TikTok owner ByteDance has acquired Beijing-based AI developer LevelupAI for an undisclosed figure.
The developer was founded in 2016 to research AI for the games industry. It now focuses its efforts on using AI to create content for games, particularly in tower-defence and match-3 titles, as well as testing games and "playing" games as bots.
As reported by EqualOcean, this is just another step in ByteDance's plans to grow its gaming business. It introduced mini-games to Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in February 2019, and has been acquiring and investing in developers in China in the following months.
Back in July 2019 it was confirmed that ByteDance was planning to develop its own smartphone. Exact details on the phone are thin on the ground, but it is rumoured that it will come pre-loaded with ByteDance's own apps, including TikTok.
Social and chat app gaming is rapidly growing as a market, with Snapchat having launched its own games platform in April 2019. Major publisher Ubisoft is also getting on the action, having opened a studio in Vietnam in September 2019 with a focus on "instant games" for several social platforms.