ByteDance, the company behind the viral short-video app Douyin (or TikTok outside of China) and the news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, could be launching its first heavy game as early as the first quarter of next year, the Late Post reports.
Heavy games are high-end games with sophisticated graphics that require a lot of computing power and memory to run.
Gaming veteran Wang Kuiwu, whom ByteDance poached from Perfect World Games, is spearheading the heavy game project and at the moment four games are in development, according to the Late Post. Perfect World Games is a Chinese video game developer and video game publisher specializing in massively multiplayer online role-playing games.
Beijing-based ByteDance previously set up a team of more than 100 members working on the demos of nine heavy games.
Gaming, especially heavy games, has long been the purview and most lucrative business of ByteDance’s arch-rival Tencent.
The Honour of Kings and Pubg Mobile (and its Chinese variant Game for Peace), two of Tencent’s top-grossing heavy games raked in USD 728 million and USD 141 million in the first half of 2019 respectively.
ByteDance declined to comment on its heavy game project when contacted by KrASIA.
Last week, ByteDance announced plans to build a comprehensive search engine that could share online content outside its apps. ByteDance’s move into the search engine business is also widely seen as a move against China’s search giant Baidu.
By making forays into heavy games and the search engine business, ByteDance, one of the world’s largest startups, is directly challenging two of China’s most powerful internet oligarchs – Baidu and Tencent.
It’s not clear at this stage if the game is intended for domestic or global release.