While perhaps not quite to the extent as when it was first released, Pokémon GO has proven to be a massive success for Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and the game’s primary developer, Niantic. For the past five years, it’s gotten people out of their homes and onto the streets on the never-ending search for new critters to catch, fostering new experiences and friendships along the way. Really, no hyperbole; a friend and I once met a bunch of random dudes while playing and we all became friends. But now that Niantic has definitively proven that the Pokémon GO model works, it’s time to apply it elsewhere.
Kei Kawai, Niantic’s VP of Product Management, announced on the company’s blog yesterday that they have partnered with Nintendo once again to produce a new mobile gaming experience, this time based on the Pikmin franchise. If you’ve never played one of its three games, the Pikmin series is all about guiding teams of small, plantlike creatures called Pikmin as you repair a spaceship and explore the mysterious planet they inhabit.
“The app will include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful,” the post read. “Slated to launch later this year, this will be the first title created by our Tokyo Studio since it was established in April 2018.”
? 1/2 We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Nintendo to develop mobile titles built on @NianticLabs real-world AR platform, bringing Nintendo’s beloved characters to life in new ways. We’re delighted to be their exclusive partner for AR apps. https://t.co/Tzz8npCANj pic.twitter.com/R2AvE00nuN
— Megan Quinn (@msquinn) March 23, 2021
Much like Pokémon GO, this new mobile game will utilize AR camera tech to bring characters to life in the real world. Details are still scarce, so we don’t know precisely what the game will entail or how the Pikmin themselves will be utilized, but it’s a safe bet that it’ll be really cute. Nintendo certainly stands to profit from the partnership, as Pokémon GO has brought in well over $1 billion in revenue from its launch to 2020 (and that’s in spite of the pandemic).