TikTok wants to determine its users’ appetite for mobile gaming with the launch of “mini-games” that can be played inside the social video app and discovered through creators’ videos. TechCrunch learned and has now confirmed TikTok’s new gaming pilot quietly launched just weeks ago with a variety of new partners, including game developers Vodoo, Nitro Games, FRVR, Aim Lab, and Lotem.
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 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.”
At the time, TikTok said it was engaged in discussions with other game makers for similar deals, telegraphing a larger gaming expansion still to come. The move, if successful, could one day position TikTok as a home for casual mobile gaming that routes around Apple and Google’s app stores — and, potentially, their cut of future gaming revenues.
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. 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. The new games are not a part of the TikTok Jump initiative, we understand, as they’re a first-party effort. However, they’re found in this same section.
Now, when a creator publishes a link to one of the new games available in this section, it appears as an anchor above their username on the resulting video. From there, viewers are able to click through to the game when they come across the video.
At launch, the HTML5 gaming titles include the following games: