Following a report that Marvel Snap publisher Nuverse is being wound down by parent company ByteDance as part of a complete withdrawal from the videogame business, developer Second Dinner says the game “will continue to operate and flourish” into the future.
Concerns about the future of Marvel Snap followed a Reuters report citing multiple sources saying ByteDance, best known as the parent of short-form video platform TikTok, has decided to pull out of the game business entirely. Work on unreleased projects is being halted, according to the report, and ByteDance is looking to sell its released games to other companies. A ByteDance representative confirmed that the company is restructuring its gaming business, but provided no further details.
“We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to centre on long-term strategic growth areas,” the rep said. “Following a recent review, we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business.”
Not long after that report, Second Dinner, a studio founded in 2018 by former Hearthstone director Ben Brode, posted a message on Twitter reassuring players that all is well.
“Some of our players have expressed their concerns regarding reported structural changes at Nuverse,” the studio wrote. “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!”
Marvel Snap is Nuverse’s best-known game, and despite some shortcomings we liked it quite a lot. It’s also recently published an “open-world high fantasy RPG” for PC called Dragonheir: Silent Gods, along with a handful of mobile games. None of them have made an impression comparable to Marvel Snap: Dragonheir holds a “mixed” user rating on Steam, while mobile gaming site Pocket Tactics described the 2021 release Warhammer 40,000: Lost Crusade unflatteringly as “grind for the grind god.”
ByteDance made no mention of possible job cuts as a result of the closure of Nuverse, but a separate TechCrunch report says “mass layoffs” are already underway. Nuverse had grown to approximately 3,000 employees as of 2021. ByteDance also recently cut much of the content team at VR company Pico, although it said in October that it remains committed to VR and “will continue to invest in the extended reality (XR) business over the long term.”