Niantic announced a new partnership with Nintendo, which will see the two studios develop mobile games that take advantage of Niantic’s AR technology.
The announcement came in a short blog post with little in the way of concrete information. The main nugget of info is that the first game developed as part of this partnership will be a title based on the Pikmin franchise, which will “include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful.”
However, it’s not just Pikmin that’s getting the AR treatment — there are more franchises on the way. Niantic said that it would “share more details about the apps in the coming months”, indicating that we might hear about the other games in the pipeline later this year, alongside the release of Pikmin AR.
Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Today, we are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Nintendo to jointly develop mobile titles built on Niantic’s real-world AR technology, bringing Nintendo’s beloved characters to life in new ways. We’re honored that Nintendo has chosen Niantic to be its publisher of real-world AR applications.
To kick off the partnership, Niantic and Nintendo are developing an app based on the Pikmin franchise. The app will include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful. Slated to launch later this year, this will be the first title created by our Tokyo Studio since it was established in April 2018.
Of course this isn’t the first time Niantic have worked on an IP associated with Nintendo — the company’s first big title was Pokemon Go, a mobile hit which set the tone for AR games in the years following. However, while Pokemon is Nintendo’s baby, the franchise is managed separately by The Pokemon Company. The new partnership is the first between Niantic and the core Nintendo company.