ByteDance has been investing in its mobile gaming business through key acquisitions and is finding success outside of China.
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Chinese internet giant ByteDance’s nascent foray into gaming is showing signs of promise with spending across its mobile titles growing over the past year as it looks to challenge rivals Tencent and NetEase.
The TikTok owner generated $1 billion of player spending across its mobile games between June 21, 2021 and June 20, 2022, a 16% increase from the same period last year, according to data analytics company Sensor Tower. This figure includes data from Apple’s App Store and Google Play, but not third-party Android stores in China.
ByteDance, best known for it short video app TikTok and the Chinese version Douyin, has looked to aggressively expand into mobile gaming, an area that Tencent and NetEase have dominated in China. Earlier this year, ByteDance set up a dedicated gaming business unit internally.
Last year, ByteDance acquired major gaming studios Moonton and C4, helping to give its efforts a big boost overseas by buying popular games as part of the deals.
The bulk of player spending was on games that ByteDance acquired. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang from Moonton generated $317.7 million, accounting for 32% of the annual $1 billion figure, Sensor Tower said. C4’s Girls Chronicle: Idle Heroine, follows closely in second.
“ByteDance’s deals for Mobile Legends developer Moonton and Girls Chronicle studio C4 have been transformative,” Craig Chapple, mobile insights strategist at Sensor Tower, told CNBC via email.
“It’s built up its games operations so quickly that it’s already becoming a significant mobile games publisher, particularly in China and Asia. It has a long way to go to catch up with heavyweights like NetEase and Tencent, of course, but it’s moving in the right direction.”
For comparison between June 21, 2021 and June 20, 2022, player spending across Tencent mobile games totaled $7.9…
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