ByteDance announced today that Nuverse, its video games unit, has agreed to buy video gaming studio Moonton Technology. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that the deal values Moonton at around $4 billion.
With this acquisition, TikTok owner Bytedance aims to expand into the video gaming biz. The move puts the company in direct competition with China’s video game giant Tencent. With the deal, ByteDance now has a MOBA game under its umbrella, as Moonton is the developer of well-known Mobile Legends.
“Through cross-team collaboration and drawing on lessons and insights from its own rapid growth, Moonton provides the strategic support needed to accelerate Nuverse’s global gaming offerings,”ByteDance said in a statement.
One of the sources said, Yuan Jing, CEO of Moonton said in an internal memo that Moonton would operate independently from ByteDance after the acquisition.
Back in 2017, Tencent filed a lawsuit on behalf of Riot Games against Moonton over the claim that Mobile Legends title was a League of Legends clone. Tencent won the lawsuit in 2018 and it was awarded $2.90M.