101 Studio becomes first ByteDance development unit to shut down | Pocket Gamer.biz

TikTok owner ByteDance has closed 101 Studio, its Shanghai-based game development studio first acquired three years ago.

More than 100 employees out of a total of around 300 have been laid off as the studio struggled to challenge the dominance of Tencent Holdings and NetEase in the mobile games space.

According to unnamed people, the remaining staff have been offered internal transfers, Bloomberg reports.

Change of signals

Nuverse, the games division of ByteDance, has been acquiring studios since its inception in 2019, including 101 Studio.

However, while 101 Studio was one of the few developers that ByteDance intended to expand into the game, this is the first development unit that ByteDance ever shut down. The TikTok owner also fired Ohayoo employees following a CCP gaming crackdown last year.

According to an unnamed source, some 101 Studio staff will be transferred to Nuverse’s publishing arm, where they will join in working on existing titles. A VR title that was being developed by 101 Studio, meanwhile, is believed to be considered for continued development by VR headset maker Pico, which ByteDance acquired in 2021.

Tests were reportedly carried out on TikTok last month to allow users to play games in the app as part of a campaign to launch games across Southeast Asia. Its portfolio of mobile games has grossed over $1 billion globally over the past year.

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