China-based ByteDance has shut down a game development studio, laying off more than 100 employees, media reports said. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, shut down the ‘101 Studio’ in Shanghai it had acquired three years ago. “TikTok owner ByteDance is disbanding one of its main game studios due to its disappointing performance,” Nikkei Asia reported.
The gaming studio had around 300 employees and according to the report, some of them have been transferred to other verticals within ByteDance. ByteDance’s 2019 acquisition of the core group behind 101 Studio was “seen as laying the groundwork to challenge the dominance of Tencent Holdings in mobile gaming”. The development came as TikTok is reportedly planning to make a major push into gaming. The short-video making platform has reportedly conducted tests that let users in Vietnam play games within its app.
According to TikTok, the only game currently available to users on its platform is Zynga’s “Disco Loco 3D,” a music and dance challenge mini-game. ByteDance is also likely preparing to join the virtual reality (VR) space. It aims to invest “tons of money” in VR-related content, reports Protocol. Over 40 job listings have popped up for Pico, the Chinese VR headset maker ByteDance acquired last year, the reports mentioned.