Bloomberg reported Friday that ByteDance has disbanded its 101 Game Studio in Shanghai, letting about half of the 300-plus staffers go and offering internal transfers to the rest. Local media outlet Jiemian News confirmed the news, adding that the adjustment began a month ago, citing people familiar with the matter.
In 2019, ByteDance acquired Shanghai Mokun, a subsidiary of 37Games, and established it as 101 Game Studio. ByteDance’s gaming business Nuverse has been adjusted frequently recently. Besides Shanghai 101 Game Studio, many projects are being abolished or integrated. A partner of Nuverse said that there is only one game left that Nuverse is expected to cooperate with in the second half of this year, and its product line may encounter problems.
The establishment of 101 Game Studio was once considered as a key measure for ByteDance to enter the gaming universe. After successfully building up two short video platforms, Douyin and TikTok, the company tried to follow Tencent by entering the mobile game market. In February this year, it was reported that Nuverse planned to develop a 3D open world game similar to “Genshin Impact”, which was undertaken by 101 Game Studio. ByteDance denied the news.
ByteDance’s abolition of the game studio was partially affected by the tightening of the approval of game registration numbers. Since August 2021, game registration approval had been suspended for more than seven months and only resumed in April this year. However, the temporary suspension of approvals made it difficult for many game companies to go public and a large number of domestic game developers ranging from teams to individuals were affected.