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June 30, 2020
New Real-World Adventures Coming to the Niantic Platform
Blog > New Real-World Adventures Coming to the Niantic Platform
June 30, 2020
New Real-World Adventures Coming to the Niantic Platform


Niantic Partners with Theatre Company Punchdrunk

Since 2012, we’ve embarked on real-world adventures with all of you. Ingress was our first experiment at bringing people and communities together in a real-world game woven from story elements, live events and real-world achievements. We asked ourselves back then–What if we weren’t just directing a character in a game? What if we could become part of the game itself and make the entire world our gameboard? We became Agents, then Trainers and later Wizards–creating memorable adventures with each other across the world. Today we are excited to announce the next evolution on our journey in partnership with Punchdrunk.

Over the years, Niantic explorers have made our games a regular part of their daily lives. Our unique form of real-world adventure gameplay includes live events–Ingress anomalies, Pokémon GO Fest and Safari Zones and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Fan Festival–where our games come to life. They inspire our players to explore parks and cities to unlock fun experiences, exclusive gameplay and new friendships. While the ability to explore the outdoors together in familiar ways is currently challenged, we are hard at work building what’s next.

As we experiment with new forms of gaming on mobile and AR glasses, we are pushing notions of real-world gaming forward. Currently, we have more than 10 new games in development including prototypes for AR wearables, each with unique and innovative gameplay, centered around outdoor exploration, movement and social interaction.

One of the games we are excited to bring to market soon is CATAN – World Explorers. Powered by the Niantic Real World Platform in partnership with the CATAN team, this new game transforms neighborhoods, towns and cities across the globe into a giant game of CATAN, a classic board game loved by tens of millions of people around the world. CATAN – World Explorers will enter beta very soon, and you can visit to stay up to date.

Recently, we’ve asked ourselves: What if we were the lead characters in an epic adventure movie? Our new collaboration with Punchdrunk might be the answer.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce a multifaceted partnership with Punchdrunk, the pioneers of immersive theatre and creators of Sleep No More. Punchdrunk has placed audiences at the centre of their performances in the real world for 20 years, and are renowned for creating multi-sensory experiences on an epic scale. Together we are developing multiple projects that will reinvent storytelling for a 21st century audience and further expand the horizon of interactive entertainment.

Felix Barrett, Artistic Director of Punchdrunk said: “It is hugely exciting to be joining forces with the preeminent AR company in the world. At Punchdrunk we create richly cinematic 3D worlds where audiences can explore, touch and smell the environment; where the boundaries between reality and fantasy are indistinguishable. Those that have seen Sleep No More often liken the experience to how it might feel to walk into a video game. What happens if you take that sense of adventure into the real world? Tear down the walls and the world becomes your stage.

I believe that Punchdrunk and Niantic can create something that has never been done before. They do it in AR, we do it in real life. Collide the two and I think we will blow people's minds; bend the rules of genre and redefine the norms of mobile gaming.”

We look forward to moving real-world AR gaming forward through innovative partnerships.

—The Niantic team

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