New Zealand Augmented Reality Studio NZXR Acquired By Pokémon Go Developer Niantic

New Zealand Augmented Reality Studio NZXR Acquired By Pokémon Go Developer Niantic

Wellington-based augmented reality developer NZXR has been acquired by Pokémon Go developer Niantic.

The announcement came via a post on Niantic’s blog. To read between the lines, it sounds like NZXR will join Niantic to help develop its core AR technology, Niantic Lightship. Lightship is the platform that supports all of Niantic’s AR-driven games, including Pokémon Go.

NZXR says it was Niantic’s vision of a metaverse that breeds inclusivity and accessibility lie that caught its interest. That, and an especially firey post by Niantic CEO John Hanke entitled “The Metaverse Is A Dystopian Nightmare“. Proving that the metaverse could be much more fun, dynamic, and interesting than Mark Zuckerberg’s VR Chat knock-off became the goal.

NZXR spent several years as a studio-for-hire, working with Niantic staff across its games. With the working relationship cemented, Niantic clearly saw value in NZXR’s skillset.

NZXR’s augmented reality titles earned it a reputation for creativity on a tight budget. A collaboration with Qualcomm created The Great Crane Cake Off, in which players must attempt to construct elaborate cakes using a claw machine. It also created Skatrix with professional skateboarder Rodney Mullen, a game in which players use their phone’s camera to turn any real-world scene into a skatepark for a digital skater. NZXR also contributed to HACKMAN’s immersive theatre show, Destination Mars.

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