Niantic partners with Nintendo to develop “real-world” mobile apps, beginning with Pikmin.
Location-based augmented reality (AR) specialists Niantic today announced an exciting partnership with Nintendo to jointly develop “real-world” mobile games that will bring legendary Nintendo characters to life in AR, beginning with the Pikmin franchise.
“As we continue to expand our games portfolio, it was a natural next step to team up with Nintendo,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, in an official release. “We’re looking forward to shaping the future of AR together, bringing Nintendo’s beloved game characters to life for mobile game players around the world.”
According to Kei Kawai, VP of Product Management at Niantic, the AR-based mobile game will feature activities designed to encourage walking. Though information is scarce at the moment, it sounds as though we can expect a location-based AR experience similar to that of past Niantic games like Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, one in which players are rewarded for physical movement and exploration.
“Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us,” said Shigeru Miyamoto, Representative Director, Fellow, Nintendo. “Based on the theme of making walking fun, our mission is to provide people a new experience that’s different from traditional games. We hope that the Pikmin and this app will become a partner in your life.”
Developed by Niantic’s Tokyo Studio, the unnamed Pikmin AR game is scheduled to arrive later this year. No word yet on which platforms will feature official support.
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As for which other Nintendo games will be receiving their own AR adaptations, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps a location-based AR Mario or The Legend of Zelda game.
Feature Image Credit: Niantic