TikTok maker ByteDance is joining Facebook and Snapchat in gaming
After rolling out mini games, ByteDance has reportedly purchased a gaming company
It seems like every social platform wants to be a gaming hub.
ByteDance, the maker of short video app TikTok, has reportedly bought a gaming company called Mokun Technology -- right as both Facebook and Snapchat made further moves into games.
Mokun is known for mobile games Flick Up and Fighter of the Destiny. The purchase was revealed by public records on business registration, but ByteDance still hasn't confirmed the news, telling Abacus that it doesn't comment on market rumors.
It’s not Bytedance’s first foray into gaming: TikTok introduced its first mini game in February about a cute little ball that bounces to a beat. The app also allows third-party gaming developers to launch games in the app.
Other social giants are getting into games, though in very different forms.
Just last week Facebook introduced a dedicated Gaming tab, and, unsurprisingly, it looks a lot like Twitch. Aside from gaming videos, Facebook's Gaming tab also hosts groups for gamers and Instant Games, which were previously located in Messenger.
Late last year, Facebook also started testing a dedicated gaming app called FB.gg – but don't expect to play with it soon since it's just being tested in the Philippines, according to Engadget.
Snap is also reportedly launching a new gaming platform for Snapchat at the beginning of April, according to Cheddar. And let's not forget that CNET reported that Snap bought a game engine company called PlayCanvas and invested in Australian game company Prettygreat – much like ByteDance.
Mini games are not exactly new: Facebook launched its Instant Games in 2016 and has reached 5,000 titles by the end of 2018.
In China, it was another social app that made mini games truly viral: WeChat. The biggest Chinese mini game hit is one made by WeChat’s parent company Tencent: “Jump Jump”, which amassed 100 million players in just two weeks. By the end of last year, WeChat had more than 7,000 mini games, with more than 100 million daily active players.
Similar to Facebook's newest move, ByteDance isn’t just doing mini games. It also rolled out a gaming channel for game-related short videos in mid-2018. The channel also offers popular mobile games for download including NetEase’s Onmyoji and Identity V.
It’s hard to say who is stealing ideas from whom, but as social platforms compete for attention it is likely that we’ll be seeing more game projects from ByteDance, Facebook and Snapchat.