Niantic's Ingress AR game is being reborn as Ingress Prime

Niantic Labs has really come a long way since it started as Google fledgling in 2012. It has become one of the biggest and sometimes most controversial names in the mobile gaming business thanks to the two-sided fame and infamy of Pokemon GO. But years before that, Niantic had its own baby, is own vision. That child was Ingress, which may have been born far too ahead of its time. But now, the time may be just right and Niantic is taking advantage of that to launch Ingress 2.0: Ingress Prime.

Ingress didn't gain mass appeal probably for two reasons. First was the theme of the game itself, set in a near-futuristic world overlaid on top of our own, revolving around a literally and figuratively nebulous thing called XM, short for exotic matter. It was novel and, in a way, alien. Again, literally and figuratively.

The second was the type of gameplay itself. It's called augmented reality, but, in reality, it was more like a location-based mobile game that appealed to neither AR fans nor mobile gamers. Fortunately, it was the exact type of game that the Pokemon Company was looking for. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Niantic, however, has a fondness for its first born and isn't about to give up on Ingress. Instead, it will use the lessons learned, the technology gained, and the humans employed from its Pokemon adventure to fuel Ingress Prime. The underlying technology has been revamped, the design has been polished up, and the core theme of the game has been tweaked to something more understandable for newcomers. Hopefully without putting off the few remaining Ingress loyalists.

Those are very ambitious goals, especially for a company that will soon have quite a lot on its plate. Its development of Pokemon GO is far from over and, come 2018, it will be adding two more titles to its belt, including Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. While Niantic definitely has a place for Ingress in its heart, it remains to be seen how it will fare when pit against two bigger, and more profitable, properties.

VIA: The Verge