Niantic, developer of the smash hit Pokémon Go, has announced a new partnership with Nintendo. The first new game from the collaboration will be a mobile augmented reality game based on Nintendo’s popular Pikmin franchise, and it will launch later this year.
Details are thin right now, but Niantic says that “the app will include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful.” If you want to receive more information about the new game as it’s available, you can sign up here to get updates. The new Pikmin AR game will be the first developed by Niantic’s Tokyo Studio.
“Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us”, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto said in a statement. “Based on the theme of making walking fun, our mission is to provide people a new experience that’s different from traditional games. We hope that the Pikmin and this app will become a partner in your life.”
The Pikmin franchise is all about exploring a very Earth-like planet with packs of the adorable Pikmin creatures, so a Niantic-made Pikmin game about walking and exploring the world around you makes a lot of sense. The latest game in the Pikmin series is the Nintendo Switch’s Pikmin 3 Deluxe, an upgraded version of the 2013 game first released for the Wii U.
Niantic didn’t say what other games it will be making with Nintendo, but it sounds like the two companies have secured some kind of long-term partnership. “We’re honored that Nintendo has chosen Niantic to be its publisher of real-world AR applications,” Niantic said. More details about upcoming apps will be revealed “in the coming months.”
Niantic is best-known for Pokémon Go, the hugely popular mobile AR game released in July 2016. The game is still quite popular despite being nearly five years old, although Niantic has had to make some changes to the game while many have been staying inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes didn’t stop Pokémon Go from generating money hand over fist, however — 2020 was the game’s biggest year yet, surpassing $1 billion in revenue as of November, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower.