It’s been reported the maker of Snapchat will unveil an in-app gaming platform for release as early as April. Codenamed Project Cognac, the new platform will allegedly launch with a collection of network specific titles. Snap Inc. will reportedly make the big announcement at its partner summit, which will be held on April 4 in Los Angeles.
The unnamed platform will be Snapchat’s second foray into gaming. In April 2018, Snap unveiled Snapabbles, a feature that allows users to play a selection of augmented reality games.
Snapchat’s pivot to gaming is because a major international player in the mobile games world bought into the platform recently. In November 2017, Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holding Ltd. purchased a 12 percent stake in the company. The organization, which also owns a significant piece of “Fortnite” maker Epic Games, said it wanted to develop Snapchat’s potential as a mobile games publisher
Snapchat’s Place in the Social Media Landscape
Snapchat has 188 million daily active users (DAUs) as per its last official report. As such, it sits in the middle of the pack of major U.S. social media platforms. It’s ahead of Twitter, which has 127 million DAUs but is far behind Facebook and its properties, which have a total of 2.7 billion DAUs.
Like the rest of the social media world, Snapchat has been beset by major challenges of late. However, the platform’s problems are unique as it has escaped scrutiny for improper data usage or harmful content distribution.
In late 2017, Snap implemented an intensely controversial refresh of its signature product. In February 2018, social media maven Kylie Jenner commented negatively on the redesign and the company subsequently lost $1.5 billion in market value. The firm also received criticism in March 2018 from pop star Rihanna for featuring an ad that seemly mocked her 2009 assault by Chris Brown.
Snapchat also stopped growing its user base for the first time in Q2 2018. Still, despite those hurdles, the corporation was not among the social media firms Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed to break up if she became president. As it turns out, now is a good time to be a social networking platform with a low profile.
It’s also a really good time to pivot to mobile gaming.
Why Snapchat’s Pivot to Gaming Might Be a Good Idea
In 2018, analytics company Newzoo reported the global gaming market was worth $151.9 billion. The firm also reported 54 percent of the market is mobile gaming. With their unmatched accessibility and games-as-a-service business model, titles like “Fortnite,” “Candy Crush Saga,” and “Pokémon Go” rake in billions of dollars every year.
Currently, the mobile gaming segment of the global gaming market is worth $82 billion. But by 2021, its value is expected to rise to $100 billion. Though it’s expected 61 percent of those revenues will come from China by then, Tencent is wise to branch out. This is because the Asian country recently tightened its regulatory grip on its local gaming industry. If Beijing keeps chipping away at the conglomerate’s domestic revenues, it’ll need to shore up its international grosses.
Though not allowed in China, Snapchat is huge in the United States. It also has sizable followings in France, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia. If the company is able to develop a platform exclusive equivalent to “Pokémon Go,” it’ll be a major player in the global games industry.