ByteDance decided to focus on developing exciting games

ByteDance has officially entered a new phase in its gaming business under the leadership of Zhang Yunfan.
ByteDance decided to focus on developing exciting games

Over the past year, ByteDance’s game business, branded as Chaoyu Guangnian since 2019, faced substantial challenges despite its rapid initial growth. The company invested heavily in the gaming sector, building an annual revenue stream of over ten billion dollars within four years.

However, as ByteDance pivoted towards e-commerce and information platforms, the gaming division experienced a strategic shift, leading to a contraction announced on November 27 of the previous year. This restructuring included widespread layoffs and asset sales, which stirred significant industry attention and speculation about the future of ByteDance’s gaming endeavors.

Leadership Changes and New Direction

In March, ByteDance appointed Hua Wei, the group’s HR head, to oversee the gaming business, followed by rumors of Zhang Yunfan’s appointment in April. Finally, on May 31, Hua Wei and Zhang Yunfan jointly issued an internal letter marking the official restart of ByteDance’s gaming business. The new phase emphasizes stability, long-term development, and a product-first approach, signaling a renewed commitment to the gaming sector.

The Internal Letter: A New Vision

The internal letter highlighted the journey of the game business over the past five years, acknowledging both successes and setbacks. Zhang Yunfan emphasized the need for strategic focus and improved organizational management, outlining a commitment to long-termism and patient product development. The goal is clear: to create games that are enjoyable for users while fostering an environment of stable expectations and consistent practices within the team.

Ending the Sale of Game Studios

ByteDance’s recent moves, such as the sale of the “Red Alert OL” project and the merger of several game studios, fueled rumors of a complete exit from the gaming industry. However, the latest developments suggest otherwise. ByteDance has concluded its sale of game studios and programs, retaining core assets like Mu Pupil Technology and continuing key projects such as “Crystal Core” and “Planet: Reboot.”

A Shift to Centralized Management of ByteDance

Future operations will see a more centralized management and reporting structure, contrasting with the previously fragmented approach. This change aims to streamline processes and create a more cohesive strategy for game development and business operations. Zhang Yunfan’s leadership, with his extensive experience in the gaming industry, is expected to drive this transformation effectively.

Focus on Self-Developed Games

Looking ahead, ByteDance plans to reduce its reliance on third-party game agents and prioritize the development of self-created games. Despite past successes with agency products like “MARVEL SNAP,” the company recognizes the need for self-sufficiency in game development to ensure long-term growth and profitability. This strategic shift aligns with industry trends and positions ByteDance to compete more effectively with established giants like Tencent and NetEase.

Commitment to Fair Competition

Zhang Yunfan advocates for fair competition within ByteDance’s gaming business. He emphasizes that game products should succeed based on their quality rather than internal resource allocation. This approach aims to foster a fair competitive environment both within the company and in the broader market, ensuring that ByteDance’s gaming ventures are judged on their merits.

Global Expansion and Future Prospects

ByteDance plans to leverage Mu Pupil Technology for global development, although some projects, such as the national release of “MLBB,” may face delays due to ongoing adjustments. The commitment to thorough preparation and strategic planning underlines ByteDance’s long-term vision for its gaming business.

In summary, Zhang Yunfan’s leadership marks a pivotal moment for ByteDance’s gaming division. The company’s renewed focus on stability, product quality, and fair competition, coupled with a shift towards self-developed games, sets the stage for a promising future. While the road ahead may still present challenges, ByteDance’s strategic realignment and experienced leadership offer a hopeful outlook for its gaming endeavors.

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