After being hampered by stagnant growth as its rivals relentlessly copy and repurpose its core features, the next era in the story of Snapchat is apparently at hand. And it will have gaming at its core.
The popular ephemeral messaging app is reportedly set to host a summit for content creators and developers in Los Angeles on April 4, during which the company will formally unveil what it’s been referring to internally as “Project Cognac” — a gaming platform that includes a slew of new games for Snapchat users to play that were developed by outside creators.
That news comes via a report from Cheddar, which notes that Snapchat’s parent company Snap seemed to pave the way for this with its $8.6 million acquisition last year of the Australian gaming studio Prettygreat. One of that studio’s partners, we should note, also created popular smartphone games like Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride.
Snap so far hasn’t commented on word of the impending games platform launch. Even so, this news should come as no surprise, as regular users of the app will have noticed the presence of augmented reality-based games to the far left of the face lens carousel since early last year. They’re games built around simple interactions that are meant to get you playing with friends and thus spending more time within the app — which has seen its user growth stall in the wake of Instagram copying Snap’s core “Stories” feature and baking it into the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app.
That has proven so successful a move that the number of people who use Instagram Stories alone outnumbers the entirety of Snapchat’s user base.
Nevertheless, the smaller social app is pressing forward, making a number of moves along these lines behind the scenes including teaming up with Chinese tech brand Tencent.
It’s the company behind hit games like “League of Legends,” and in late 2017 it took a 10 percent stake in Snapchat — noting at the time it wanted to work with the company on mobile games. No word yet, though, on whether we’ll see any fruits of such a collaboration when Snapchat’s gaming platform is launched just a few weeks from now.
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