TikTok testing in-app HTML5 games with Zynga, Nitro Games

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TikTok is reportedly testing “mini-games” that can be played inside the social video app and discovered through creators’ videos, TechCrunch reports.

The move, if successful, could one day position TikTok as a challenger to Apple and Google’s app stores in casual gaming space— and, potentially, their cut of future gaming revenues. Netflix also launched a similar initiative last year and now features around 25 games.

In May, Reuters reported that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent purchased a game studio of its own last year — Shanghai-based Moonton Technology. Games have been playable via the Chinese version of the Tiktok app (Douyin) since 2019.

The gaming pilot quietly launched just weeks ago has game developers Vodoo, Nitro Games, FRVR, Aim Lab and Lotum as partners.

The launch follows reports earlier this year that the social video app maker was looking to expand into HTML5 gaming after first testing the waters with gaming giant Zynga last November. The partnership news was announced alongside Zynga’s Q3 2021 earnings.

The two companies had then teamed up to launch a TikTok exclusive title, Disco Loco 3D, which was similar to Zynga’s successful game (by way of acquisition) High Heels.

The list of new mini-games can be found inside the TikTok app when posting a video to the platform. “On the final screen ahead of publishing, creators can add hashtags, a description, a location and more, as well as optionally add a link to other content. Before, tapping the “Add Link” button allowed users to add links to a variety of other experiences via TikTok Jump, a third-party integration tool built into TikTok’s app,” read the report on TechCrunch.

Creators could link to content in other apps, like Whisk’s recipes, BuzzFeed and Quizlet’s quizzes, Breathwork’s breathing exercises, Rotten Tomato’s ratings and more, reported TechCrunch. The games are now available in USA and UK versions of the app, confirmed TechCrunch and The Verge.