This week Niantic announced that they’d acquired the company called Mayhem. This acquisition was made for what Niantic described as a reinforcement of their commitment to “real-world social as the centerpiece of our mission.” In other words: They’re aiming to take a more firm grasp on the masses of gamers playing Pokemon GO out there in the real world.
First, there was Pokemon GO – then, there was The Silph Road. A whole bunch of groups sprouted up in the wake of the launch of Pokemon GO right at the start, but the most long-lasting and successful of these MUST be The Silph Road. As a community listing OF communities at its most basic, the community that is The Silph Road is a template for 3rd-party gaming group success. Naintic can’t very well let a 3rd-party group out-do their own efforts, now, can they?
Niantic saw massive success and massively unexpected success in Pokemon GO at launch. They’d been running Ingress and a bunch of successful community events for Ingress for four years before the launch of Pokemon GO, but with Pokemon GO they found the need for a massive expansion of efforts in community outreach.
The Mayhem group became a leader in the field of online community building and social gaming experiences in their few short years since formation. They started their group in the year 2017 “with the goal of bringing gamers together through live, interactive experiences.”
Niantic pointed to Mayhem’s success in creating an “online platform for gamers to self-organize custom game formats for their communities” as a key reason they’ve acquired the company. With their “innovative leadership in this space,” the Mayhem crew (now a part of Niantic) will “accelerate the work [Niantic is] doing to inspire people to explore the world together.”
The acquisition means that Mayhem will be sunset as a standalone product in February. They’ll be doing this so that the crew can focus their energy “on a shared vision at Niantic and drive new innovations in social for AR real-world gaming.”
In his post this afternoon on the subject, CEO and co-founder of Mayhem, Ivan Zhou, said that he saw Niantic and Mayhem as sharing a common thread far in advance of this new acquisition. “In this new shared vision, games didn’t just connect people online – they could physically move people and bring them together in real life,” said Ivan Zhou. “It became obvious to our team that Niantic would be one of the most important companies shaping how people interact with each other in the future.”
So as the Minecraft AR experience dies, the Pokemon GO AR experience lives on – and grows stronger. Any doubt in the AR gaming universe thanks to Minecraft Earth is doused by the acquisition of Mayhem by Niantic – the death of one is not the death of all!