Snapchat’s parent company Snap’s latest acquisition could mean big things for AR content on the popular app.
Business Insider reports that Snap last year acquired PlayCanvas, a London-based startup with its own game development engine. Interestingly, though, the middleware runs entirely from the web using WebGL, allowing developers to configure 3D assets and entire game worlds without having to download anything. I actually remember seeing the system at work back in 2015 and being impressed by its versatility. The value of the deal has not been revealed.
Obviously, developers aren’t building full games for Snapchat, but the app has been placing increased focus on third-party assets for use in AR of late with the launch of its Lens Studio system (which has been used by groups like We Rate Dogs).
While PlayCanvas’ website doesn’t mention Snap, it does claim that the engine provides the “easiest way to build web-based AR and VR experiences.” Companies like Zynga, King and Nickelodeon have all used the platform in the past.