Niantic and Sensible Object are set to collaborate to develop new augmented reality (AR) games.
Niantic is known for creating an augmented reality engine (Niantic Real World Platform) and is widely considered an industry leader for current and future generations of AR hardware.
Sensible Object is best known for its crowdfunded tabletop game Beasts of Balance, which merges physical objects with a digital companion game. However, Niantic’s interest in the UK studio is most likely due to Sensible Object’s experience with AR games such as Hide&Seek.
The logistical plan appears to be that the staff at Sensible Object will form the core of Niantic London alongside Matrix Mill, an AI and machine vision research team acquired last year. Niantic London will continue to initially support its existing titles, but eventually will begin creating new AR games.
Sensible Object’s founder Alex Fleetwood authored a statement in which he said “we’re honoured to have the opportunity to become Niantic London.”
He continued, “CEO John Hanke and his team have an incredible, progressive vision for the future of play that resonates deeply with us. Building global communities, pioneering new forms of augmented realty, and helping people get outside, get exercise and connect with one another in the real world.”
The announcement of Niantic’s acquisition is timely because of the rising popularity of AR technology and games; and the absence of Sony from E3 2019 allowed AR to receive more attention on the show floor.