Snapchat has a new avenue it's pursuing, and it's not a fashionable pair of sunglasses this time. Now, Snapchat's moving in on video games with its new Snap Games division. Snap Games allows users to play multiplayer games in real-time with their friends (matchmaking through inner circles only) through the Snapchat app, with no additional download necessary. And it launches today.
Bitmoji Party, which supports up to eight players, is the first game built for Snapchat. It's accessible through the chat bar, and anyone that you're interacting with can join the, literal, party. Once everyone hops in, their bitmojis (you know, those clip art looking characters your parents love) turn 3D. Minigames available to play in Bitmoji Party are Zombie Escape, Spin Session, Pool Party, and Kick Off. And to keep with everyone's favorite multiplayer activity, text and voice chat are both fully usable while players play together in Snapchat. Players that can't squeeze in can also spectate on the party.
Other games launching with Snapchat's new integrated games portal include a battle royale shooter from Zynga called Tiny Royale, a racing game called C.A.T.S. (Crash Arena Turbo Stars) Drift Race from ZeptoLab, a battle royale adaptation of Snake from Game Closure entitled Snake Squad, Spry Fox's Alphabear Hustle—a co-op word game, and zombie survival game Zombie Rescue Squad from PikPok. With Bitmoji Party in that bundle as well, that makes six games playable on Snapchat today, and from the looks of it, they have every big gaming trend's box ticked.
The news was announced today during the Snap Partner Summit. At the summit, Snapchat announced that Fruit Ninja designer Luke Muscat was heading its internal game studio. Snapchat will host a mixture of internally-developed games, and games developed by the likes of Zynga and ZeptoLab. During the summit's opening keynote, director of product and head of Snap Games Will Wu told the crowd that friendships are about experiencing things together, which is why Snapchat's been pursuing an experience with multiplayer games on its platform.
Two weeks ago, Apple announced its own new gaming venture, Apple Arcade. Like Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade will be a subscription service where players can download certain games to their library. The week before that, Google unveiled its long awaited streaming endeavor Google Stadia, which has very few concrete details at the moment. While Snap Games isn't quite the same as either of those, it's still proof that platforms want in on gaming, and are shaping how they get in on the action in their own unique ways.