TikTok's gaming efforts appear to be getting scaled back as the platform has hit a roadblock with the Chinese government. TikTok is arguably the biggest social media platform right now thanks to how simple and effective it is. It has mastered the addictive nature of scrolling and made sure its content is short and sweet, ensuring you are always moving on to the next piece of content. While one could argue it may not be the healthiest thing in the world, it's working and people are loving it. It dominates the tech and social media industries in a huge way and it seems like TikTok owner ByteDance wasn't satisfied with those sectors. The company has plans to move into the gaming industry, but those plans may not be possible anymore.
ByteDance was testing TikTok games that users could play for a few minutes, rather than dump hours into like a traditional game. It was a similar approach to how the service uses videos, making everything short and sweet, but for games. According to SCMP, after acquiring game studios and making big plans for this effort, ByteDance has been "aggressively downsizing" its gaming teams. Wushuang Studio reportedly lost most of its staff and other studios have seen notable job cuts. It's believed this is a result of Chinese developers having difficulty getting games approved by the Chinese government. As of July 2022, China has only approved 172 games for release, which is nearly 600 less than the ones approved during the same time period in 2021.
As it stands, it seems like ByteDance is aware this is an uphill battle and is choosing to support its already released games rather than make new ones. Of course, that's not to say that ByteDance is completely throwing in the towel, but it is a major block to succeeding with its endeavors. If this issue gets sorted out, perhaps things will resume as normal, but ByteDance seemingly would rather avoid losing tons of money on something it can't really control at the moment.
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