Niantic, the Alphabet-owned company behind popular geolocation augmented reality game Ingress, and now Pokemon Go, a game that if it actually pans out, could end up being one of the most significant mobile game releases yet, has raised $30-million in Series A funding from Nintendo, the Pokemon Company, and Google.
In the process of receiving this additional funding, Niantic also spun out from Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Niantic creates games that mix virtual gameplay with real world GPS locations and augmented reality. While not much is known about Pokemon Go yet, the game will involve hunting down Pokemon in real world locations using your smartphone, as well as an awkward looking wearable called the Pokemon Go Plus.
According to the deal, Nintendo, the Pokemon Company and Google are investing $20-million at the outset, and an additional $10-million “upon achieving certain milestones,” said Niantic in a statement to MobileSyrup.
“The Pokemon Company, Google, and Nintendo are incredible investors and strategic partners to help build the next chapter for Niantic,” said Niantic CEO John Hanke.
“We will be using this capital to continue the development of Pokemon GO, to evolve and grow Ingress and its thriving global community, and to build out our real-world gaming platform.”
This also isn’t the first time Google and Nintendo have partnered on a project. For an April Fool’s prank in 2014, Google added Pokemon to the iOS and Android version of Google Maps.
Ingriss, Niantic’s previous game, is a sci-fi title pitting two factions against one another for the control of real world physical locations. The app has reportedly been downloaded 13 million times.
The announcement of a mobile Pokemon game is a monumental shift for Nintendo, which owns a significant portion of the Pokemon company. Until recently, Nintendo has focused on developing games and software for its own platforms, the Wii U and 3DS. But things are beginning to shift at Nintendo and the company has plans to release multiple mobile titles for both Android and iOS over the course of 2016, causing some to question the future of the company’s dedicated portable console, the 3DS.
Pokemon Go is expected to launch on iOS and Android’s Google Play store at some point in 2016. Nintendo launched a revamped version of the 3DS, strangely dubbed the New 3DS, in February 2015.