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ByteDance Increases Its Stakes in MYBO Games to 18.64%, Aiming at Leisure Mobile Games for Overseas Markets (Again)

It seems ByteDance is attempting to shift its strategies this time.
By Weilin Li
Dec. 30, 2021 updated 07:13

According to Baijing Chuhai, a news platform for internet-related companies in China, ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant behind TikTok, has invested further in Shanghai-based mobile game developer MYBO Games. ByteDance’s stakes in the latter company increased from 3.96% to 18.64%. The financial resources newly added reaches 100 million CNY (~15.7 million USD).

The investment was completed through ByteDance’s wholly-owned subsidiary Beijing Youyi Technology and took place on November 1st, according to Qichacha, a database for business companies. Market insiders recently confirmed the business development, and it gained more attention in Chinese tech media.

Bouncy Seed by MYBO GameBouncy Seed by MYBO Game

According to InvestGame, MYBO makes games for the western market. The studio has several games in its portfolio, including “Ohana Island” (flagship product), “Ponon!,” “Starry Nuts,” “Bubble Blast,” and “Bouncy Seed.” MYBO has also cooperated with Rovio to create the tap-to-match puzzle game Angry Birds Blast!. Rovio is the company behind Angry Birds, released back in December of 2009.

Angry Birds Blast! is a tap-to-match puzzle game developed by MYBO and published by Rovio Entertainment.Angry Birds Blast! is a tap-to-match puzzle game developed by MYBO and published by Rovio Entertainment.

In October, as China’s national regulation on gaming was ramping up, ByteDance laid off dozens of employees at its casual game publishing arm, Ohayoo, according to GamesIndustry.biz. The junior-level employees were particularly targeted. It seems that ByteDance is attempting to shift its strategies this time. 

Following the latest investment, Baijing Chuhai’s article suggests there are two different strategies from ByteDance and its competitor Tencent. Tencent has built its presence in the gaming market with multiple investments, while ByteDance makes efforts to expand through acquisitions. For example, in March, ByteDance’s video games unit Nuverse agreed to acquire Shanghai-based gaming studio Moonton Technology. Moonton’s product Mobile Legends: Bang Bang was released in 2016, the game has become popular in Southeast Asia. ByteDance’s recent investment in MYBO continues its efforts to build a strong presence in the overseas market.

Strategically, Tencent has aimed primarily at mid-core/hardcore games. In contrast, ByteDance has focused on casual games, in part because it possesses huge amount of traffic through its social media apps.