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News video games 23 May 2022, 13:06

author: Hubert Sledziewski

TikTok Wants to Introduce Games, Including Playable Broadcasts

TikTok app may soon offer the option to play video games. ByteDance is testing it on simple games for now, but its plans appear to be much more ambitious.

As informed in Take-Two's financial report, video games are the largest entertainment industry in the world, with mobile productions being its mainstay. So it's not surprising that companies leading in other fields want to cut a piece of the gaming pie for themselves. Everything seems to indicate that TikTok, owned by ByteDance, wants to join the group.

As reported by Reuters, the owners of this company have started beta tests of a tool dedicated to video games in Vietnam (Asia). It is based on HTML5, and its application is to enable users to play games both on mobile devices (phones or tablets) and computers.

It's worth noting here that users of the Douyin app - which is the Chinese-accessible version of TikTok - can play games on the app starting in 2019.

What games on TikTok?

What games will we play? Rather simple, lacking any controversial elements, such as gambling, violence or sexual content, but full of advertisements, enabling them to generate even more revenue from the app (which it is supposed to be shared with the game's devs). In addition, the titles will come mainly from ByteDance - at least at first (however, there are also talks about games by Zynga). Its plans are ambitious, although Reuters' sources do not specify their scale, including whether playing via TikTok will be possible outside Asia.

As reported by The Verge, some of the games offered on TikTok will enable streamers to increase the interactivity of their broadcasts by, among other things, providing viewers with mini-applications or giving away virtual currency that can be spent in a store associated with the game.

For now (probably) only in Asia

Why are the tests being conducted in Vietnam? It is mainly because of the age structure of the country's population - the average age is under 35 and young people spend a lot of time on the Internet. Introducing games to TikTok will make them use the application more often and longer. Reuters sources say that this could be just the beginning of a broader effort by ByteDance, which plans to introduce similar functionality in other Southeast Asian countries in the third quarter of 2022.

Games - games everywhere

Finally, it should be noted that the actions taken by TikTok's owners are nothing new in the industry. Facebook (now Meta) turned its attention to games long ago - who hasn't created an account to play FarmVille? - and some time ago offered the opportunity to play in the cloud. Netflix has also taken an interest in gaming - it is still a relatively new player in the industry, but its plans are ambitiouseven more ambitious than TikTok.

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