Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat has reportedly acquired British software startup PlayCanvas, providers of 3D and virtual reality (VR) applications on mobile browsers and social media services.
Founded in 2011, PlayCanvas has built an open-sourced videogame engine that powers casual videogames on the likes of Facebook and runs in a number of browsers. The software gives developers the chance to developer and deploy products to a number of platforms along with taking advantage of VR capabilities. A number of companies have leveraged PlayCanvas’ solution including the likes of Disney, Nickelodeon and even the casual videogame developer King. As the engine is based on HTML5 and WebGL, it is a flexible engine that is ideal for developers looking to target mobile and web based platforms.
The news that PlayCanvas has been acquired by Snap Inc comes from the UK financial filings showing the transfer of PlayCanvas shares to Snap Inc which was confirmed last year. Since then a trademark for the PlayCanvas name by Snap Inc has been submitted as well. There is no note of how much Snap Inc paid for the shares.
Snap Inc have been picking up additional companies since last year with the acquisition of French mapping service Zenly for which it paid $213 million (USD) and the Swiss team behind Strong.Codes, which helps to block copycats from replicating code. Now with PlayCanvas, the company has an extra set of tools which they can leverage to fit their needs though, as of now, it is unclear what that could be.
Chinese web giant Tencent took a stake in Snap Inc last November as well to allow for the took companies to work together on mobile gaming. This, alongside the other acquisition, could be the sign of the company looking to introduce gaming into the Snapchat app. That they are looking to make use of the app and provide addition means of augmented reality (AR) experiences. Until Snap Inc make an official statement all we can do is guess but the combination of companies along with the large install of users would make a good starting point for AR products.
VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on this stories as it develops so stay tuned for more.