TikTok Is Bullish On Gaming Despite China Crackdown, To Launch Standalone Gaming Channel

ByteDance Ltd's TikTok made a big push into gaming, adding a dedicated tab within the short-form video platform, the Financial Times reported.

In the U.S., Netflix, Inc NFLX launched mobile games in 2021, filling a void left by Snap Inc SNAP Snapchat and Meta Platforms Inc META Facebook, which scrapped their gaming platforms.

Users can access the games via a button on the homepage. It will feature a host of mobile games with provision for ads, and users can pay for additional content.

Also Read: Tencent Fails To Win Gaming License Since China Lifted Suspension; Although NetEase Makes A Breakthrough

ByteDance has long developed its games and sought titles for the new channel. Chinese regulators have cracked down on gaming in the country over the past year, delaying approvals for new offerings and restricting children's gaming hours. 

TikTok hired gaming staff worldwide and currently has 20 roles available. TikTok appointed Assaf Sagy as head of global gaming in September. Based out of Israel, the former McKinsey manager and Intel Corp INTC system architect joined in 2020 after spending three years at Snap. 

TikTok could announce the new channel by November 2 at "TikTok Made Me Play It." It will feature speakers from gaming groups Electronic Arts Inc EA, 2K, VNG Corporation, NetEase, Inc NTES Games, and Homa. 

TikTok moderators in Europe tested games before launch to users. The creation of the gaming channel follows tests in Vietnam in May.

TikTok already has a partnership with Zynga and has more than ten gaming partners, including Voodoo, Aim Lab, and Matchingham Games.

"There is plenty of room for TikTok to make an impact," said George Jijiashvili, an Omdia analyst. "Finding [games] in the app is tedious, as they are quite hidden away. Adding a dedicated gaming tab will certainly boost discoverability and usage," he added. 

In related news, on October 14, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc TTWO shared its plans to shut down the New York-based studio behind the popular mobile game Dots, eliminating 65 jobs.

Photo by olivier bergeron via Unsplash

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