Niantic Labs isn’t part of Google anymore (it’s actually Niantic, Inc. as of this past summer), but it does look like Google still has a marked amount of interest in the famed Ingress maker. According to a report from TechCrunch, Niantic, Inc. is about to secure $20 million in investments from Google, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company. This comes just a month after the group came out to announce an upcoming mobile game called Pokémon Go that ties in a real-world social aspect much like Ingress…
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Don Harrison, Google’s Vice President of Corporate Development, told TechCrunch that the company was “excited to continue supporting the [Niantic] team on their journey.”
The initial $20 million are on the way from the three aforementioned companies, but Niantic reportedly is also possibly getting an additional $10 million in funding “if it hits certain agreed-upon milestones.” At this time, those milestone haven’t been disclosed, but it’s likely that they have something to do with the launch of Pokémon Go. Perhaps Google, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company are waiting to see how the launch goes before dishing out the extra cash.
And things are looking good. Niantic already has a religious following from those who still praise aging Ingress to this day, and Pokémon Go is surely to build upon that mechanic. In fact, we’ve already been told that there’s going to be a “Pokémon Go Plus” accessory that connects to your phone and flashes an LED light to tell you when there are players nearby and in-game Pokémon you might be able to catch. We’ll see how that catches on, but if the PokeWalker is any indication, the answer will be “very well.”