Today Snapchat gets a new original game called Bitmoji Paint. As the name suggests, the game involves Bitmoji – those beautifully grotesque customizable avatars – and painting. It is Snap Inc.’s fourth title from its in-house game studio, which began releasing games last year. “Our goal with Bitmoji has always been to be the world avatar, to give people a digital version of themselves that represents them and lets themselves be online,” says Ba Blackstock, co-founder of Bitmoji. “And now with games, it also lets people play together in a really new and fun and exciting way.”
Bitmoji Paint puts players on a giant, pixelated grid, and lets them paint those squares like a common canvas. Get smaller, and you get pixel art. You get there by pressing the rocket icon or searching; the first thing you’ll see are floating islands in space that are different servers that you can join with hundreds of other players. There are three modes – move, paint and map – and users can also interact with other players around the world through actions. There’s also a voice chat feature in Snap’s game menu so you can talk to your friends while you’re scribbling. Creations continue, so you can keep working on the things you started.
“A lot of gameplay in the game is things like simple scribbles,” says John Imah, head of games and entertainment partnerships at Snap. “You can send funny messages, and even [make] gigantic landscapes, all this is possible in Bitmoji Paint. “He’s been playing the game for a while now and says he’s excited for the world to see it, and then how people have fun with it. (As for moderation, players can’t see each other’s Snap ID unless they’re already friends, and the company stressed that it will provide easy access to reporting tools.)
Snap used games and unique filters to pull people into its app and stand out from competitors like TikTok and Instagram. Its recent anime lens has gone viral outside the program and has been used 3 billion times in its first week. That said, to hear Imah tell it, the game program has already been a huge success. “So far we’ve had over 100 million Snapchatters playing our games, of which we’re incredibly proud,” he says. “An average of 20 minutes is played for each player each day when they play Bitmoji Festival, ”Imah says. Sounds like Bitmoji Paint has some great shoes to fill.
Correction: Snapchat originally told us that Bitmoji Paint was their second original game. It’s actually its fourth.