Pokemon Go creator Niantic and Netflix unveil Ingress Anime, Available Now Worldwide

Niantic is best known these days as the creators of Pokemon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter Wizards Unite, but before Pokemon Go there was Ingress. Now, thanks to Netflix an Ingress Anime is available around the world. Ingress: The Animation follows Makoto and Sarah, two people who have been impacted by Exotic Matter (XM) that is leaking into the world through Portals. These Portals are real-world landmarks scattered across the globe which can be controlled and defended from two opposing factions that have risen from these events. This is what Ingress Prime, the massively successful mobile augmented reality game is all about.

If you happen to be in Japan Ingress: The Animation has already aired on television. It started last October and ran until the end of December. Thankfully, those of us watching it in the rest of the world won’t have to watch it one week at a time like Japan did. The entire series has been made available on Netflix.

Ingress: The Animation was developed in a collaboration between Fuji TV and Craftar Studios. It is being licensed by Netflix for global release starting today. An interesting tidbit we learn from the trailer is that Ingress Prime has been downloaded 25 million times on iOS and Android. Check out the trailer below for Ingress: The Animation.

 

We’re incredibly excited to start watching Ingress: The Animation. Keep an eye out for our review of the anime in the coming days. Animes are no strangers to MMOs, in fact, we’ve got a list of the 6 best MMO anime series. Also, check out our list of 5 movies we think would make amazing MMOs.

 

Source: Press Release

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Blizzard Working on Warcraft Pokemon Go Style Game

While there may have been a lot of unhappy Diablo fans over the announcement of Diablo Immortal it turns out that there are a lot of mobile gamers in Blizzard. In fact, they have even more mobile games in the works, including a Warcraft Pokemon Go style game. Why? Because the developers at Blizzard love Pokemon Go and with it consistently being one of the top money making mobile games in the world it just makes good sense. Combine the biggest MMORPG with one of the biggest mobile games and profit while also working on something you love.

The news that Blizzard is working on a Pokemon Go style game based in the Warcraft universe came in part of a long article on Kotaku that looks at the future of Diablo, and in fact the culture currently in Blizzard. The article itself has a number of anonymous sources who either currently work at Blizzard or have recently. It’s a long read, but an important one for anyone who might not understand why Diablo Immortal exists or what is going on at Blizzard at the moment.

Things to do Before Battle for Azeroth Launches

 

The biggest revelation from Kotaku article is the Warcraft Pokemon Go game. In fact, it’s the only real newsworthy part of the entire article. The rest though, is a very interesting dive into the politics at Blizzard. It often refers to the fact that they’re focusing a lot on cutting costs and feeling pressure from Activision where they weren’t before. There appears to be a shift in the culture of the studio for better or for worse. One of the outcomes of this change is the inclusion of smaller game projects like Diablo Immortal, Warcraftemon Go, and other mobile games.

As for Warcraftemon Go, it will be joining a genre of games that is gaining quite a bit of momentum. It began with Ingress, Pokemon Go’s older brother. Then Pokemon Go was released and Niantic started working on the same type of game but in the Harry Potter universe. There’s also a Jurassic Park game, a totally new IP called Maguss, and even Jesus Christ himself has a version of this style of game.

 

Source: Kotaku

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Niantic Joins the United Nations to Boost Tourism

From community outreach to US national parks, a new Niantic partnership is now moving to its next big initiative: global tourism. The AR game developer has joined hands with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in an effort to boost tourism via Niantic’s mobile games.

new niantic partnership

Niantic and the UNWTO will work together to launch several campaigns and events using both Pokemon GO and Ingress Prime games to draw people to real-world locations. The events will be part of the UNTWO’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign it currently runs.

Details on what these events involve weren’t outright elaborated on, but they’re expected to use the map technology of both titles to draw players to landmarks or other important sites. There’s also mention of utilizing augmented reality, which means the phone camera could be used in some way to get players of Niantic’s games to look up at the locations.

“Our goal at Niantic is to create interactive games that encourage exercise, social interaction and exploration,” said Niantic’s Anne Beuttenmüller. “We’re looking forward to creating brand new adventures for our players in collaboration with UNWTO to increase awareness around their mission of responsible tourism.”

Our Thoughts

Really, our thoughts on this partnership are no different than the ones we had when Niantic announced collaboration with other organizations trying to leverage AR games to get people to explore their world: this is a great idea and we do hope that the events in question gain a lot of traction and are enjoyable to players.

Source: GamesIndustry

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7 Multiplayer Mobile Games You Should Play in 2018

With all the talk recently about how mobile games are dominating the scene and the fact that summer vacation is right around the corner, we thought it was time to take a look at 7 multiplayer mobile games you should play in 2018.

 

Hearthstone


Release Date: March 11, 2014
Developer: Blizzard
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Card Game

Hearthstone is a great game for anyone who only has 10-15 minutes to spare in between things, as well as a great game to play for long periods of time. Its one of the oldest games on this list but don’t let its age fool you. The game is still going strong with more than 70 million registered players as of May 2017. In August 2017 it was making as much as $70 million per month so it is safe to say that Hearthstone isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The most recent expansion to the game, The Witchwood was released in mid-April 2018 and included a single player mode called Monster Hunt.

 

Shadowgun Legends


Release Date: March 22, 2018
Developer: Madfinger Games
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: FPS

If you’re looking to get your Destiny fix while you’re on the road then Shadowgun Legends is the game for you. The game is gorgeous and constantly being compared to Destiny, with good reason! The game has only been live for a few months now but it spent quite a while in development and it’s also the third game in the Shadowgun series. It is incredibly well polished and a total blast to play. Thanks to it being the third game in the series it has a large, dedicated fanbase. This is another great game for when you’re short on time you can spend playing in one sitting.

 

Ingress

Ingress
Release Date: December 14, 2013
Developer: Niantic
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Location-based AR

If you thought Pokemon Go was fun for a little while but found yourself craving more then you might want to try its older brother, Ingress. Ingress will take you to interesting locations all over the world as you fight on one side of a war that spans the globe. There aren’t any Pokemon to catch, instead, you’ll be catching memories. It makes a fantastic tool for sightseeing and you can even play it at the airport. It has a built-in chat system so you’ll be able to coordinate with locals wherever you go. The Ingress community is incredibly involved, with most large cities hosting weekly faction meetups. That makes it a great way to meet new people while you travel.

 

Minecraft


Release Date: December 19, 2016
Developer: Mojang
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Sandbox

Its Minecraft, do I really need to say more?

Oh….my editor says I do.

Well, unlike other games on this list Minecraft isn’t free to play, you can pick it up in your device’s store for $6. It isn’t quite as good as the PC version, but if you’re hoping to lure your Minecraft addicted child away from the computer this is a good way to do it. It can be played alone or you can go multiplayer with your friends. Because of its sandbox nature, you can easily pick it up and put it down as much as you need to. Though if we’re being honest you’re more likely to end up getting sucked in for the whole day, so if your plan is to lay on a beach and play a bit of Minecraft you might want to put some sunblock on first. We wouldn’t want you to turn into a lobster. This is the sort of game that makes you wish you had packed your power bank.

 

PUBG Mobile


Release Date: March 19, 2018
Developer: PUBG Corp
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Battle Royale

Ooooh, here we go being controversial by putting PUBG at number 3! This is a decision based purely on the numbers. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds doesn’t seem to be doing amazingly on mobile. That’s not to say that it isn’t popular, it really, really is. It just isn’t making as much money as their biggest competitor. The Battle Royale genre is the current fad for this summer and you can fully expect to see people playing one of the two biggest titles in the genre on their phone everywhere you go. As this game is a literal life or death kind of game, we can’t recommend you play it if you’re going to be distracted a lot or you only have a short time to play. But if you’re stuck in the backseat of the car or on an airplane then this game will do just fine to help you pass the time.

 

Vainglory


Release Date: July 2, 2015
Developer: Super Evil Megacorp
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: MOBA

Remember a couple years ago when MOBAs were the big craze that every studio was chasing? Believe it or not, the MOBA scene is actually still going strong, and not just in esports. No one is making new MOBAs anymore, but we do have some older gems that are still worth playing. The best MOBA to be released on mobile was Vainglory and you can still play it right now.

 

Fortnite Mobile


Release Date: April 2018
Developer: Epic
Platform: iOS, Android (coming soon)
Genre: Battle Royale

If you’ve been following gaming at all this year, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Fortnite is number one on our list. The game has been dominating gaming since it released and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. At the moment it’s only available on iOS but it is set to release on Android sometime this summer. It’s free to play and has in-game monetization that fans don’t find annoying at all. In fact, on average Fortnite mobile players are spending more money than those playing PUBG, so Epic must be doing something right.

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Niantic Acquires Evertoon Team for Social Features in Games

It’s all hidden behind a rather thick fog of PR language, but it would appear that a new Niantic acquisition is going to potentially introduce some manner of unique new features to the company’s lineup of mobile games. Niantic CEO John Hanke announced the addition of the team behind Evertoon, the iOS animated mini-film creation suite.

niantic acquisition

A statement from Hanke announced the addition of the new members to “the Niantic family”, touting the team’s “wealth of talent and experience in mobile products, tools for creativity, and community building”. The statement continues to reference adding some form of social mechanics to Niantic’s existing apps, but once more doesn’t provide specifics on just what exactly that will involve.

A closing post from Evertoon’s team provided a bit more information on just what the acquisition means for Niantic’s titles. “We will be adding a social platform to Niantic’s amazing roster of games, including Pokémon GO, Ingress, and future titles,” reads their statement. “We’ll also be contributing engineering leadership experience.”

What this new social platform for Pokemon GO or Ingress will be isn’t immediately plain, but there is presumably a while to wait as the announcement was only made a few days ago.

Our Thoughts

It’s hard to mentally put together the features of Evertoon and the current shape of both Ingress and Pokemon GO, but perhaps we’re considering things the wrong way. Perhaps the team behind Evertoon will be developing a wholly new sort of social platform that doesn’t even look like their original app. In any case, the best part of any Pokemon game is the social aspect, so this acquisition by Niantic could be interesting indeed.

Sources: Niantic website, Evertoon website via IGN

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