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Marvel Snap will still ‘flourish in the future,’ despite ByteDance’s exit from gaming

Hundreds of people may be laid off at TikTok subsidiary Nuverse

A photo of a game of Marvel Snap, featuring the locations Savage Land, Lechuguilla, and Monster Metropolis, and various cards, on an iPhone. Image: Second Dinner/Nuverse
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

TikTok owner ByteDance is looking to get out of mainstream gaming, including at its subsidiary Nuverse, the publisher of Marvel Snap. ByteDance confirmed Monday in a statement to Polygon that it will “restructure” its gaming business. The decision is expected to lead to hundreds of layoffs, according to Reuters, which first reported the news. ByteDance has not confirmed the scope of its layoffs.

“We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to center on long-term strategic growth areas,” a ByteDance representative said in a statement. “Following a recent review, we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business.”

Though ByteDance is divesting from Nuverse, Marvel Snap “will continue to operate and flourish in the future,” according to a tweet posted early Monday on X (formerly Twitter) by the official Marvel Snap X account. The game is developed by Irvine, California-based indie studio Second Dinner.

Reuters, citing four unnamed sources, reports that ByteDance has no plans to enter the mainstream gaming market again. The company’s casual games publisher Ohayoo — which work with Chinese social media platform Douyin — will not be impacted, nor will the casual games that run on TikTok. Beyond Nuverse, ByteDance is reportedly looking to sell off mobile gaming subsidiary Moonton Technology, Reuters reported. Earlier this month, ByteDance restructured its virtual reality company Pico, resulting in hundreds of employees being laid off, TechCrunch reported.

Nuverse had 3,000 employees in 2021, according to TechCrunch — a number that has remained relatively consistent over the years, the outlet said, citing Chinese tech news outlet LatePost.

ByteDance has invested heavily in the video game industry over the past few years as it looked to compete with Chinese gaming giants Tencent and NetEase. Marvel Snap was a success in the U.S., reaching a reported $116 million in revenue. Other Nuverse games include One Piece: The Voyage and Warhammer 40,000: Lost Crusade. Moonton Games is responsible for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Watcher of Realms.

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