Today, Snapchat is getting a new original game called Bitmoji Paint. As the name suggests, the game involves Bitmoji — those cutely grotesque customizable avatars — and painting. It’s Snap Inc.’s second title from its internal games studio, which began putting out games last year. “Our goal with Bitmoji has always been to be the world’s avatar, to give people a digital version of themselves that represents them and lets them be themselves online,” says Ba Blackstock, co-founder of Bitmoji. “And so now with games, it’s also letting people play together in a really new and fun and exciting way.”
Bitmoji Paint places players on a gigantic, pixelated grid, and lets them paint those squares as a shared canvas. Zoom out, and you get pixel art. You get there by pressing the rocket icon or through search; the first thing you’ll see are floating islands in space, which are different servers 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 using stock emotes. There’s also a voice chat function in Snap’s game menu so you can talk to your friends while you’re scribbling. Creations persist, so you can keep working on the things you’ve started.
“A lot of the playability in the game is things like simple scribbles,” says John Imah, head of games and entertainment partnerships at Snap. “You can send fun messages, and also even [make] giant landscapes, all these things are all 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 to see how people have fun with it. (As far as moderation goes, players can’t see each other’s Snap IDs unless they’re already friends, and the company emphasized that it’ll provide easy access to reporting tools.)
Snap has used games and unique filters to pull people into its app and stand apart from competitors like TikTok and Instagram. Its recent anime lens went viral outside the app and was used 3 billion times in its first week. That said, to hear Imah tell it, the games program has already been a big success. “To date, we’ve had more than 100 million Snapchatters play our games, which we’re incredibly proud of,” he says. “An average of 20 minutes are played per player every day, when they’re playing Bitmoji Party,” Imah says. Sounds like Bitmoji Paint has some large shoes to fill.