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Marvel Snap publisher to close as TikTok maker cuts down on gaming

ByteDance wants to wind Nuverse down
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Update (November 27, 2023): The official Marvel Snap account has posted a statement on social media after the reports about publisher Nuverse being set for a shutdown, calming the fears of fans about the game's future:

"Some of our players have expressed their concerns regarding reported structural changes at Nuverse. We wish to thank you for your concern and assure you that regardless of any changes at Nuverse, SNAP will continue to operate and flourish in the future!"

Original (November 27, 2023): ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, is preparing to severely cut down on its core gaming business, according to a report by Reuters, which will mean the shutdown of publisher Nuverse with a likely impact on “hundreds of employees.”

ByteDance created Nuverse as a gaming brand in 2019, but this push into the market has largely been viewed as ineffective. Nuverse’s biggest game has been Marvel Snap, a card game made by Second Dinner under the leadership of former Hearthstone game director Ben Brode. Other hits have evaded the company thus far.

Marvel Snap Rise of the Phoenix

Marvel Snap publisher Nuverse is getting shut down by parent company ByteDance.

Reuters reported that ByteDance hopes to wind down the operations of Nuverse until the end of December 2023 and is looking to divest from its catalog of released games. Earlier reports have indicated that ByteDance is seeking buyers for game studio Moonton (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang), which it acquired in 2021 for around $4 billion USD.

A spokesperson for ByteDance has confirmed the move towards Reuters, though without divulging any additional details: “We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to center on long-term strategic growth areas. Following a recent review, we've made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business.”

This retreat from the gaming industry is only a partial one, with operations related to the casual titles featured on TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin remaining unaffected, according to Reuters’ sources.

2023 has seen many job cuts and studio shutdowns already with Embracer letting go over 900 employees and closing down studios like Volition and Campfire Cabal, job losses at Frontier and Creative Assembly, and big layoffs at Amazon Games, among others.