Pokemon GO developer Niantic has been incredibly busy as of late, organizing events such as Pokemon GO Fest 2018 and adding major new features such as friendship and trading to its hit mobile title. But in between all this, Niantic has still managed to find time to work on the business side of things, buying a new company in order to prepare for the future.
The latest company to be purchased by Niantic is Seismic Games, a game developer made up of industry veterans from EA and Activision. In a post announcing the acquisition, Niantic CEO John Hanke explains that Seismic’s founders have experience on franchises like Star Wars Battlefront. At Seismic they’ve worked on mobile and virtual reality games like Marvel: Strikeforce and Blade Runner: Revelations.
While Seismic has a huge amount of expertise in VR, fans of Niantic shouldn’t expect to see Pokemon GO adapted for VR headsets any time soon. Rather, Hanke explains, Seismic will be “building all new AR experiences with Niantic.” The developer also pointed to its bold AR gaming vision with the Niantic Real World Platform, which hopes to push the game genre forward. Seismic Games will be a “significant accelerant for realizing our vision of an operating system that bridges the digital and the physical worlds,” explains Hanke.
The acquisition of Seismic Games is just the latest company purchase for Niantic. Over the last 18 months, the developer has also picked up companies including cross-platform developer Escher Reality and social AR developer Evertoon. When announcing the purchase of these companies, Niantic again pointed to its vision of pushing the AR game genre forward. While it’s unclear how much money Niantic is spending to acquire these studios, it must feel that as though it’s worth it in order to prepare for future, innovative AR titles.
Although Niantic has yet to reveal everything that its Niantic Real World Platform will offer, fans of the developer are already getting excited. The next game in its pipeline is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Hanke has teased that the magical title will offer some form of “new gameplay mechanics.” With that game currently penciled in for a 2018 release date, it could mean that Niantic will be testing out some groundbreaking AR mechanics very soon. It also means that fans may not have long to wait to see if the acquisitions of Seismic Games and the other companies have paid off.