Pokémon Go Creator Niantic Buys AR Company 8th Wall to Advance Metaverse Plans

The company behind Pokémon Go, Niantic is acquiring augmented reality technology company 8th Wall to accelerate its metaverse plans.
Image source: Fast Company

Quick take:

  • Niantic is buying 8th Wall in an undisclosed deal.
  • The Pokémon Go Creators said it is acquiring the AR company to advance its metaverse plans.
  • Niantic is building a unique metaverse based on real-world experiences.

Niantic, the company behind the famous mobile game Pokémon Go is buying an augmented reality startup 8th Wall in a deal that will help it accelerate its metaverse plans. 

Niantic is building a unique metaverse, one that it describes as being based on real-world experiences, rather than the 3D immersive version that has become the buzz of the internet over the last six months.

The purchase makes 8th Wall its largest acquisition to date, an illustration of how serious the company is in getting its augmented reality metaverse to work. The acquisition will play a crucial role in improving Niantic’s developer platform

The details of the deal were not disclosed to the public with Niantic spokesperson Jen Stratton maintaining they were confidential.

Niantic last year revamped its AR-based gaming, launching “Pikmin Bloom”, a game developed in collaboration with Nintendo.

However, not everything sailed smoothly with the company’s Catan: Settlers and a Harry Potter-themed AR game both shutting down.

Nonetheless, Niantic’s devotion to augmented reality gaming has seen it make the list of Fast Company’s most innovative companies in 2022, while its new acquisition made the list last year.

8th wall had created technology that allows users to view augmented reality experiences on mobile phones without opening the app. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Niantic’s SVP of Engineering, Mapping and AR Brian McClendon said “joining forces with Niantic, 8th Wall will empower more Lightship developers to realize their visions for AR in the real-world metaverse.”

All 34 8th Wall employees will be absorbed by Niantic and will continue working from the company headquarters in Palo Alto.

Metaverse gaming has become a lifeline for several game developers. However, due to the use of NFTs and in-game assets, the concept is not fully embraced within gaming communities, as it is seen, by gamers as tool gaming companies are using to boost their incomes, rather than improving the fun in games.

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