Before the wild success of Pokemon Go came Ingress, a science fiction game from Niantic that made use of technologies like augmented reality and location-based services. It was a hit game in its own right and managed to develop quite a significant fan base, though those numbers inevitably dwindled down once the studio shifted its focus toward newer titles. Niantic is bringing Ingress back, though, and they're doing so with some of the lessons they've learned throughout the life of Pokemon Go.
The new version of the game will be such a large overhaul that the entire experience will be packaged together as a new title called Ingress Prime. From how it sounds, Prime will be a top-to-bottom reboot, with new art, a new story, and an entirely new design that can take advantage of updated mobile technology, most specifically including tech from Apple's ARKit, Google's ARCore, and a move to the base platform used in Pokemon Go.
A New Ingress For A New World
For those who aren't familiar with the original Ingress, the game used location-based technology and AR to allow players to capture portals at various locations within their real-world environments, with teams playing as either the Enlightened faction or the Resistance faction. And though that concept might have been ahead of its time when Ingress first launched back in 2012, the success of Pokemon Go means loads of players are now familiar with location- and AR-based gameplay.
According to Niantic CEO John Hanke, Pokemon Go stole focus away from Ingress once the game went big; now that time has passed, the team is now ready to reward players of the Ingress community by offering "a modern, beautiful version of the game. "
“We took people and some of our attention off of Ingress after the Pokémon Go launch," Hanke said, "just because that game was going so strong that we had to beef up all aspects of it. We haven’t been able to give [Ingress players] much in terms of new features for the past year. Luckily the community has stayed with us and remained strong, but we’re excited now to have a fully-staffed team on Ingress.”
Ingress Prime will be offered as an update to owners of the base game. This not only means that players who own the original Ingress will be updated to the new version, it also means that all of their previous progression will be left intact, including their level and any owned items.
There's no release date for Ingress Prime just yet, but Niantic is aiming to roll out their overhauled game sometime in 2018.