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Snap Inc acquires British VR and software startup PlayCanvas

Snapchat capitalises on success of its AR platform as move toward VR looks likely

Snapchat's parent company Snap Inc has indicated a move into games with the acquisition of British software and virtual reality startup, PlayCanvas.

Founded in 2011, PlayCanvas built an open-source engine that powers Facebook and browser games.

In the face of slowing growth last year, Snapchat launched its augmented reality developer platform, Lens Studio.

The acquisition of PlayCanvas, whose engine can also power virtual reality experiences for browser, indicates that the social media giant is upping its adoption of frontier tech to spur growth, and rightfully sees mobile games as fertile soil.

The sale was agreed for an undisclosed sum but, according to Business Insider, PlayCanvas has only raised $590,000 since it was founded.

The PlayCanvas engine, based on HTML5 and WebGL, has previously been adopted by King, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

With the backing of Chinese powerhouse Tencent, which recently acquired a stake in the firm, Snapchat is in a strong position to make proactive moves in the games industry.

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Ivy Taylor avatar

Ivy Taylor

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Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.

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