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Thread: Nintendo & Niantic Partner For Pikmin Mobile Game

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    Nintendo & Niantic Partner For Pikmin Mobile Game

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    Nintendo and Pokémon GO developer Niantic are partnering up to make a Pikmin mobile game. This Pikmin game is just the start for these two companies; the collaboration is for multiple titles, and Pikmin serves as the first of many mobile games to come from the partnership.

    Pikmin is an adorable video game series about utilizing teamwork to overcome problems bigger than oneself. The gameplay is centered around directing squads of small plant-like creatures called Pikmin to help solve puzzles by destroying obstacles, fighting off enemies, and carrying objects. As Captain Olimar, an alien astronaut, players explore the earth-like planet filled with friendly native Pikmin, working together to find a way off the planet and back home.

    According to the press release (via Nintendo Everything), the two companies have joined together in order to develop apps that will combine Niantic’s real-world AR technology with Nintendo’s beloved characters and video game franchises. Niantic has already shown success with Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise, as Pokémon GO earned the two companies over $6.46 billion in just under 5 years and ending up as one of the top five highest-grossing games of 2020. “As we continue to expand our games portfolio, it was a natural next step to team up with Nintendo,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, in the press statement. “We’re looking forward to shaping the future of AR together, bringing Nintendo’s beloved game characters to life for mobile game players around the world.”

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    Pikmin will be the first of Nintendo’s IPs to get the AR treatment from Niantic. The company plans to make core gameplay elements which encourage walking and make the activity more enjoyable. Walking is a big part of how AR technology works; many such apps use the player’s real-life positioning through GPS as the core of the game, with points of interest spawning as the player walks around in the real world. AR technology is an interesting new way of making walking and exercising a part of gaming, Pokémon GO is just one example of how well this new type of gaming has taken off in the past few years.

    Other gaming franchises have tried to jump on the AR game app bandwagon over the past few years. The most recent of these was The Witcher franchise, which announced The Witcher: Monster Slayer, an app that uses mobile AR technology to let players travel the world and slay monsters. Herbs can also be found on the map, which players can use to craft helpful potions. Fully voice-acted NPCs can be found by walking around the map, giving items and quests to players. While the monsters can look a bit strange at times, the core gameplay is solid and fun enough to spend a few minutes on while running errands.

    The unnamed Pikmin mobile game app will be launching later in 2021. Nintendo has already launched a website where fans can pre-register for the game. There is no news as of yet which other Nintendo franchises will be getting AR apps as well, but the format is adaptable to pretty much any game as long as there is some element of collectability.

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