The Chinese firm has sent several of its executives to the Gamer Connects conference, an annual meeting of developers, publishers and investors of mobile games.
All of them have tried to meet with experts according to the lists of a private tool that Business Insider has been able to access.
Several of the ByteDance executives in charge of the gaming part, and listed as conference attendees, have been hired in 2020. This indicates a clear increase in the hiring of professionals in this sector.
Tom van Dam, senior director of business at ByteDance abroad, has spoken with a number of developers about the increase in casual games – low-cost mobile games mostly financed by ads.
Although Van Dam has not directly commented on ByteDance’s plans, he has hinted at the company’s interest in launching an instant gaming platform – light games that can be opened directly within another application.
Snap Games, for example, allows games to run within Snapchat. On the other, Facebook Instant Games makes it possible for people to play within the News Feed or Messenger application. So far there is no way to play instant games within TikTok .
“I think the platforms that have participated in the instant games have not done a good job,” van Dam said during the talk. “This was years ago; people have had time. Now let’s do it a little better and a little faster.”
Van Dam has refused to comment on it when asked about the alleged TikTok gaming platform.
Expert sources from the industry have said that ByteDance was considering introducing such a platform in TikTok, its popular video application, which means that its users could play within the app.
They have also said that ByteDance was planning to launch independent mobile games.
Van Dam has dropped another clue in a talk about China’s regulatory issues that make it difficult for Western developers to take their games to the country. For example, one of the government measures requires that gaming companies have licenses before they are launched if they have purchases within the application or other mechanisms that generate money.
He also said that the restriction did not apply to casual games financed through advertising. “That barrier that exists for traditional developers to get a license and a local partner to do it for them. That barrier does not exist or exists to a lesser extent” he said.
Western developers should, as they said, focus on the casual games market. “Then the problem becomes: ‘How do you get enough traffic and monetize effectively?’ You probably want to find a partner that can drive traffic for you” he said.
Although van Dam added that he was not there “to advertise” by ByteDance, it is clear that the company could help developers market their mobile games to a mass audience through any of its popular applications.
According to a 2019 Annie App report , mobile games accounted for 3/4 of all consumer spending in app stores, with Chinese and American players at the helm. Chinese consumers spent almost 30,000 million dollars (approximately 27,000 million euros) on mobile games in 2018. US consumers spent about half of that amount.
It is not surprising that Chinese tech giants like Tencent and ByteDance want a slice of that revenue with their own games within their applications.