Snap launches gaming platform, looks to cash in on 'Fortnite' effect

Snap Inc. has entered the video game sector, launching a social gaming platform with six titles as it looks to jumpstart user growth and engagement.

Snapchat’s parent company said “Snap Games” will allow users to play the games and chat with friends without leaving the app or downloading any new files. The debut titles include Bitmoji Party, Alphabear Hustle, C.A.T.S., Snake Squad, Tiny Royale and Zombie Squad.

Two of the titles – Snake Squad and Tiny Royale – are multiplayer battle royale games, similar in functionality to smash-hit video game franchise “Fortnite.” Speaking at a summit event for Snap’s partners in Los Angeles, Snapchat product director Will Wu said the streamlined platform will simplify mobile gaming.

“It’s hard to get everybody to install the same game, then find friends to play with, and it’s hard to chat,” Wu said, according to Variety. “There’s way too much friction.”

Snap Games “will include monetization opportunities for our game development partners and Snap,” including video advertising in the form of skippable six-second ads, the company said. The platform will not feature the in-game purchases that have served as a primary revenue stream for “Fortnite” and other leading social gaming titles, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Fortnite” has become a dominant force in the gaming sector, with revenues of more than $2 billion since its 2017 launch. The game’s success has affected the business strategies of rivals ranging from video game firms such as Electronic Arts to streaming platform Netflix.

Since going public in 2017, Snap has yet to achieve profitability. Snapchat, its core app, has seen user growth stagnate amid a widely panned redesign and competition from Facebook-owned Instagram.

Snap shares rose more than 4 percent in early trading on Friday.


Snap is one of several tech companies focused on gaming initiatives. Google announced last month that it would launch a video game streaming service called “Stadia,” with further details coming later this year. Amazon and Microsoft are also said to be exploring streaming services.