One of the biggest apps in the world right now, TikTok, is looking to lean into gaming, with tests reportedly already taking place in Vietnam.
TikTok’s number base is huge, with over a billion monthly active users on the platform. TikTok wants to keep its audience on the platform for even longer durations than now. This would be a great move for TikTok since more than 70% of the user base is under the age of 35, the ideal demographic.
The news came from four people close to the company, so take this information with a grain of salt. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese multinational internet company, which is reportedly considering pushing the gaming section out to most of Southeast Asia before the end of the year.
Now, the games probably won’t be anything special. A TikTok representative said the company is testing out HTML5 games, developed by studios like Zynga. The representative reportedly declined to speak any further on the potential plans for gaming or the tests in Vietnam.
“We’re always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community,” the representative apparently said in an email.
ByteDance did not release any official news after the leaks broke. For now, we’re just going to have to wait.
The (possible) future of TikTok gaming
If you aren’t familiar with Zynga, don’t worry. You haven’t missed much. One of Zynga’s biggest titles was Farmville, back in the late 2000s. It required players to build their farms, with buildings upgrading in real-time. It encouraged people to start spending real money, which of course they did. The concept has gone on to dominate many freemium titles since.
Zynga is also responsible for more well-received games, such as the hugely popular Words with Friends. This is great, despite the insistence on showing ads after every turn. The game itself makes up for the presence of ads, which is how ad-supported games should work.
On the other hand, it also makes a Game of Thrones-themed slot casino game – which feels like the kind of thing TikTok would want on their platform. It could produce decent ad revenue and kids can spend all their money on it. Perfect for TikTok. Bad for anyone with a gambling problem.
If TikTok releases decent titles, it could be good for everyone. But there may be little incentive to do so. Regardless of the games’ quality, odds are they will generate revenue. But if the platform joins forces with something like Genshin Impact, there might be an actual explosion.