Plenty of Nintendo gamers may not have heard of Niantic before it was confirmed as the developer of AR-based Pokémon Go, which is coming iOS and Android in 2016. Nevertheless the company has strong credentials - it was launched by Google co-founder John Hanke and has 13 million downloads behind it of previous AR title Ingress, which seems similar in concept to Pokémon Go.
Not only are Nintendo and The Pokémon Company active in the development of Go, but both companies have now boosted their investment in Niantic. The big N, Pokémon Company and Google are investing a combined $30 million into the company, with $20 million of that being up front. The press release gives the following purpose for the cash:
Niantic, Inc. will leverage the funding and strategic relationships to continue work on Pokémon GO, support its thriving global Ingress community, scale its platform and bring new games to market.
President and CEO of The Pokémon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, is quoted as follows.
Pokémon's strategic investment in Niantic paves the way for a social mobile experience the world has never seen before. The Pokémon Company is committed to partnering with companies like Niantic that share the same spirit of community and innovation.
It's worth noting, once again, that although The Pokémon Company operates independently, it is owned by Nintendo. From Nintendo's perspective this represents a significant investment, and a renewal of its intention to invest in smart device gaming - in addition to its partnership with DeNA.
Are you excited about Pokémon Go's arrival next year, and what do you think of this investment by Nintendo? Let us know.