We’re still waiting for the dust to settle around Google’s Alphabet move, but already we’re seeing major movement in the superstructure, and one of the major ones is about what used to be Google’s gaming arm — Niantic Labs. We’re getting word via an announcement that sounds like Niantic will be spun out of Google’s control into a separate corporate entity.
So yeah, it looks like N is not for Niantic, under the new Alphabet holding company. “Niantic Labs is becoming an independent company,” they say in the announcement via Niantic’s Google Plus account. “We’ll be taking our unique blend of exploration and fun to even bigger audiences with some amazing new partners joining Google as collaborators and backers.”
Niantic will be invariably connected with Google, but this time only a “collaborators”. Niantic Inc. still has Ingress to fall back on, and it’s a pretty huge fall back option. If you haven’t heard of Ingress, which is not likely if you’re reading this piece of news, it’s a massively multiplayer online game which uses the GPS system in a player’s phone to “conquer” real world places. Taking control of such places will have in-game bonuses, especially for the player’s faction of choice. The game has been download more than 12 million times and is a veritable hit for the fledgling company.
Where Niantic goes from here is a good question — it will be good to see something fresh from the company soon. Ingress players should also watch out for the account information migration that will possibly follow this announcement.