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ByteDance discussing game asset sale with Tencent

The TikTok owner is reportedly looking to exit the video game market.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 9, 2024

1 Min Read
A photograph of ByteDance HQ
Image via ByteDance

Last year it was rumored that TikTok owner ByteDance, owner of Marvel Snap publisher Nuverse and other video game companies, was considering selling up and exiting the mainstream gaming market.

Now, Reuters is reporting that fellow Chinese video game and tech conglomerate Tencent wants to purchase some of those assets from ByteDance. 

A ByteDance spokesperson told Reuters that talks with Tencent and other parties are ongoing but that a deal has yet to be reached.

Tencent's investments

Tencent has become an influential player within the game industry and is no stranger to splashing the cash. The Shenzhen-based company continues to invest heavily in studios, publishers, and tech firms.

To date, it has invested in the likes of Riot Games, Supercell, Epic Games, Sumo Group, Ubisoft, Remedy, Paradox Interactive, and many more. In recent years, the company has expanded significantly in the West as regulations surrounding in-game spending and playtime continue to tighten in China.

It's claimed that ByteDance and Tencent are mulling over a deal that would see the latter take ownership of multiple Nuverse titles such as Crystal of Atlan and Earth: Revival.

ByteDance owns multiple studios through its Nuverse subsidiary including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang developer Moonton and Houchi Shoujo maker C4Games.

The company, however, is seemingly looking for a way out of the game industry. In a statement sent to Reuters in November 2023, ByteDance confirmed it had "made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business" to refocus on "long-term strategic growth areas."

Cutting through the noise, sources familiar with those plans told Reuters that plan would result in ByteDance scrapping unreleased titles, divesting projects that have already launched, and laying off hundreds of workers within Nuverse.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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