend.

Contrary to this shift, ByteDance clarified that the casual gaming brand Ohayoo, featuring games on Douyin (TikTok’s sister app in China), will remain unaffected. Similarly, casual games running on TikTok will not be impacted.

ByteDance’s decision signals a departure from the $185 billion global video games market, with no plans to re-enter, according to sources familiar with the matter. This move follows recent reports that ByteDance had initiated the search for buyers for its game developing subsidiary Moonton Technology.

Nuverse, created by ByteDance in 2019, was initially seen as a significant foray into the global gaming market, positioning itself against domestic rival Tencent Holdings. Despite the ambitious move, Nuverse’s performance has been mixed, with its most recognized game, “Marvel Snap,” achieving a cult following but falling short commercially.

The broader restructuring includes ByteDance’s formalization of Nuverse as one of its six business units in 2021. Nuverse had previously expanded its production capacity through the acquisition of external studios, including C4games in 2021.