When Pokemon Go released in July of 2016, many were skeptical if Niantic Niantic’s approach to getting gamers out and about was going to work. Now, with three years behind the game and a brand new title in the same genre available, it’s clear that Niantic’s idea is really paying off. But, getting here wasn’t a walk in the park, as they’d say. Instead, the company has evolved quite a bit, catering their work to the needs of the project and the community. We caught up with Archit Bhargava, the Director of Worldwide Product Marketing at Niantic at SDCC 2019 to talk about the studio’s evolution from Ingress to Harry Potter Wizards Unite.
For those who haven’t followed Niantic’s history, Pokemon Go wasn’t the company’s first push into the world of augmented reality gaming on mobile devices. See, back in 2013, the company released Ingress, a sci-fi game that included many of the basic ideas seen in Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. This first title was far more bare-bones than Pokemon Go, though, and the game didn’t really entice all that many to download it and dive in.
This, however, didn’t stop Niantic from dreaming of something bigger. Bhargava told us at SDCC 2019 that instead of giving up on the idea, the team went back to work on a bigger project. When Pokemon Go released, the studio saw its dreams come true as millions around the world downloaded the game and started getting out more in search of various Pokemon and items. With Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Niantic wanted to do more than just copy and paste the same mechanics over, and that meant sitting down and reworking everything so that it fits within the Harry Potter universe.
You can check out the full interview in the video above to hear more about how Niantic has evolved alongside their new games. You’ll also want to make sure you subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHubTV on YouTube for more interviews and content like this.