Snapchat makes a huge gaming push with a real-time multiplayer platform containing original and partner in-app games

SnapThe Snap Games Logo
  • Snap just unveiled “Snap Games,” a long-rumoured gaming platform that lets users play original and third-party multiplayer games in the app in real-time.
  • The games are powered by HTML 5, and users don’t have to leave the app to download them from the app store.
  • Snap is taking a shot at the $US77 billion gaming industry, boosted by the recent runaway success of games like “Fortnite.”
  • Snap is monetizing the games with advertising. Users can opt in to watch ads in exchange for game rewards.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -Snapchat no longer wants to be just a platform where people play around with whacky lenses and send ephemeral posts to their friends. It also wants to be a place where people play games.

The company just unveiled “Snap Games,” its long-rumoured gaming platform that lets users play original and third-party multiplayer games in the app in real-time.

Starting today, Snap is rolling out games exclusive to Snapchat, including its flagship Bitmoji-inspired original game called “Bitmoji Party” and third-party games from developers including Spry Fox and Zynga.

In Bitmoji Party, users can bring their and their friends’ Bitmojis to life as they compete with one another across four, fast-paced mini-games. “Tiny Royale” by Zynga, on the other hand, reimagines the classic battle royale for Snapchat. Other games include “Alphabear Hustle” by Spry Fox, “C.A.T.S. Drift Race” by ZeptoLab, “Snake Squad” by Game Closure, and “Zombie Rescue Squad” by PikPok.

“Today, there are hundreds of thousands of games available for our phones. But… there aren’t many that make it easy for friends to play together,” said Will Wu, product director at Snap. “Snapchat has the right ingredients to break down the barriers… and can make playing games with friends incredibly fast and fun.”

Snapchat is trying to create frictionless, in-app gaming

The games are powered by HTML 5, and users don’t have to leave the app to download them from the app store. They can be accessed by clicking an icon in chat, Snapchat’s text messaging feature.

Users can interact with the friends they are playing with during the game by texting through a chat bar and sending voice notes.

Redesigning chat to feature the icon was a way to offer a fast and intuitive way to play, said a Snap spokesperson.

Gaming seems to be an increasingly important focus for Snap

Snap has dabbled in gaming in the past with lens and augmented reality-based games called “Snappables” within the app in early 2018. But gaming has become increasingly important for the company.

Last year, Snap acquired a small Australian gaming studio behind popular mobile games like “Fruit Ninja” and “Jetpack Joyride” called Prettygreat for $US8.6 million, Cheddar reported. And as Business Insider previously reported, it also acquired the web-based game engine startup called PlayCanvas.

Snap is taking a shot at the $US77 billion gaming industry, boosted by the recent runaway success of games like “Fortnite.”

Games could be lucrative for the company

Games could be a lucrative new source of revenue for Snap. Snap is monetizing the games with ads. Users can opt-in to watch ads in exchange for game rewards, and the revenue will be split between Snap and its partners.

Games on Snapchat are launching with its non-skippable, six-second “Commercials” video ad format that launched in 2018 and appears in Snap Original shows. Advertisers can buy the ads via the self-service Snapchat Ads Manager. The ads will only be available to a select group of advertisers at first.

Snapchat may not want to hold its breath because some brands tend to steer clear of advertising in games to avoid potential brand safety issues, said David Herrman, advertising director of agency Social Outlier.

Snap’s stock has surged in recent days on positive sentiment around its most recent earnings. While its user growth remained flat, revenue grew 36% to a record $US390 million.

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