Bytedance now owns Mobile Legends, an answer to Tencent’s Honor Of Kings in the MOBA space according to Reuters.
Bytedance will acquire Moonton Technology the company announced on Monday. The deal is valued at around $ 4 billion, sources told Reuters.
Bytedance, the developer behind video sharing platforms Tiktok and Douyin, has shown a keen interest in expanding into the video games business. According to the report they will acquire Moonton Technology, creators of Mobile Legends, a mobile MOBA game proving extremely popular in Southeast Asia.
Through cross-team collaboration and drawing on lessons and insights from its own rapid growth, Moonton provides the strategic support needed to accelerate Nuverse's global gaming offerings.
In an internal memo, Yuan Jing, CEO of Moonton, said the company would operate independently from Bytedance after the acquisition, an anonymous source told Reuters.
The company behind Tiktok to buy Moonton in multi-billion dollar deal
Tencent is the biggest video game publisher in China and has a massive social media empire. The multi-billion dollar company recently made a bid for Moonton, but Bytedance matched the bid and firmly established its foot in the video game business according to Reuters.
The creator of Tiktok has wanted to get into video games for some time now. The company’s attempts at diversification from short videos took a rapid turn on Monday. The company's gaming arm, Nuverse will acquire Shanghai-based Moonton Technology according to the Reuters article.
Tencent owns Honor of Kings and League of Legends, two of the biggest MOBAs on the mobile and the PC platform. Tencent and Riot Games have filed multiple lawsuits against Moonton since 2017 for copyright infringement.
A rivalry reborn: Tencent and Bytedance
Established in 2012, Bytedance is now valued at $22 billion. The company is one of the biggest competitors of 22-year-old Tencent. It became China’s second-biggest digital ad player behind Alibaba. What is more, the company's rapid growth has made it a formidable opponent for China’s multi-billion dollar companies.
Tencent’s rapid growth and size are partly due to the company’s ability to redirect its WeChat users to other business lines. Bytedance is the dominant player in short videos and is increasingly seeing more screen usage time in China according to Questmobile.
The Beijing-based company could follow a similar strategy as Tencent and leverage its short video apps to redirect users to other businesses. Aside from Tiktok, Bytedance also owns Douyin, the largest short-video sharing app in China.
Bytedance currently boasts over 150 games including extremely simple games such as "My Kungfu is Special" and "Rooster Defense". However, the recent purchase of Moonton Technology, however, will leapfrog Bytedance into ownership and development of more complicated games.
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