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Nintendo and Pokémon Go developer Niantic are aligning for a new partnership. This deal will bring the companies together to produce new augmented reality mobile games based on Nintendo characters. They announced this collaboration will kick off with a new Pikmin smartphone app designed to “make walking fun,” according to Nintendo. Previously, Niantic had a deal with The Pokémon Company but not directly with Nintendo.

“As we continue to expand our games portfolio, it was a natural next step to team up with Nintendo,” Niantic chief executive officer John Hanke said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to shaping the future of AR together, bringing Nintendo’s beloved game characters to life for mobile game players around the world.”

Pikmin seems like an ideal fit. That franchise is about tiny plant creatures that do the player’s bidding, and the idea of collecting an army of the cute little walking vegetables by finding them hiding in the real world is very appealing to me. It’s also something that won over Pikmin creator Shigeru Miyamoto.

“Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us,” Miyamoto said in a statement. “Based on the theme of making walking fun, our mission is to provide people a new experience that’s different from traditional games. We hope that the Pikmin and this app will become a partner in your life.”


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Pikmin does not have the same popularity as the Pokémon franchise. And yet, after I get my vaccine, I would play a game based on Urban Champions if it got me outside — let alone an AR game based on a series I love like Pikmin.

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