Even as Bytedance is reported to be building a games division capable of challenging in a market led by Tencent, the WeChat owner is itself preparing to take on the TikTok owner’s dominance of short-form video.
With more than 1,000 people said to be on board, sources have indicated that Bytedance’s new team will operate independently from its current attempts to create casual mobile games, focusing instead on the sort of players who spend on in-game items.
“ByteDance is now building multiple game studios by acquiring experienced game developers and talent,” Daniel Ahmad, analyst with Asia-focused gaming research firm Niko Partners, told Bloomberg.
“Its massive global user base and investment in gaming could make it a big disruptor in the gaming space this year,” he continued, although he also added that while the tech company might develop a few hit titles in China it would likely find it difficult “to truly challenge Tencent in the gaming space” such is its dominance.
Tencent, meanwhile, intends to add a feature in the near future to WeChat that will let users publish video clips and photos and share them with their followers via a feed.
Founder Allen Zhang earlier this month told a developer conference in Guangzhou that the platform had been too much focused on text articles in the public feed, rather than short-form visual content. “We lack a vehicle for everyone to create,” he said.
Adding that capability, however, risks changing the nature of the platform in the view of some observers.
“While Tencent’s strategy to retain users and content makes sense, the company needs to tread carefully, because unrestricted short-video publishing may lead to content that is trashy and low-brow, and often also repetitive and non-differentiated,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling.
Sourced from Bloomberg, Tech in Asia