Niantic’s ‘Ingress Prime’ Brings A Sci-fi Twist To Location-Based AR Gaming

Join pick a side and join the battle for control of previous Exotic Matter in this modern revival of the 2013 location-based AR game.

In 2013, San Francisco-based software company Niantic launched Ingress, a cutting-edge location-based AR mobile game that had players choose one of two factions and battle others in a geocaching game of capture the flag. Using OpenStreetMap alongside Google Maps, the app revealed a secret digital battlefield that existed over the real-world, allowing a small, but dedicated community of players to duke it out in digital turf wars.

Ingress, at the time was considered merely a ‘proof of concept’, quietly fell to the wayside. Thankfully, however, the data Niantic collected from Ingress’s short-lived years wasn’t wasted as it’s now being used for Niantic’s upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite AR game. It was also used to populate the locations for various Pokéstops and gyms in Niantic’s 2016, Pokémon Go, which proved to be a monumental hit among both dedicated and casual gamers.

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that Ingress is somewhat responsible for sparking the popular location-based AR gaming trend that exists today.

Ingress has proven so influential that Niantic has in fact chosen to revisit, redesign, and relaunch an updated rendition of the original classic. Officially labeled Ingress Prime, the experience now operates on the Unity game engine, allowing game designers to take full advantage of both Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore to deliver a quality that fans of Niantic’s recent offerings have come to expect.

When you join the game, you’ll find that there are two factions in the world of Ingress Prime: the “Enlightened” and the “Resistance.” The Enlightened wish to channel XM and evolve humankind, while the Resistance seeks to control XM and enslave humanity. But what is XM? What is its potential? And how exactly do you harness its power?

Whatever side you choose, you will need to explore, interact, and work with other Ingress Prime players to discover the secrets behind XM before your enemy does.

In the official Niantic Ingress Prime press release, John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic states, “Ingress Prime is built on Niantic’s Real World Platform and serves as a key driver for innovation around gameplay and technologies for all Niantic products.”

To bring Ingress Prime to life, Niantic will host 12 large-scale real-world “Anomaly” events – three each quarter in Asia, Europe and in the America’s – that will bring Ingress Prime Agents in from both factions for an exciting weekend of competition, exploration, and celebration.

The massive Ingress Prime gathering, which kicks off November 17th, will also include over a 100 community-driven “Satellite” Anomaly events in Barcelona, Austin, and Hong Kong. A full list of events and cities can be found at the Ingress Prime website.

The Ingress universe doesn’t stop at Prime, however. Niantic has taken its efforts to the next level with an all new CG-animated companion series called “The Ingress Anime.” Developed by Fuji TV and Crafter Studios, the show will be released worldwide in 2019 on Netflix, and promises to expand the Ingress Prime universe by merging Ingress Agents, gameplay, and the overall narrative of the global sci-fi thriller. The Netflix show will also feature music from artists such as Alt-J.

Ingress Prime is available now on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Image Credit: Niantic 

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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