TikTok to launch standalone gaming channel: FT

October 28, 2022 4:54 am

TikTok is making a significant push into the short-form video platform by adding a dedicated channel.

According to a report from Financial Times, the short video app will have a button on its homepage that users may use to access video games. Citing four people familiar with the matter, it will operate several mobile games where adverts may be displayed and users may pay for additional content.

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has been aggressively expanding into the space since it set up a dedicated gaming division in 2020. Last year, it acquired major gaming studios Moonton and C4, helping to give its efforts a big boost overseas by buying popular games as part of the deals.

In the US, TikTok has partnered with Zynga, the publisher behind High Heels!, to launch exclusive casual games for its user base. Along with Matchingham Games, Aim Lab, and Voodoo, it has more than ten gaming partners globally.

“TikTok and Gaming were made for each other,” Assaf Sagy, head of global gaming for TikTok, said in a last week LinkedIn post. Before joining TikTok, he was a manager at McKinsey and a systems architect at Intel.

“For more than a decade, the Gaming industry has been growing faster than any other to become one of the world’s most common forms of entertainment. With three billion active players, publishers are now launching games with the intention of creating mega brands and appealing to the masses. TikTok has far shown its value in helping consumers discover what’s fun, valuable, and popular. I look forward to working closely with all Gaming companies globally to help make TikTok a central foundation in your marketing strategies.”

The gaming channel was created in response to assessments made in Vietnam in May, which were first reported by Reuters. During the summer, TikTok discreetly launched a feature that let video makers link to simple games that, when clicked, could be played in a pop-up internet browser.

It’s currently unknown when the new channel will be added to TikTok. However, it is expected to be revealed on November 2 during "TikTok Made Me Play It", the company’s first gaming livestream event, on November 2.

According to data analytics company Sensor Tower, ByteDance generated $1 billion of player spending across its mobile games between June 21, 2021 and June 20, 2022, a 16% increase from the same period last year. This figure includes data from Apple’s App Store and Google Play, but not third-party Android stores in China.

Most of the money was spent on ByteDance-owned games. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang from Moonton generated $317.7 million, accounting for 32% of the annual $1 billion figure, Sensor Tower said. C4′s Girls Chronicle: Idle Heroine, follows closely in second.