Pokémon Go developer Niantic announced another collaboration with Nintendo, this time for Pikmin.
Nintendo of America broke the news via its official Twitter account. Not much is known about the upcoming game yet but there is already a registration site for prospective players. The company said Niantic’s new Pikmin game will be coming later in 2021.
Kei Kawai, VP of Product Management at Niantic, confirmed that the upcoming game will be another alternate reality (AR) game like Pokémon Go in a recent press release. Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary Nintendo game designer behind Super Mario and Pikmin, praised Niantic and reiterated Nintendo’s commitment to experimenting more with AR.
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“Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us”, Miyamoto said in Nintendo’s press release. “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.”
Given this information, it’s likely that Niantic’s Pikmin game will be similar to the company’s previous collaboration with Nintendo, Pokémon Go. In Pokémon Go, players travel through a gamified version of the outside world to battle and collect Pokémon. It was the runaway hit of 2016, garnering 500 million downloads by the end of the year and was credited for increasing overall physical activity.
“I can see this blowing up and getting huge in the mobile space,” one person on Twitter said in response to the announcement.
However, playing a game that encourages you to go outdoors will be tricky given that we’re going through a global pandemic.
There have been vast disparities in COVID-19 containment policies around the world and the U.S. still remains at the epicenter of new outbreaks.
To Niantic’s credit, the company moved swiftly in March 2020 when the U.S. issued lockdown orders. The developer encouraged players to limit travel by implementing indoor mechanics to all its games including Pokémon Go.
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