Niantic Labs, the makers of Pokemon Go, announced that Ingress Prime is set to release in 2018. The new game will be accompanied by an anime series, and will retain the real-world interactivity and augmented-reality features that originally made Ingress a popular game five years ago, when it managed to rack up more than 20 million downloads.
The press release indicates that the popularity of Ingress has yet to subside, and so Niantic Labs decided to capitalize on that by creating an all new entry in the series called Ingress Prime. This will be a follow-up to the 2012 outing, but will offer gamers an all new experience, including a completely overhauled user interface along with all new sounds and improved sound design.
Niantic is also leveraging the evolution of smartphones over the last five years to bring gamers an enhanced gameplay experience between the Enlightened and the Resistance, allowing for a more in-depth augmented reality design compared to the original Ingress.
The initial launch will be story-oriented, and will follow an all new arc involving Agents from around the world. The objective is to capture portals that are being disguised as public art and landmarks from historic locations in the real world. This encourages gamers to travel, explore, interact and learn along the way. Niantic seems to want to put the education back into edutainment.
Niantic is currently maintaining Pokemon Go and also have a new Harry Potter project on the way as well. Unless the studio plans on expanding soon, I wonder how well the indie outfit will be able to maintain three large-scale games?
When Ingress came out back in 2012 Niantic didn’t have to worry about servers overloading and millions of people flooding the game all at once. Since the release of Pokemon Go in 2016, the community has been pelting Niantic constantly with activity, so much so that many of Pokemon Go’s events have been swamped to the point of shutting down or being postponed to deal with the load.
Given that Harry Potter is just, if not more, popular than Pokemon, I’m having a hard time believing that Niantic will be able to handle the load for that project as well. That’s not to mention that the studio will also be releasing Ingress Prime. However, it’s less likely that server load will be as much of an issue with Ingress as it is the other two brand name properties.
One thing that definitely stands out is the fact that Niantic could be eating into its own success. Cannibalization is a real thing that happens far too often in gaming. We saw how much it hurt the sales of Titanfall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare last year, and we see it happen often with mobile games where one studio will clone an idea and zap the user base from another game. In this particular case, Niantic is competing with itself. So we’ll see how well that all turns out given that the company will be running Pokemon Go, Harry Potter and Ingress Prime.