Niantic Labs

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite fantasy game turns into a privacy nightmare

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite fantasy game turns into a privacy nightmare

Although not as big as Pokemon GO, Niantic Labs third AR game is still raking in millions of downloads, not to mention concurrent users. The game has had its rough patches while trying to distance itself from its more popular sibling. It may be facing its most difficult challenge yet, and not from the usual culprits like cheating or lackluster. The problem comes from within Niantic itself, from the vaults containing players' location data collected even when they weren't playing the game at all.

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Pokemon GO Niantic Wayfarer will let selected players review interesting spots

Pokemon GO Niantic Wayfarer will let selected players review interesting spots

Location-based AR games like Ingress, Pokemon GO, and the more recent Harry Potter: Wizards Unite are, by nature, dependent on, well, locations. The way Niantic has implemented these games require an abundant supply of location points that will make players want to go to that place. Unlike in a purely virtual world where expansion is nearly infinite, there are only a few physical places on earth that might prove interesting. That is why Niantic is launching its Wayfarer program to practically crowdsource those spots from Pokemon GO players.

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Harry Potter: Wizards United Adventure Sync is coming to save your battery

Harry Potter: Wizards United Adventure Sync is coming to save your battery

While it may not have garnered the same massive numbers as Pokemon GO, Niantic Labs' third game still amassed a faithful following, especially among Wizards hiding among Muggles. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has its own fair share of players who would cover great lengths to take bound the Foundables from Confoundables and bring back to their rightful place. If only they didn't run out of battery because the game had to always be in the foreground. Pretty soon, they won't once Adventure Sync lands in the game.

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite expands to more Muggle countries

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite expands to more Muggle countries

It could be Niantic Labs' biggest hit or it could replace Ingress as its most forgettable. One thing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite isn't is slow. Although the AR game developer never really gave a timeline other than "soon", it has just announced the expansion of the game to more-real world countries, bringing the total to 144 more countries just over the weekend. That's definitely a lot faster than Pokemon GO.

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launches this weekend

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launches this weekend

The world will soon be an even more crowded place. In addition to exotic matter (XM) and various species of Pokemon, it will soon be filled with Slimes, Creepers, and all sorts of creatures. That is the world stage that Niantic Labs will be launching its new game on this Friday. But unlike Pokemon and even more than Ingress, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite might be launching to a bigger and more receptive fanbase, raising the stakes even higher for the company.

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Pokemon GO debuts new Lures, new Pokemon, and Eevee evolutions

Pokemon GO debuts new Lures, new Pokemon, and Eevee evolutions

Pokemon is one of those almost never-ending franchises that keeps on adding new monsters. That's great news for Niantic Labs because it won't be running out of new content any time soon. They just Gen 4 critters from the Sinnoh region just a while back but now they're adding a few more. But perhaps a bit more interesting for some collectors is the arrival of two new Eeveelutions, including a one-time trick to get them.

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Ingress the Animation is finally out on Netflix worldwide

Ingress the Animation is finally out on Netflix worldwide

Before it became famous for Pokemon GO, Niantic Labs, which at one point was also a Google property, tried to make a name for itself with Ingress, a mobile augmented reality sci-fi game. It had its share of fans but the high-concept game and almost unexciting mechanics made it a little difficult to get started and get hooked. Since then, the game has been "rebooted" and now has its own Netflix animated series that could help spark some interest in the game. Or at least offer fan service to its remaining players.

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Pokemon GO research: Snapshots give rewards better than shiny

Pokemon GO research: Snapshots give rewards better than shiny

A number of Pokemon GO challenges are set to be issued by Niantic in the very near future, with some pretty interesting rewards. Each is part of a #GOsnapshot Challenge for Pokemon GO, challenging users to take part with their Pokemon GO's built-in camera function. Winners of each of the three "Adventure" events will get the opportunity to win in-game rewards or to be "whisked away with with travel and tickets to a 2019 Pokémon GO Fest of their choice!" That's the one we're going for (not that we'd be eligible anyway, lol.)

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay revealed – What we know now

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay revealed – What we know now

Back in November, Niantic and Warner Bros. officially unveiled Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. With Niantic at the helm, we already had a decent idea of what to expect: an AR game set in the Harry Potter universe that plays at least somewhat similarly to Pokemon GO and Ingress. Today, the two companies detailed the gameplay of Wizards Unite further, telling us budding wizards what we'll be doing when the game releases later this year.

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Pokemon Go Team Medallion lets you switch sides once a year

Pokemon Go Team Medallion lets you switch sides once a year

One of the unique elements that Pokemon GO introduced that was never part of the original game and lore are Teams and their respective Team Leaders. A lot of fiction, not to mention fan fiction, have risen around this addition and some may have developed a certain fondness and loyalty for their team. Others, however, might want to play the field for one reason or another and Niantic Labs will finally give into those wishes. Unsurprisingly, there are a few catches.

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Ingress Prime now available to welcome new Agents to the fight

Ingress Prime now available to welcome new Agents to the fight

Pokemon GO might be the game that finally made it money, but Niantic Labs’s real groundbreaking work was on Ingress, perhaps the first worldwide “augmented reality” mobile game. It was a hit for a small niche market when it launched in 2012, a market that may have felt a bit abandoned when Niantic turned its eyes on Pokemon GO. The company is now going back to its roots to take the lessons from both of its games to breathe new life into the game. Welcome to Ingress Prime.

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Pokemon GO Adventure Sync lets you walk off all that Halloween candy

Pokemon GO Adventure Sync lets you walk off all that Halloween candy

During its peak, Pokemon GO has been credited for getting people off their butts and on their feet and walking around, sometimes even walking into things, unfortunately. But how much walking and activity did Pokemon GO really produce. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to get that past data and can only get it directly from tracking data from smartwatches or smartphones. To fix that, Niantic Labs is launching a new feature called Adventure Sync that records our steps, syncs with Apple and Android phones, and hatches eggs.

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