Through its subsidiary Nuverse, the ByteDance group has just acquired the Chinese studio Moonton, reported our colleagues from Reuters. A takeover that confirms the ambitions of TikTok’s parent company in the lucrative mobile gaming sector.
ByteDance sets its pawns to become a key player in mobile games
It’s not been a secret for a long time: ByteDance is determined to counter Tencent in the mobile gaming market. To achieve this, the Chinese group at the origin of TikTok no longer hesitates to increase investments, both in terms of recruiting and buying out companies.
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Precisely, its last major acquisition to date is that of Moonton. Specialized in mobile games, this studio is notably at the origin of the title Mobile Legends: Bang Bang who exceeded the symbolic bar of 500 million dollars of profit in January 2020, and which accounts for more than 280 million downloads worldwide.
While details of the operation have not been officially revealed, several sources familiar with the matter have claimed that this would amount to nearly $ 4 billion, or around 3.36 billion euros. One of the sources, who wished to remain anonymous, also revealed that Moonton CEO Yuan Jing sent an internal memo to his employees, in which he explained that his company would continue to operate independently of ByteDance.
A hard blow for Tencent
In a statement, ByteDance commented on its new acquisition, without giving further details: “Through working collaboratively and drawing on lessons and knowledge from its own rapid growth, Moonton is providing the strategic support needed to accelerate the delivery of Nuverse games on a global scale.”.
A statement that leaves no room for doubt: ByteDance is indeed determined to take its share of the pie in the mobile gaming sector, and Moonton is for him a formidable weapon. With Mobile Legends: Bang Bang in its stable, the parent company of TikTok finally has something to seriously compete with Honor of Kings and League of Legends, two flagship titles from Tencent. This is all the more an advantage given that, according to several sources, Tencent has also made a proposal to try to acquire Moonton. Information that the company declined to comment on.
It is obvious that the war between the two Chinese giants is now well and truly launched. Whether before the courts or in its acquisitions, ByteDance seems determined to use all the means at its disposal to build its empire. Tencent had better watch out.