Pokémon Go creator Niantic has acquired social gaming community platform Mayhem.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition is Niantic’s seventh. Niantic’s fortunes have been sustained by multibillion-dollar revenues from the Pokémon Go location-based game. Mobile measurement firm Sensor Tower estimates that players worldwide have spent billions of dollars on the game since 2016.

Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a blog post that the Mayhem team’s expertise in designing social gaming experiences and online community building will help Niantic drive new ways to connect its global community of players. (Hanke will be a speaker at our GamesBeat Summit: Into the Metaverse event on January 27 and January 28). Many of Niantic’s acquisitions have been related to enhancing the community, augmented reality, and location technology behind its games.

Niantic said the majority of Mayhem’s team members are joining the company, including CEO Ivan Zhou, who will be part of Niantic’s social platform product team.


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Mayhem was founded in San Francisco in 2017 with the goal of bringing gamers together through live interactive experiences. The company built a desktop-based online platform that enabled gamers to organize custom game formats for their communities. Mayhem will now sunset that product.

Hanke said real-world social interaction — encouraged by fun gameplay and social features that build bonds between people around the globe — is critical to Niantic’s mission.

“Through our games, many Niantic explorers have found incredible meaning in playing and interacting with other explorers,” Hanke said. “They create memories, they make friends, and they end up with some amazing stories to tell. We look forward to working together with Mayhem to amplify those moments, bring our player community closer together, and make a positive impact on the world.”

Meanwhile, Niantic said yesterday that it is collaborating with Gucci in a promo deal to bring The North Face x Gucci collection to Pokémon Go players. For a limited time, T-shirts, bucket hats, and backpacks for Pokémon Go Trainer avatars from The North Face x Gucci collection will be available at more than PokéStop locations within the game around the world.

These items will also be available via geo-drop at participating stores and Gucci Pin pop-ups, where consumers can buy the physical items. And three digitally wearable items from the collection will be available for players who visit the Gucci PokéStops (which include the physical locations of Gucci Pins, ArtWalls, and selected Gucci stores).

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