Snap is announcing at its Snap Partner Summit that the first games that will take advantage of Bitmoji will roll out soon. The feature was announced last year, and it looks like developers can finally take advantage of that SDK. You’ll be able to play a game with you as the hero — or at least the Bitmoji representation of you.
While this feature is reminiscent of Xbox Avatars or Nintendo’s Mii on the Wii, 3DS and Wii U, Bitmoji for Games is a cross-platform solution, from mobile games to console games and PC games. The issue with console-specific avatars is that you can’t support Xbox Avatars on PlayStation consoles for instance — that could be the reason why console manufacturers have been slowly phasing out those avatars. Bitmoji for Games could potentially solve that issue.
Having said that, the initial list of partners only includes mobile games on iOS and Android. Games include Super Brawl Universe from Nickelodeon and Playsoft, Uno from Mattel, Scrabble GO from Scopely and a soon-to-be-announced game from French startup Voodoo.
Let’s hope that Snap will be able to expand its list of partners beyond board games and casual mobile games. For instance, I would totally see Bitmoji for Games in Just Dance.
Here’s a concept video presenting the feature. As you can see, you just have to connect with your Snapchat account to import your Bitmoji to third-party games:
In other news, Snap is adding more games to Snapchat. There are already more than a dozen games that you can play with your friends when you’re chatting with them. Some of them are built in-house while others are developed by third-party game makers.
According to the company, 100 million Snapchat users have played a game since the feature launched last year. On average, users who choose to play Bitmoji Party, a Mario Party-inspired game that lets you compete with your friends in mini-games, spend 20 minutes in the game in a given day.
There’s a direct correlation between engagement and monetization as Snap doesn’t rely on micro-transactions and in-app purchases with Snap Games. The company monetizes this feature with video ads.
“We took a look at the state of mobile gaming a few years back and observed that so many successful games on mobile didn’t have your friends that deeply integrated into the experience,” Director of Product Will Wu told TechCrunch. “There’s a lot of games you just play solo on the bus or on the airplane or something like that. For us, we were really looking to recreate that experience that we may have had growing up, sitting side by side with our friends playing a game on a couch together. You’re actually looking at the same screen.”
The most interesting new game that the company will release in the coming months is Bitmoji Paint. This game is a sort of casual Minecraft-inspired creativity game. Users play together on the same planet and can paint tiles on the ground. It lets you create pixel art and look at other creations.
Other new games include Bumped Out (Zynga), Friend Quizzes (Game Closure), Ready Set Golf! (PikPok) and Sling Racers (Madbox). They will be released over the coming months.