Tencent takes on two ByteDance game studios as the social giant continues to get out of games

The teams have been combined into a single new company, Saluosi, which is 100% Tencent owned

Tencent takes on two ByteDance game studios as the social giant continues to get out of games

Further sealing the deal on ByteDance's gaming change of heart comes news that two studios owned by the company, working on unreleased titles, have slipped quietly into Tencent ownership. The social media giant and owner of Tiktok had previously made a big play of getting into games before making an equally loud statement about their subsequent reverse.

When so much money was being made by Chinese tech rivals Tencent, Netease and miHoYo, to simply turn your back on games would have been the kind of boardroom faux pas that can have a disastrous effect on your share price. Better, at least, to give the subject lip service and leave the option open than simply leave the money on the table.

Money from games? Snap!

ByteDance scored a huge hit with their Nuverse publisher and titles such as Marvel: Snap. There were plans for subseqent games and investment and the company even set up its own casual and hypercasual games developer Ohayoo (though that too saw 100 layoffs in 2021).

However, despite their success with Nuverse, passion for follow-up products has proven elusive and ByteDance instead began moves to offload previously cherished studio Moonton the creator of Mobile Legends. Then, once again aiming to grab the gaming zeitgeist, the company made a play of the fact that they were shrewdly getting out of the games business while their rivals floundered in the fact of increased competition and Chinese regulation.

Will this about turn and long game make them the smartest guys in the room? Only time will tell.

What goes around comes around

One thing is for certain, however, and that's that a lot of talent, time and money has been tied up in ByteDance’s investor-pleasing plans with, it seems, the fruits of this labour never having any avenue to ever see daylight and hit the market. Until now.

According to Reuters, who quote an unnamed source, two gaming teams previously bankrolled and instructed by ByteDance have been taken on by their rivals Tencent. One team being a Shenzhen-based studio rumoured to be working on an action game and the other based in East-China who are said to be working on an anime game.

Interestingly, rather than simply become Tencent teams the deal has been completed via a merger between the two, creating a new studio - a new Shenzhen-based company named Saluosi - which is now 100% owned by a Tencent investment company, according to the company database.

Same old story

The gaming landscape is littered with big names and big money seeking to get into games for an easy win, but it appears that true skill and big wins only come with experience and many companies with shareholders to please - Snap, Facebook, Meta and more - simply can't or won't play the long game.

Editor -

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.