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Pokémon GO Release Date, Rumors: Niantic’s Fresh $30 Million Funding To Make Game Better

( [email protected] ) Oct 16, 2015 12:03 PM EDT
The Pokémon Company, Google and Nintendo have committed $30 million into Google spinoff Niantic, the developer of Pokémon GO' with $20 million in upfront cash and another $10 million if the company meets certain milestone.
The Pokémon Company, Google and Nintendo have committed $30 million into Google spinoff Niantic. Pokemon Go website

The Pokémon Company, Google and Nintendo have committed $30 million into Google spinoff Niantic, the developer of Pokémon GO' with $20 million in upfront cash and another $10 million if the company meets certain milestone.

The fresh capital infusion is to make sure that the Pokémon GO' will be a much-improved game when it is finally released to the public.

"We will be using this capital to continue the development of Pokémon GO, to evolve and grow Ingress and its thriving global community, and to build out our real-world gaming platform," Niantic CEO John Hanke wrote in a blog post. "We are thrilled to disclose that our mission will be backed by global giants in the game, entertainment and technology sectors."

Hanke added that he met with legendary games and entertainment heroes Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo, Tsunekazu Ishihara of The Pokémon Company, and Junichi Masuda of GAME FREAK in Tokyo last month to discuss the development of Pokémon GO. 

"Pokémon's strategic investment in Niantic paves the way for a social mobile experience the world has never seen before," said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company. "The Pokémon Company is committed to partner with companies like Niantic that share the same spirit of community and innovation."

Don Harrison, VP of Corporate Development at Google, commented, "Niantic has shown the great potential of mixing geolocation technology, dynamic storytelling, and innovative game design, and we're excited to continue supporting the team on their journey."

Hanke added that the team is excited about the opportunity to create a product true to the spirit of the original Pokémon games while extending gameplay out into the real world.  "Because it is a mobile game, players all around the world will be able to immerse themselves in the Pokémon universe on devices they already have in their hands," he said.

In a separate New York Times blog, Niantic said that the game will require players to capture and battle Pokemon in the real world. The gamers will be assisted by a wearable Pokemon GO Plus device.

Hanke also disclosed details about the incoming series of Ingress events this coming fall.

He added, "We are hard at work in our new San Francisco and satellite offices preparing for a series of massive, global Ingress events this fall preparing Pokémon GO for launch next year, and extending our platform to support a variety of experiences that support our core values of exercise, discovery, and fun."

Pokemon GO is slated for 2016 release. Fans have already begun speculation about various facets of the game including the generation of Pokemon that will be featured.

Meanwhile, Niantic denies rumors that Pokémon GO is cancelled. This should be a relief for fans, who were quickly in an uproar. As it turns out, they were victims of a vicious hoax permeating on social media and the web.

"Pokémon GO is the augmented reality game that allows its players to capture, train and play with Pokémon it captures in the real world. It caused quite the stir when it was first announced - firstly because it's such an amazing high concept, secondly because it seems like the kind of crazy idea that Nintendo would never sign off on," Kotaku Australia insisted on Monday.

 

Tags : pokemon go, the pokemon company, Google, Nintendo, ingress series, real world, pokemon battle, Kotaku, Pokemon GO Plus device, Niantic, google spinoff, John Hanke, Shigeru Miyamoto, Tsunekazu Ishihara, Junichi Masuda, Game Freak, Don Harrison, geolocation, mobile app, mobile game