Snap may be launching a new gaming platform for Snapchat as early as next month at the company’s Snap Partner Summit in Los Angeles on April 4th, according to a report from Cheddar.
Snapchat has dabbled in games before — the company launched “Snappables,” a set of AR lens games last year — but the new platform (said to be codenamed “Project Cognac”) would be a larger foray into the gaming world, and it would allow outside developers to create games that would live inside the Snapchat app.
Snap also reportedly bought out Australian game studio Prettygreat back in January, according to a report from CNET, which could further hint at a new gaming push. Additionally, The Information reported in summer 2018 that Snap was working on a gaming platform for the fall of that year, which would gel with Cheddar’s report (assuming the program The Information reported on was pushed back a few months).
Tencent — the Chinese tech conglomerate that owns Riot Games and League of Legends as well as popular messaging app WeChat — also bought a 12 percent stake in Snap last year. Tencent said at the time that it was so it could “explore cooperation opportunities with the company on mobile games publishing and newsfeed,” which would also seem to indicate a push toward gaming for Snap.
As to why Snap would want games in Snapchat, the answer is pretty simple: more money and more user engagement. Much like Facebook Messenger before it, which has featured games directly in the app for years, adding games to Snapchat could offer a new source of revenue for Snap from developers looking to place games in the app, from advertisers looking to place ads in games, and maybe even from iPhone and Android-style in-game purchases as well. Plus, there’s the simple matter of monopolizing people’s attention: users who play games in the Snapchat app aren’t browsing Instagram.
Snap declined to comment when we reached out regarding the Cheddar report. But if the Snapchat gaming platform is real, presumably, we’ll find out more on April 4th.