ByteDance’s games business has recently adjusted its organizational structure, as its original Chinese and global distribution studios have now merged into a new entity called ONE Publishing Studio, according to a December 20 post on a domestic career and social-networking platform. Sources close to Nuverse, a game development and publishing subsidiary of Bytedance, confirmed the news to local media outlet Coreesports, saying that there is indeed an internal structural adjustment taking place.
The leaked information shows that the company has adjusted to a self-developed system of globalization strategy, and now it has issued the requirement to employees that “all new products are required to target global users and make globalized projects.” Informed sources disclosed that in this round of adjustment, company management emphasized “globalization” and “focus on major businesses.” Starting from 2023, a number of globalized products of ByteDance will be published in different regions.
There were early signs of organizational adjustment of ByteDance’s game business. In November of 2021, the company announced organizational structure adjustments via an internal letter, establishing six business units, namely Douyin, Dali Education, Feishu (Lark), Volcengine, Nuverse and TikTok. The company thus set up a BU-style organizational structure. It also marked that ByteDance’s main strategic direction has changed from expansion to internal resource integration.
The adjustment of the group has come to an end, but the adjustment of divisions has just begun. In the same month that ByteDance’s organizational structure was adjusted, Ohayoo, a leisure game distribution platform owned by the company, started a round of internal optimizations. In January of this year, a strategic investment department led by Yan Shou, the head of ByteDance’s game business, was also dissolved.
Public statistics show that since entering the game industry in 2019, ByteDance has invested in more than 20 developers, and its games business is mostly composed of investment-absorbed teams. The optimized transfer of the strategic investment department is of symbolic significance, as it means that ByteDance’s games business is more quality-oriented, rather than aiming to increase its scale in the short term.
From the second half of 2021 to the first half of 2022, the Chinese games industry changed dramatically, during which time regulators’ issuing of new game licenses was suspended for eight months and the pandemic affected the normal progress of games enterprises. This has certainly accelerated the transformation of ByteDance’s own games business.
In addition, Yan Shou, the head of Nuverse, said in an internal meeting last July that overseas turnover accounted for nearly 80% of the firm’s annual income. That is to say, Nuverse’s overseas income volume has been much larger than that in China, and it is natural to completely turn the rudder and pursue globalization.