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Snap has quietly invested in Fruit Ninja creator's latest project

Snapchat's maker may have fallen out of favor with younger users, but financial documents hint that it's trying a new strategy.

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Jackson Ryan Science Editor
Jackson Ryan is CNET's award-winning science editor. He used to be a scientist but he realized he was not very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Now he has the best job in the world, telling stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters. Tweet him.
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Mark Serrels Editorial Director
Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
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Mark Serrels
2 min read
Snapchat signup screen on a mobile phone.

Snap to it: The company behind Snapchat has games in its sights.

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Snap, the company behind Snapchat , has invested in Australian game studio Prettygreat, according to filings to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Prettygreat games was founded by Australian games industry heads Phil Larsen, Hugh Walters and and Luke Muscat. Muscat has long been credited as the creator of pivotal mobile games such as Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. 

Larsen, Walters and Muscat established the Prettygreat game studio in 2015.

In June 2018, reports suggested that Snap would launch a gaming platform, allowing people to play games through the Snapchat app. At the time, The Information reported that one gaming publisher had been lined up to make a game for the new platform, but no further details were forthcoming.

The deal would mark a new direction for Snap, founded in 2011 by then 26-year-old Stanford University dropout Evan Spiegel, whose ephemeral photo-sharing app soared to popularity with young consumers, thanks in part to its whimsical, colorful filters. In recent years the company has dealt with poor earnings results, questions about its long-term user growth and the troubled launch of its Spectacles, a pair of glasses that take photos and record video.

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Watch this: The best games of 2018: CNET's top picks

ASIC documents reveal changes to Prettygreat's share structure and director, with the three founders selling shares in the company and general manager of Snapchat Inc. Australia, Kathryn Carter, taking over as director. 

Prettygreat's various social media pages appear to be dormant -- its last Twitter post was on Oct. 27, 2017, and its Facebook page has been removed. The YouTube channel no longer displays any content, and the links on Prettygreat's website are dead.

In addition, Prettygreat's previously released games for iOS , which include Land Sliders and Slide the Shakes, are no longer available on the App Store. A third game, Crash Club, was launched in September 2017 but now only links to a dead page.

While this may signal a new strategy, Snap isn't wholly a stranger to the gaming world. In November 2017, Chinese tech giant Tencent, the world's biggest gaming company, purchased a 12 percent financial stake in Snap. In March 2018, Snap purchased web-based 3D game engine PlayCanvas and in April launched Snappables, a suite of augmented reality games that use touch controls, facial expressions and motion control. 

A spokesperson for Snap declined to comment. Prettygreat did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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