Like its predecessors Ingress and Pokémon Go, Ingress Prime is a location-based mobile game set in the real world. It’s a sci-fi massively multiplayer online game where two factions fight for control over public art and cultural landmarks in neighborhoods and cities.
Each side can marshal hundreds or even thousands of players together in real-world events. First launched in 2012, Ingress was a pioneering game in getting people to exercise, get off the couch, and meet people. More than 20 million people played it, and it paved the way for Pokémon Go, which has been downloaded more than 800 million times.
Now Niantic is a much bigger company, and Ingress Prime has a substantial budget for goodies such as tutorial videos to an 11-episode anime TV series.
Ingress Prime players can collaborate with each other across the globe to overcome the other faction and drive the deep narrative forward. Ingress Prime is available as a free-to-play download on the App Store for iPhone and on Google Play for Android devices.
“Ingress taught us a lot about real world games,” said Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke in a press briefing at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. “To our surprise, it was able to get people off the couch, going all over the world all in pursuit of glory and success in the game. It was a lab experiment at Google, and it led us to where we are today.”
Ingress propelled Niantic to greatness. Niantic launched Ingress in 2012 on Android and then 2014 on iOS. It generated more than 20 million downloads, and it helped Niantic seal an alliance with The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo. Those companies and Google provided $30 million in initial funding, enabling Niantic to launch Pokémon Go in 2016.
Pokémon Go became a huge hit with more than 800 million downloads and more than $2 billion in revenue. Niantic raised an additional $200 million in 2017. Niantic is now working on Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.