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TikTok is diving into games

TikTok is pulling a Netflix and embarking on its latest attempt to keep users engaged on the app: Video games.

According to a report from Reuters, four sources familiar with the matter said that the short-form video platform and its parent company ByteDance have been conducting tests on video games in Vietnam. To the surprise of no one, the test group comprises mostly young users — specifically, users under the age of 35 — as they are more tech-savvy than older generations.

TikTok said its gaming venture will start small, putting in minigames that have simpler gaming mechanics and shorter game times. The content of those games will be mild in nature, as Vietnam has a zero-tolerance policy on games that contain drugs, gambling, or sexual content.

Another source said that TikTok plans to implement advertisements in the games initially in order to rake in ad revenue from running them on the platform. A portion of the profits will go to ByteDance with the remainder being paid to game developers.

This isn’t the first time TikTok has tried giving games to its users. In the past, the platform has carried some HTML5 games, including last year’s Disco Loco 3D by Zynga, an endless runner that involves players collecting dance moves while challenging their friends and followers on the platform, and Garden of Good, where every vegetable players grow turns into donations to Feeding America. There’s no way to find those games and others on TikTok in the U.S., but Vietnam is getting a sneak preview on how to access them within the app.

TikTok is planning to roll out its games to larger parts of Southeast Asia sometime in the third quarter of 2022. It’s unknown if they’ll be rolled out to TikTok users outside that region.

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Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
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