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Google And TAITO Announce Space Invaders AR Game For Android & iOS

Google And TAITO Announce Space Invaders AR Game For Android & iOS

Google announced Space Invaders: World Defense this week, a new mobile AR game coming soon to Android and iOS devices.

The announcement came via Google's AR & VR Twitter account, embedded below, which also featured a trailer with some gameplay.

World Defense is a spin-off of the classic Space Invaders arcade game, developed in partnership by Google and TAITO, the Japanese company behind the original (now owned by Square Enix).

The premise looks pretty straight-forward: those classic Space Invader baddies are dropping out of the sky around the world, so you'll use your phone's camera to find, target and shoot them down in AR.

Based off screenshots from the Google Play listing, it also looks like World Defense will feature some more traditional, non-AR gameplay components as well – though we don't get a look at those in the trailer. The game is available to pre-register now on Google Play for Android devices, with pre-registration for iOS coming soon.

Space Invaders: World Defense is the latest in a string of mobile AR games that have consistently cropped up since Niantic's release of the genre's progenitor, Pokémon Go. Despite the slurry of similar titles since then, none have come close to taking hold in the same way that Pokémon Go did back in 2016, which remains one of the App Store's most profitable games.

Citing "unique challenges in the mobile gaming and AR markets," Niantic CEO John Hanke announced last week that the company was laying off 230 employees, as well as cancelling one upcoming game and sunsetting another. Hanke said that Pokémon Go would be the company's top priority moving forward, but also discussed increasing focus on "building for the emerging class of MR devices and future AR glasses."

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