Snap Inc. is exploring new ways to gain the upper hand on Instagram. A new report claims that the company will launch its own gaming platform right inside the Snapchat app sometime later this fall.
Sources say that Snap will launch an app store inside Snapchat that will allow users to browse and download games created by third-party developers, according to The Information. Snap is said to already have at least one gaming publisher to create a new game for its new platform. It remains unclear if any of the games in Snapchat will have augmented reality features.
Snapchat has already experimented with gaming on its app. In April, the company launched Snappables, AR games that can be accessed through Snapchat lenses. Users are able to play games using facial expressions, movements and touch gestures. Snappables also allow users to compete and play with their friends. Snapchat’s new gaming platform, on the other hand, seems to be more expansive than Snappables since the company is seeking out third-party video game developers.
That being said, augmented reality is still an important feature to have, especially for Snapchat which encourages users to take photos and videos. The company may not be competing with Google ARCore or Apple’s ARKit, but it seems to be in its best interest to provide some of the same experiences, as pointed out by TechCrunch.
The report claims that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has expressed admiration for Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate. Tencent’s business also includes gaming, which is responsible for 40 percent of its revenues. Tencent is able to gain a lot of its profits from in-game purchases made through WeChat. Perhaps the Snap CEO is hoping for Snapchat to do the same if it had a built-in gaming platform that will offer microtransactions.
If Snap does decide to move forward with its plans to have its own gaming platform in the Snapchat app, it wouldn’t be entirely new. Facebook introduced gaming on its Messenger app in 2016 with what’s called as Instant Games. Games on Messenger allow users to compete against their friends in their contacts list. Games on Messenger aren’t full-fledged games; they are mini-games that are shareable with friends. Therefore, Snapchat will have to up the ante and make sure that its gaming platform is distinct and offers experiences that aren’t available on Messenger’s games.
Snapchat might have its own gaming platform this fall. Photo: REUTERS/Eric Thayer
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