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Niantic

5

Niantic calls it quits on its Settlers of Catan AR game

Niantic calls it quits on its Settlers of Catan AR game

Back in June 2020, Niantic announced Catan – World Explorers, an augmented reality map exploration game in the same vein as Pokémon GO, the developer's bread and butter. Catan, of course, is a popular board game that's had several digital adaptations published on the Play Store, and it would seem Niantic was chomping at the bit to utilize its AR platform to turn the entire world into a Catan gameboard, but this has not panned out. Thanks to a recent blog post, we now know Niantic plans to sunset Catan – World Explorers on November 18th. Luckily, the game never made it out of testing, and so only those living in the game's soft-launch regions will be affected.

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12

Pokémon GO creator announces Transformers: Heavy Metal, but will it be more than meets the eye?

Pokémon GO creator announces Transformers: Heavy Metal, but will it be more than meets the eye?

To nobody's surprise, Niantic has yet another augmented reality game in the works. This time around, the studio has partnered with Hasbro and TOMY to create a game where players will battle and interact with familiar characters from the Transformers universe. The game is called Transformers: Heavy Metal, and as you would expect, it will utilize Niantic's Lightship AR platform, much like Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Ingress Prime.

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8

Niantic reveals its Pikmin App has entered into regional testing

Niantic reveals its Pikmin App has entered into regional testing

Niantic has announced that it's partnered further with Nintendo to bring more augmented reality titles to mobile. The first game to come from this extended partnership is going to be themed around Nintendo's adorable Pikmin franchise, and it's expected to arrive later this year. This will be the first game from Niantic's Tokyo Studio, and more titles are planned for the future.

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5

Niantic briefly publishes two insider testing apps for Ingress Prime (APK Download)

Niantic briefly publishes two insider testing apps for Ingress Prime (APK Download)

Niantic has just released a beta and dogfood app for Ingress Prime on the Google Play Store. These are both clearly testing apps for the game, and the beta's description even provides a link to a Google Doc for users to report the issues they run into when testing this beta (though this link's text is currently cut off, so you can't navigate to the appropriate page). Then there's the dogfood app, which should ideally exist for Niantic employees to test new features. However, having installed the titles, it's clear they are public-facing, so everyone is free to jump into both the dogfood and beta apps to check them out, and apparently, the release notes for the dogfood version will appear in the Ingress Prime release notes in the future.

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1

Pokémon Go removes some temporary bonuses introduced due to COVID-19

Pokémon Go removes some temporary bonuses introduced due to COVID-19

Remember Pokémon Go? The global phenomenon came to Android in 2016 and was downloaded from the Play Store over a million times in a single month. Players have kept on "catching 'em all" since then, with Niantic making some temporary changes to the game earlier this year due to the pandemic. Now it looks like some of those changes are going permanent — but others are vanishing faster than a wild Rattata.

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10

Niantic announces Catan: World Explorers, the fourth augmented reality game from the studio

Niantic announces Catan: World Explorers, the fourth augmented reality game from the studio

The Pokémon GO developer Niantic has just announced its fourth game, and yes, it's another augmented reality title. Shocking, I know. Since Niantic has already reskinned its original AR game Ingress with a Pokémon theme and a Harry Potter theme, the studio has now set its sights on the popular board game Catan, in cooperation with Asmodee. This upcoming title is called Catan: World Explorers, and it's billed as a massively-multiplayer augmented reality game that will "transform the entire Earth into one giant game of Catan," which at least sounds somewhat interesting.

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8

Pokémon will soon be able to hide behind real-world objects in Pokémon GO

Pokémon will soon be able to hide behind real-world objects in Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO might not be as popular as it used to be, especially amid a pandemic that has many of us staying home as much as we can, but the company behind it is nevertheless working on improving the game. As such, Niantic has announced that it will start testing reality blending next month, which will allow Pokémon to hide behind real-world objects that block your view, just as though they were real.

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23

Returning to Pokémon Go in 2020: What's new, different, and improved

Returning to Pokémon Go in 2020: What's new, different, and improved

The summer of 2016 was a strange time to be outdoors. Every public space was jam-packed with people playing Pokémon Go. After the initial hype died down, Niantic continued adding new features, and the experience is very different today. With many of us at home and looking for ways to pass the time, there's an understandable desire to return to the familiar. However, it can be daunting to get back into Pokémon Go after four years of changes. There are tons more Pokémon, a completely revamped gym system, and even remote raids. Here's what returning Pokémon Go players can expect in 2020.

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12

Pokémon GO will expand online PvP battles with a new ranked league in 2020 (Update: First season March 13)

Pokémon GO will expand online PvP battles with a new ranked league in 2020 (Update: First season March 13)

Pokémon GO got a little closer to its established universe when Pokémon trading was added to the game, which was soon followed by player versus player (PvP) Trainer Battles. Players are required to be within close physical proximity — or have a certain friendship level for battle — to use either feature. Niantic plans to get rid of this limit, at least for trainer fights, with the upcoming GO Battle League that will pair you with an opponent, regardless of their location

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13

Pokémon GO working on cross-platform AR-multiplayer Buddy Adventure (Update: Out now)

Pokémon GO working on cross-platform AR-multiplayer Buddy Adventure (Update: Out now)

Niantic has revealed today that a new multiplayer feature tentatively titled Buddy Adventure should be coming to Pokémon GO sometime soon. This new feature will offer a shared augmented reality experience where players will interact with their friend's Pokémon via the AR camera. These friends can watch in real-time as you pet their Pokémon, and cross-platform support is expected, which means iOS and Android users can enjoy the upcoming Buddy Adventure mode together.

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