While there are one whole heck of a lot of people already playing Ingress right this minute – with a lot more coming once the game enters iOS – the folks responsible for development have made clear their intent this week. This game was never meant to be a stand-alone title: it’s just the first in an expansive universe of GPS-based games. So says Google project Niantic Labs’s own John Hanke.
Speaking this week with The Verge, Hanke suggested that Ingress could be thought of as a “proof of concept”. Hanke went on to note how through Ingress, the teams at the incubator station Niantic proved that there’s something great inside the location-based game. Getting people to use their smartphones and/or tablets to attain goals in the physical world is the start of something big.
As for the environment expanding within the Ingress game itself, there’s a number of oddities that’ve been produced. One of these is a YouTube-based “Ingress Report”. This week’s Ingress Report has over 6,000 views in just under a day.
According to Hanke, the app has been installed over 1 million times and a “good chunk” of the downloads are done by users who continue to play regularly. Hanke has also spoken up about the possibility of future in-game advertisements, but suggests that they are “doing their homework” on how best to operate a business model.
Google is currently in the process of working inside Niantic Labs to put together a series of APIs for future game developers. It would appear at the moment that the concept is still very loose, but that the key elements in location data, communication tools, and in-game advertisement tools will remain in play.