Snapchat didn't just throw its users a few games for fun earlier this year - its creators want the app to become a full-blown gaming destination.
The ways in which people can game, and the platforms upon which they can do it, has blown up in the last couple of years. Gaming is no longer restricted to consoles and PCs, nor the four walls of your home. It feels as if the era of the mobile game is upon us, and everyone wants a slice of the pie. Facebook, Apple, Google... all of them have invested heavily in gaming over the last few years.
How about adding Snapchat to that list? Users of the app will already know Snapchat's creators added a handful of games to the app earlier this year. However, that was more than just a throwaway gesture. Snapchat's global partnerships lead John Imah recently explained to Gamesindustry.biz that he and the rest of his team want their app to become a "gaming destination."
Even though Snap Games launched back in April, there are only eight games available on Snapchat at the time of this writing. That might seem like a slow rollout to some, but it's no accident. It's due to the process of adding games to the platform being a deliberate, meticulous one. Imah and the Snapchat team aren't interested in adding just any old games to the app just for the sake of it.
Two of Snapchat's eight games were developed in-house, while some of the others were created by well-known mobile developers most gamers will have come across before, like Zynga. As for the future, Imah remained tight-lipped on who Snapchat is currently working with. He did discuss the process of getting a game from a developer onto Snapchat though, how closely Snapchat works with them, and the incorporation of Bitmoji into both Snapchat games and apps away from Snapchat.
Imah believes one of the strengths of Snap Games is the ability to play with friends at the touch of a button. That might sound like all online gaming on the surface, but it's a little different. Online gamers develop friendships with people who might well be strangers, to begin with. Snap Games allows players to play with friends only and on Snapchat, those friends are ones who have been added on purpose, not strangers you have been paired with in order to play a game.
Only time will tell if is a picture perfect idea, or just a glossy filter over a bad idea.