All posts in “niantic”

Niantic’s follow-up to Pokémon Go will be a Harry Potter AR game launching in 2018


Niantic Labs had tremendous success with Pokémon Go, which paired their expertise in building location-based augmented reality mobile experiences with a top-flight IP with a ravenous fan base. So, it stands to reason that we should expect a similar fan response to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an AR title set to launch in 2018, co-developed by Warner Bros. Interactive and its new sub brand Portkey Games.

Niantic building a Harry Potter game similar to Pokémon Go was rumoured last year, when the company noted that it had acquired the rights to the app. But the rumour was subsequently debunked, oddly enough, with the original article containing the information pulled from the web.

The app is now official, bu the details are still scarce, with the launch timeframe of just sometime next year, but it sounds like there will be significant influence from the Niantic game Ingress, which allows players to roam the real world collecting power-ups, defending locations and exploring their environment.

The mechanics of Ingress would actually translate pretty well to the fictional Harry Potter universe, and seems almost ready-made for a fantasy spell casting coat of paint to replace its science-fiction special forces veneer. Also, like Pokémon Go, it could benefit from the location database built up by Ingress originally (and expanded by the Pokémon title) to incorporate real-world locations into the in-game experience.

Featured Image: Warner Bros.

Legendary Pokémon are headed to Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go’s getting Legendary Pokémon, those ultra rare, ultra powerful pocket monsters that typically figure prominently in the narrative arc for the main series console games. The Legendary Pokémon will appear as Eggs at gyms, and they’ll act as bosses for the new Raids that the game recently introduced – once defeated, you’ll get a chance to catch them, much like you can in main franchise titles.

Legendary Pokémon are indeed extra tough and powerful vs. the ordinary variety, and there are some caveats to using them that go along with that – you can use them in Raids, Boss fights and Gym battles, but they can’t be assigned to defend a gym, as can ordinary Pokémon, likely because that would be a game-breaking balance issue.

As for when you can start to find, fight and capture Legendary Pokémon in Go, mark your calendars for July 22: That’s when Pokémon Go Fest is taking place in Grant Park in Chicago, and if players there and world-wide capture enough Pokémon during the ‘challenge window’ taking place during that event, the first Legendary Pokémon will make its appearance in Grant Park. Then, if the Chicago trainers take that down in a collective raid, it’ll unlock the Legendary Pokémon for Raids worldwide.

Niantic and Pokémon are smart to make this an unlock that the community has to come together to earn – it’s a great mechanic for this and future events. Super cool. I’m not sure it’s something that will bring lapsed players back to the platform, but it’s bound to be great for retaining existing fans.

What do E3 attendees think of mobile gaming?


The smartphone has changed the gaming industry landscape dramatically. As our pocket computers advance, so too does the possibility of fully satisfying mobilegaming experiences.

Companies like Nintendo are blurring the lines between portable and console/PC gaming with the Switch. At the same time, big studios have largely moved away from attempts to integrate mobile content into the home console.

Casual games continue to dominate smartphones and tablets. And even as games that require more commitment have made a name for themselves on mobile (Pokémon Go, I’m talking to you), it’s hard to imagine an experience on mobile that rivals that of a console.

But at E3 this year, we had the opportunity to asks attendees (well, those who didn’t scoff at the words “mobile gaming”) what they believe the future of mobile gaming looks like. Here’s what they had to say: