Niantic has announced a new augmented reality game featuring original creatures called Peridot.
In Peridot (Niantic's first original game since Ingress), players take ownership of cute fantasy creatures that will interact with them while walking out in the world. Activities for the game will include walking with Peridots, feeding them, uncovering treasures, and breeding them to create new Peridots.
The game's (extraordinarily cute) visuals show how Ingress' target market has evolved over the years. While Ingress sold the story of participating in a gritty spy fantasy, this new entry feels closer to Tamogatchi devices from the '90s. Its development has likely been influenced by the success of Pokémon Go and Pikmin Bloom, which also let players care for and nurture unique creatures.
Peridot also seems to have a gentle bit of environmentalism woven into its game design, as the purpose of the game is to protect these care creatures from extinction.
It'll be interesting to see if any of Niantic's many acquisitions wind up influencing Peridot's development. They've snapped up companies like Hoss and NXZR, and secured $300 million in investment for a "real-world metaverse," just to name a few of its financial accomplishments from last year.
Not every post Pokémon Go game has been a money-printer however. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite shut down on January 31 (which is probably good for Niantic, given that author JK Rowling has gone quite off the rails with transphobia of late).
Niantic's also struggled to figure out how to run its games safely as real-life events like the COVID-19 pandemicc and Russia's invasion of Ukraine made it much less safe to be in certain parts of the world. It's had to make rapid adjustments to Pokémon Go in response to both events, and may have to do the same for Peridot.
No launch date has been announced yet for Peridot. CEO John Hanke says that soft launch will be taking place "soon."