Snapchat Enters Gaming With Six New Titles
Six social games are rolling out worldwide Thursday to Snapchat, following reports last summer that the app’s parent company, Snap, would be launching its own gaming platform.
“Friendship is also about experiences that you have together, and something that we’ve always been really fascinated by is how games give us a really great excuse to come together with our friends and share moments with them and share experiences with them,” a Snap executive said yesterday during a briefing.
Others include Spry Fox’s word game Alphabear Hustle, ZeptoLab’s racing game C.A.T.S.: Drift Race, Game Closure’s Snake-inspired battle royale game Snake Squad, PikPok’s cooperative zombie game Zombie Rescue Squad battle royale shooter Tiny Royale.
Snap emphasized the inclusive nature of the platform and lowered barriers of entry. With everything housed on the app, friends can quickly jump into a game and chat over voice and text. Developers are able to create games that accommodate at least 32 friends.
The Snapchat app’s curated gaming library offers developers a revenue share. For now, monetization takes the form of the controversial six-second video adverts introduced last year. Users can opt in to watch ads and potentially receive in-game bonuses for doing so. Snap made it clear this is not a replacement for in-app purchases, the lifeblood of mobile game experiences, but such options will be explored later down the road.
It’s a sensible move for Snap. Mobile is the gaming industry’s most lucrative sector, making up 47% of last year’s overall revenue of $63.2 billion. Additionally, people engaged with gaming means an increased user retention on the platform. But as is the case for so many new entrants into the industry, without a title to catch the zeitgeist, gaming may not be the panacea to cure all of Snap’s ills.
In its fourth-quarter earnings report, Snap reported flat active user growth at 186 million, while revenue per user increased 37% to $2.09. Its 2018 revenue of $1.2 billion was a 43% jump year-over-year, but profitability still eludes the company. Snap’s stock is selling at $11.32, up from $5.79 at the beginning of the year. Still, that’s below its IPO price of $27.09 around two years ago.