Snapchat snaps up UK cloud-based HTML5 game engine PlayCanvas

Could it be eyeing up instant games for the platform?

Date Type Companies involved Size
March 26th, 2018 acquisition PlayCanvas
Snap Inc.
Not disclosed
Snapchat snaps up UK cloud-based HTML5 game engine PlayCanvas

Snap Inc has acquired UK cloud-based HTML5 game engine technology firm PlayCanvas for an undisclosed fee.

The company was formed in 2011 and is unique in the game development tech space in that it enables creators to make games completely in the cloud.

The toolset has been adopted by publishers including King, Disney and Nickelodeon.

According to Business Insider, financial filings appear to show that PlayCanvas was snapped up in May 2017. Snap also filed for the PlayCanvas trademark in January.

A source “with knowledge of the matter” is said to have confirmed the acquisition. No financial details of the transaction have been revealed.

Snap games?

It’s unclear what plans Snap has for PlayCanvas. The technology could be used to power various augmented reality features in future.

It’s also conceivable that Snap could be looking at integrating games into the platform.

In November 2017 Tencent acquired a 12 per cent stake in Snap Inc. A Tencent spokesperson said at the time that it aimed to work with Snap on “mobile game publishing”.

The Chinese publishing giant recently launched the Weixin in its homeland, a mini-game app that works similar to Facebook Instant Games and gives players access to a number of titles without the need to download additional applications. In theory, similar functionality could be integrated into Snapchat.

Indeed, PlayCanvas is already being used to make “lightweight messenger games”.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of and He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.