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Is TikTok moving into gaming?

Is TikTok moving into gaming?
Russell Kidson

Russell Kidson

TikTok, the world-renowned addictive social media application by Chinese developer ByteDance, seems to be moving toward the gaming industry. Is it too much to ask that the platform make a concrete decision as to whether it wants to pursue gaming or not? 

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Back in May this year, TikTok was reportedly testing HTML5 games within Vietnam. While there was no context at the time, such a move usually means that a company is considering adding gaming to its repertoire of services. However, fast forward a few months to September, and we learned that ByteDance was ‘aggressively downsizing’ its gaming repertoire. As such, we could have been forgiven at the time for believing that TikTok’s foray into gaming was at an end. How wrong could we be?

As it turns out, potentially incredibly wrong. As it turns out, TikTok is yet again flirting with the idea of hosting games on its platform. This news comes courtesy of the Financial Times of all sources. Pitifully, the Financial Times believes itself to be of such high quality that its readers be expected to pay to read articles. Thus, it falls on altruistic writers like myself to give you the details, free and fair. The Financial Times has declared that TikTok will soon launch a new in-app channel dedicated to the platform’s gaming pursuits. 

This decision is bound to affect the company both in the short-term and long run; however, it seems to echo a similar move by other major platforms. Netflix, for example, is also branching out into gaming. While the core idea doesn’t make sense, diversification is a way to ensure interest and thus shore up capital. 

Interestingly, insiders say that TikTok will reveal the new feature at the platform’s first gaming event. The event is expected to stream live on November 2nd, 2022, and will be called TikTok Made Me Play It. As part of the event, the platform will host speakers representing major gaming studios such as EA and 2K. Let’s all remember, though, that TikTok is ByteDance IP.

Is TikTok moving into gaming?

ByteDance is a Chinese company, and under Chinese law, it is required to hand over all user data collected to the Chinese Communist Party. We’ve all seen TikTok’s sketchy data collection practices. Either way, the platform would like you to know that ‘The future of gaming is here—and it’s happening on TikTok. Join us to discover why TikTok is the gaming industry’s #1 gateway to growth. Featuring top gaming publishers & TikTok Creators.’

In other news, TikTok has added a feature for adult-only broadcasting. Is this enough to keep children safe?

Russell Kidson

Russell Kidson

I hail from the awe-inspiring beauty of South Africa. Born and raised in Pretoria, I've always had a deep interest in local history, particularly conflicts, architecture, and our country's rich past of being a plaything for European aristocracy. 'Tis an attempt at humor. My interest in history has since translated into hours at a time researching everything from the many reasons the Titanic sank (really, it's a wonder she ever left Belfast) to why Minecraft is such a feat of human technological accomplishment. I am an avid video gamer (Sims 4 definitely counts as video gaming, I checked) and particularly enjoy playing the part of a relatively benign overlord in Minecraft. I enjoy the diverse experiences gaming offers the player. Within the space of a few hours, a player can go from having a career as an interior decorator in Sims, to training as an archer under Niruin in Skyrim. I believe video games have so much more to teach humanity about community, kindness, and loyalty, and I enjoy the opportunity to bring concepts of the like into literary pieces.

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