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ByteDance explores sale of mobile legends developer Moonton amid strategic focus

Posted : 16 November 2023
ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, is reportedly in early-stage talks with potential buyers for its subsidiary Moonton, the developer of the popular mobile MOBA, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. At least one Saudi-based firm has engaged in discussions about a possible Moonton sale with ByteDance, according to sources.
ByteDance acquired Moonton in 2021 for a reported value of around $4 billion. While Moonton has developed other mobile games, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is its flagship title, boasting a significant esports ecosystem in Southeast Asia with franchised leagues in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang holds a prominent position in the mobile esports landscape, evidenced by five of the top 10 most-viewed esports events of 2023 being MLBB tournaments. ByteDance's consideration of selling Moonton aligns with its strategic focus on its core business, reflecting a broader trend as the company previously shut down its game development studio, 101 Studio, and recently witnessed layoffs at its virtual reality subsidiary, Pico.
ByteDance's move to potentially divest Moonton mirrors a trend in the gaming industry, as seen with Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Saudi Arabian company Savvy Games Group's purchase of mobile game developer Scopely for $4.9 billion.
The talks regarding the sale of Moonton remain in the early stages, and no deal is confirmed at this point. Moonton has become widely recognized for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang's success in the mobile gaming market, making it a valuable asset in the mobile esports landscape. The outcome of these discussions will be closely watched, considering the ongoing strategic shifts in the gaming industry and the potential impact on the esports ecosystem surrounding Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.


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