While it has evolved over the last few years to be more than just a place to find your favorite looping images, Giphy's experiments with short-form video and emoji have felt like an extension of its obsession with GIFs. Giphy Arcade, a new subsection of Giphy's website devoted to small, bite-sized games, feels like a more substantial departure. If you fondly remember the days of Flash games like Desktop Tower Defense, Red Remover and Bookworm, the concept of Giphy Arcade will be intimately familiar.
The platform allows you to play, create and share simple games that any device with a web browser can access. Moreover, unlike Flash, you don't need to learn a complicated program and set of adjacent skills to create a game. On the flip side, the opportunity for creativity is lessened since you're working with templates and assets provided to you by Giphy. Still, you can create some rad games in just a few short seconds.
At launch, the company says you'll have access to some 30 backgrounds and 20 original music tracks to use when creating your own games. On desktop, you'll be able to mix and match these assets in whatever way you wish. Once you titled your game, you're able to share it by linking to it. On mobile, meanwhile, the platform will instead ask you three questions related to a template you chose. Depending on how you answer those questions, it will then generate a game.
In some ways, more interesting than the platform itself is that Giphy Arcade answers definitively how the company plans to monetize its products. Three of the games you can play today on Giphy Arcade were made by Wendy's. They feature assets created by the company, and you use those in your own games. It will be interesting to see how many people actually decide to add Wendy's chicken nuggets and the like to their games, but it's likely a sign that even more branded content is on its way to Giphy.