ByteDance Builds Gaming Department of Over 1000 Employees

While ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, rose higher in 2019 in advertising vs. Baidu, in 2020 it could compete with Tencent’s gaming empire.

ByteDance is the most valuable startup in the world and appears to be one of the most innovative consumer app and AI companies in 2020. ByteDance has launched a gaming division to lead its entry into mobile gaming, a market led by rival Tencent, Bloomberg reported.

I don’t think there’s any chance TikTok would be sold in 2020, in spite of some speculative reports. ByteDance is a builder of its own dynasty, buying up AI talent quite rapidly. The latest acquisition is Beijing-based AI developer LevelupAI. The developer was founded in 2016 to explore how AI can create gaming content.

ByteDance Will Star as a Gaming Company

ByteDance’s hold on GenZ is already strong with interactive stories. Now it’s getting into music streaming, gaming and other verticals popular with youth culture.

Douyin and TikTok owner Bytedance has been on a hiring spree for talent to build its own mobile game division as its readies for its first foray into hardcore games. By competing with Baidu and Tencent ByteDance can create a niche for itself as the new company on the block of China’s rising technological dynasty.

ByteDance is also moving in on Indian and American youth as well — to the point that Facebook is afraid of what ByteDance will become.

ByteDance is so innovative it’s showing it’s partly disruptive to the future of apps, GenZ engagement and AI relating to app consumer experiences.

Tencent is the biggest player in video games, accounting for 55.8% of China’s total mobile game revenue in the third quarter of 2019, while second-ranked Netease earned 17.3%, according to market research firm Gamma Data. As ByteDance moves into mobile advertising and gaming, it can secure new sources of revenue streams.

How big is ByteDance’s gaming department? Bytedance has built a team exceeding 1,000 people over the past few months, the report said. Most of the company’s game development personnel are based in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou. ByteDance appears very serious about becoming a gaming power-house of the future.

Bytedance’s first two non-casual games will be released in the spring and will target both the domestic and overseas markets, according to Bloomberg.

ByteDance has over 1 billion users but is becoming a nexus for youth with popular apps such as TikTok and Toutiao, among others. But it’s all the new businesses that ByteDance has in development that is most impressive. These include a music streaming service, gaming and chat. TikTok is becoming not just a viral app but the new Instagram where social commerce has a better chance of working due to China and India’s reliance on mobile.

ByteDance has onboarded the core developer team of NetEase-linked Pangu Game. And one of the creative teams is led by Wang Kuiwu, who joined Bytedance from Chinese game developer and esports tournament organizer Perfect World.

Back in July 2019 it was confirmed that ByteDance was planning to develop its own smartphone. ByteDance could in the future develop its own mobile OS to compete with Huawei’s. ByteDance is a bit like Xiaomi, the new kind of startup of China, but far more innovative and ambitious.

Leading with consumer apps means ByteDance needs to be an AI leader. Its foray into gaming makes total sense for its audience. The company has also been purchasing exclusive rights to distribute titles in China, such as two mobile games based on the popular Japanese comic series, “One Piece,” a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) title, and several massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.

ByteDance’s broad vision to get into different verticals as a portal for youth culture is truly outstanding and can benefit it as it prepares to go public, likely in 2021. ByteDance was founded in 2012 and is a likely candidate to get more funding from Softbank Vision Fund in 2020 due to its focus on AI and smart technologies.

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