TikTok Parent ByteDance Eclipses $1B in Mobile Games Sales

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

TikTok Parent ByteDance Eclipses $1B in Mobile Games Sales
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

TikTok parent company ByteDance’s big bet on mobile gaming is paying off.

The Chinese tech giant’s growing portfolio of mobile games has brought in more than $1 billion in revenue over the past 12 months, according to a report by data analytics company Sensor Tower, which examined player spending from Apple’s App Store and Google Play dating back to June 2021.


ByteDance has invested heavily in gaming in recent years, establishing its Nuverse game development and publishing unit in-house and acquiring other gaming companies. Those investments have yielded successes like its most downloaded and most lucrative title, “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang,” which generated 78 million downloads and $318 million in revenue in the past year.

While the company’s mobile gaming revenues climbed 16% year-on-year, it still has some way to go before catching up with Chinese industry giants like Tencent and NetEase. Those firms’ mobile gaming revenues hit $7.9 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively, in the same period, according to Sensor Tower data cited by CNBC.

Still, ByteDance’s growth indicates that it is becoming a major player in the industry. “It’s built up its games operations so quickly that it’s already becoming a significant mobile games publisher, particularly in China and Asia,” Sensor Tower Mobile Insights Strategist Craig Chapple told CNBC. “It has a long way to go to catch up with heavyweights like NetEase and Tencent, of course, but it’s moving in the right direction.”

Sensor Tower noted that ByteDance’s largest gaming market was Japan, which accounted for roughly one-third of its total mobile gaming revenue and was followed by China and the U.S. According to CNBC, ByteDance has needed to grow its gaming platform outside of its home country due to China’s regulations around the industry, which have included restricting the time that children can play online games and only recently lifting a freeze on the monetization of games.

It is still unclear whether ByteDance will extend its gaming strategy to TikTok, which is working to solidify itself as an entertainment platform. The Culver City-based video-sharing app denied a report last month that it was testing games on the app in Southeast Asia, but was not drawn on whether it would expand into gaming in the future.

Gaming has increasingly drawn the attention of tech and entertainment companies like Netflix, which has committed to growing its library of titles amid its challenges in holding onto subscribers. The streaming giant’s gaming push has thus far earned it 13 million global downloads, according to Sensor Tower.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Pitbull Ventures’ Brad Zions Is a Seed-Stage Investor and a Web3 Skeptic

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Pitbull Ventures founder Brad Zions
Image courtesy of Pitbull Ventures

Brad Zions saw Web 1.0 flourish—and he doesn’t think Web3 has the same lasting power.

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, the founder of Pitbull Ventures discusses his career, from his early work at AOL to founding Lemonade restaurants to becoming an angel investor and critic of Web3 speculation.

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