Pikmin AR Official Announcement
(Photo : Nintendo Official Website)
Pokemon Go Referral Feature Announcement
(Photo : Pokemon Go Live Official Website)

Nintendo Co Ltd and "Pokémon Go" Developer Niantic announced a new augmented reality (AR) mobile game based on the popular "Pikmin" franchise, on Monday, March 22. 

The "Pikmin" collaboration is part of the long-term deal aimed to develop apps combining Niantic's real-world AR technology with Nintendo's beloved characters.

"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," said Niantic CEO John Hanke in Nintendo's official blog post published on Tuesday, March 23.

'Pikmin' new AR game announcement

Niantic's VP of Product Management Kei Kawai said in the official announcement that the partnership with Nintendo aims to develop apps and gameplays that "encourage walking and make walking more delightful."

This makes Nintendo's decision to choose Niantic makes perfect sense, and choosing "Pikmin" to be the first of a series of collaborations between the two seemed like an ideal fit, according to GamesBeat.

Bloomberg's report described Niantic as a global pioneer in developing smartphone apps with AR technology, with the "Pokémon Go" franchise being its most successful creation.

Also Read: 'Pokemon GO': How to Get More Pokeballs for Free (PokeStops and Gyms, In-Game Store, Research Tasks, and MORE!)

Originally spun out of Alphabet Inc.'s Google in 2015, Niantic incredible success started with the launch of "Pokémon Go" in 2016.

In fact, "Pokémon Go" continues, with Forbes reporting that the game made nearly $2 billion in 2020 alone.

Niantic's decision to update "Pokémon Go" from heavily depending on travel to that which can be enjoyed almost entirely indoors contributed to the game's success despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The update included remote access to features such as trading, battling, and raiding, as well as better spawns wherever the player is.

Niantic was also behind other notable AR games "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite" in 2019 and "Ingress" in 2014.

With the partnership on the line, "Pikmin" AR will be developed by Niantic's Tokyo team and Pokémon Go director Tatsuo Nomura will lead the app's development.

The "Pokémon Go" franchise was the first collaboration between Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company.

'Pikmin' AR Gameplay and Release Date

The "Pikmin" franchise, which was first launched on Nintendo's GameCube back in 2001, is a real-time strategy and puzzle video game that lets players lead a horde of intelligent, multicolored, plant-animal hybrids called Pikmin.

The decision to choose the "Pikmin" franchise to spearhead the partnership perfectly aligns with Nintendo's and Niantic's vision to make walking enjoyable.

"Pikmin" creator Shigeru Miyamoto shared the sentiment, saying that the premise of making walking fun and providing players with a new experience makes his creation perfect for the role.

In Nintendo's official announcement, Miyamoto expressed his excitement to the idea that Niantic's AR technology could make players experience a world where a Pikmin could actually be secretly living around us.

While both Niantic and Nintendo shied away from releasing more details about the game, they did announce that the upcoming "Pikmin" AR game is slated to launch globally in late 2021.

Players who want to be the first to experience the upcoming AR game can pre-register here.

Related Article: 'Pokemon HOME': Here's How to Transfer your 'Pokemon GO' Captures to Nintendo Switch's 'Pokemon Sword and Shield!'

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Written by Lee Mercado

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