Indie studio Empower Labs is getting a spotlight on Google Play for its augmented reality game Delta T. After some time in closed beta, the massively multiplayer mobile game launched in open beta in March for Android devices.
Delta T is similar to other location-based games like Grey Area’s Shadow Cities and Niantic’s Ingress, which is getting an AR reboot as Ingress Prime later this year. Empower Lab’s take on the genre has players skirmishing for global domination in a sci-fi setting where giant companies have taken over the world. These corporations have time-traveled and taken the fight back to present day.
Players build and upgrade bases and ally themselves with one of four Megacorps, which are headquartered in the U.S., Germany, Japan, and India. They can team up with neighboring bases to form a Cluster and battle it out for territory. The results of these fights will affect the game’s overarching storyline.
The Hyderabad-based studio tested the game out in closed beta for three months, picking up 16,000 installs in 116 countries. The studio also reports that it received almost 35,000 signups before its March launch into open beta.
These are small numbers compared to Niantic’s 14 million downloads when the original Ingress celebrated its third-year anniversary. But it’s interesting that an indie studio is trying to take on an AR giant that’s responsible for the viral hit Pokémon Go and has picked up big IP like Harry Potter. Empower Lab has received around $1 million from investors, whereas Niantic generated over $1.2 billion from Pokémon Go alone.
Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore have made it easier than ever for folks to make augmented reality games. That means we’ll see more creative efforts, like Tender Claws’s TendAR along with competitors like Delta T that are trying their luck against name-brand games.