Back in 2012, Niantic Labs was a subsidiary of Google when it launched its first AR mobile game called Ingress. Since its inception, the game has gained a close-knit community, but its size pales in comparison to the company’s second AR experience, Pokémon GO. Going into 2018, Niantic Labs has decided to go back to the drawing boards and completely revamp the mobile application and call it Ingress Prime.
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In a recent interview with The Verge, CEO of Niantic Labs, John Hanke, said that “Ingress is very hard to grasp initially, and doesn’t come into its own until you’ve connected with another group of players.” Because of this, while Ingress Prime will serve as a software update to the original AR game, the company is introducing a new storyline, new artwork, a new user interface, and much more.
Additionally, with the Ingress Prime update, Niantic Labs plans to rebuild from the ground up, allowing the company to utilize AR features not available five years ago. What this means is that the game which uses location-based information for most of its core functionality will soon have full access to Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit for added gameplay.
Ingress Prime isn’t the only game Niantic Labs is planning to introduce in 2018. Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with Warner Bros to build a Pokémon GO-type AR game around the stories of Harry Potter and the wizarding world. All we can hope is that the launching of basically two new games won’t constantly crash Niantic Lab’s servers like what we experienced when Pokémon GO hit the market.