Niantic Labs

Niantic Labs’ new CATAN AR game is just the tip of the iceberg

Niantic Labs’ new CATAN AR game is just the tip of the iceberg

It's actually not exactly news that Niantic Labs, creators of the famed Ingress, Pokemon GO, and Harry Potter Wizards Unite AR games, have been working on a new title and what that title would be. It is, however, fresh news that it will soon be opening it up for beta testing. While that may already be big news for fans of the board game franchise, what Niantic also mentioned in passing might actually have even bigger implications for the still struggling AR market.

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Pokemon GO and Niantic Labs games adapt to a new, indoor world

Pokemon GO and Niantic Labs games adapt to a new, indoor world

Shelter-in-place orders and quarantines have shaken up businesses around the world. That includes not only those that require workers to come into work physically but especially those whose business revolves around people actually going out and walking around. Niantic Labs' games have been hailed for getting people to be more active, perhaps almost too active, but now the company is scrabbling to ensure players are still able to enjoy this AR experiences even when stuck inside their homes.

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Pokemon GO’s Niantic is making real AR glasses with Qualcomm

Pokemon GO’s Niantic is making real AR glasses with Qualcomm

Pokémon Go maker Niantic plans to make an augmented reality headset using Qualcomm's new Snapdragon XR2 Platform, paving the way to new games that integrate digital graphics with the real world. The collaboration will see the Niantic Real World Platform brought to not only Niantic's hardware but opened to other developers who want to make vast, shared AR experiences.

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Pokemon GO now lets you store up to 3,000 Pokemon

Pokemon GO now lets you store up to 3,000 Pokemon

"Gotta Catch 'em All" has always been the slogan of the Pokemon franchise but, truth be told, the games have been as much about organization and management as they are about collection and competition. For a game that tells you to catch them all, it's almost ironic that you have a rather hard cap on how much Pokemon you can have in storage. That limitation is even more acute in Pokemon GO but is, thankfully, expanding year after year, with this latest announcement about expanding Pokemon and Item capacities if you have the Pokecoin to spend.

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Niantic Wayfarer now available globally for level 40 Pokemon GO Trainers

Niantic Wayfarer now available globally for level 40 Pokemon GO Trainers

Trainers all over the world rejoice! If you've been itching to have one of your country's famous locations turned into a Gym or PokeStop, your chance may have just arrived. Provided, of course, you meet the minimum requirements Niantic has laid out. The mobile AR company has finally launched its Wayfarer program, admittedly a few days later than anticipated, to players worldwide to give eligible Trainers the opportunity to change the shape of the Pokemon GO world, hopefully for the better.

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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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