ByteDance Restructures Gaming Business, Emphasizes Stability

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On March 14th, according to Chinese media outlet Jiemian News, ByteDance announced through an internal letter that after strategic positioning adjustments, its gaming business will return to the incubation stage. The core of the next phase is to patiently manage stable operations and continue to explore with a mission and vision in a manner consistent with industry development laws.

In terms of organizational structure, ByteDance’s human resources head, Hua Wei, will serve as the head of the gaming business, managing UGC (user-generated content), Moonton, and Nuverse. The former head of Nuverse, Yan Shou, will be transferred to the company’s finance department. UGC is a newly established secondary department, with Luo Ji serving as the department head, reporting to Hua Wei. The former heads of the Block project, Dai Junyi, and the Cell team, Sky, will report to Luo Ji. The former head of ONE distribution studio, Hector, will continue to be responsible for Nuverse’s agency products, with former game technology head Jeffrey and former global business head Rachel Lin reporting to Hector. Hector also reports to Hua Wei.

ONE distribution studio is a studio established by Nuverse in 2022 after integrating domestic and foreign businesses. The heads of Oasis Studio, Wang Kuiwu, and Youai Division, Hu Bing, both report to Hua Wei. This studio evolved from ByteDance’s early “Oasis Plan”, focusing on RPG (role-playing games), strategy, shooting, European and American casual, and card sports games.

The new structural adjustment signifies the end of the “Yan Shou era” in ByteDance’s gaming business.

Yan Shou joined ByteDance’s strategic investment department from Tencent in 2015 and became the head of the business when ByteDance entered the gaming business in 2019. He later served as the head of Nuverse. Since then, the entire ByteDance’s self-developed and agency gaming business has been managed by Yan Shou.

The newly appointed head of the gaming business, Hua Wei, joined ByteDance in 2014, was in charge of investment business, later took on human resource management work, and was responsible for the company’s organization and culture building.

Established in 2019, Nuverse is ByteDance’s game development and distribution business brand. Like ByteDance’s emphasis on globalization, Nuverse also started the internationalization process early. Its overseas releases “RO Wonderland Legend: The Birth of a New Generation” and the Marvel IP card mobile game “MARVEL SNAP” have achieved some success, with “MARVEL SNAP” even winning the 2022 TGA Best Mobile Game Award.

In the domestic market, “Crystal Core”, launched by Nuverse in July last year, is considered its first “hit” self-developed game. Qimai data shows that “Crystal Core” achieved nearly 70 million yuan in revenue on the iOS platform in the first week of its launch and dominated the top ten best-selling list of the App Store for nearly a month.

Unexpectedly, four months later, Nuverse began a large-scale business contraction: seeking to divest games that had been launched and performed well while ensuring operations; for projects that have not yet been launched, except for a few innovative projects and related technical projects, all were shut down.

According to a person close to ByteDance, the contraction action was a decision made after Yan Shou and ByteDance CEO Liang Rubo had discussed it for a long time. Liang Rubo believes that although the gaming business has achieved some success, it has been pursuing “big and complete” for the past few years, with unfocused projects and scattered resources. It should invest energy and resources into more basic, more innovative, and more imaginative projects.

Moonton is a game company that ByteDance acquired for about 4 billion US dollars. After Nuverse’s significant contraction, there were rumors that ByteDance was seeking to sell Moonton Technology for no less than 5 billion US dollars and hired Goldman Sachs as a financial advisor to help find and contact potential buyers.

An insider from Moonton told Jiemian News that Moonton is currently not for sale and is still a wholly-owned subsidiary of ByteDance. Even with the structural adjustments, Moonton still maintains independent operations, and its business has not been affected.

Source: Niko News /

The post ByteDance Restructures Gaming Business, Emphasizes Stability appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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