Chinese tech giant ByteDance will shutter its gaming brand Nuverse and significantly scale back its video game operations.

Insiders familiar with the firm told Reuters the company is looking to rid itself of the gaming titles it launched under Nuverse, such as Marvel Snap and Crystal of Atlan, and informed employees on Monday they must stop working on unreleased games by December. “Hundreds” of staff have been placed at risk.

A spokesman for the parent company of TikTok told the media: “We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to center on long-term strategic growth areas. Following a recent review, we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business.”

Launched in 2018,¬† it is unclear how many of Nuverse’s approximately 3,000 employees are at risk, but those familiar with the company told TechCrunch the redundancies began on Monday (Nov 27).

ByteDance admitted they have no immediate plans to return to the massive $185 billion global video games market after the closure.

What will happen to games like Marvel Snap?

Nuverse is currently servicing games such as Warhammer 40,000: Lost Crusade, Earth: Revival, Figure Story, Ragnarok X: Next Generation, Flower, and Dragonheir: Silent Gods, and has other titles in development. The future for these games is yet unknown, but development support for many of these titles will likely be cut.  ByteDance has made it clear it is seeking to divest them as part of its layoffs.

By far its best-known game is Marvel Snap, an online card game, which in August 2023 (the month it was released) topped $100 million in global mobile app revenue. Players of the game can rest easy. Second Dinner, the game’s developers took to X to reassure fans the game “will continue to operate and flourish in the future.”

The rise and fall of Nuverse

The establishment of Nuverse by ByteDance in 2018 was widely recognized as a significant stride into the global gaming arena and a strategic move in its competition with Tencent Holdings, the world’s largest gaming company worth upwards of $3 trillion.

Nuverse returned to the spotlight in 2021 when ByteDance officially designated it as one of its six business units during a comprehensive structural overhaul. To enhance production capabilities, Nuverse expanded by acquiring external studios, including C4games, in 2021.

However, Nuverse’s performance has been inconsistent. While Marvel Snap gained a devoted following, it didn’t quite have the commercial success the company demanded.

Featured Image: Marvel Snap

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