Pokémon Go developer Niantic opens Japanese studio

"It might very well be that Pokémon is not the only Nintendo mobile game that will make use of AR and GPS going forward."

Google's former in-house augmented reality developer, Niantic Labs, has quietly opened a studio in Japan. 

The Ingress creator made headlines earlier this year when it revealed it would be working with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company to develop Pokémon Go, a free-to-play smartphone title that challenges players to capture Pokémon in the real world through the magic of AR. 

According to a press release translated by Japanese video game industry expert, Dr. Serkan Toto, Niantic's Tokyo office will help the studio push on with the development of Pokémon Go, and create a new platform that uses AR and mapping tech. 

"Generally speaking, Japanese gaming companies - I mean Nintendo in this specific case - love going vertical by becoming platforms if any opportunity to do so opens up," said Toto, offering his take on Niantic's recent expansion. 

"So, it might very well be that Pokémon is not the only Nintendo mobile game that will make use of AR and GPS going forward."

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