Niantic Partners With Punchdrunk for Upcoming AR Experience

Pokemon GO developer Niantic has announced a new partnership with immersive theatre company Punchdrunk for new types of gaming experiences.

Niantic, best known for Pokemon Go, is full of announcements today. They announced that their upcoming Catan World Explorers is releasing into beta sometime soon. And now, they’ve revealed that they’ll be working with Punchdrunk, the Sleep No More creators, to produce a new Augmented Reality experience. It all sounds incredibly ambitious. Hopefully, the two partners can deliver something game-changing.

Sleep No More is a captivating piece of immersive theater. Instead of going to an auditorium, sitting in a seat, and simply watching a performance, Punchdrunk requires you to fully invest in the show. Basically, once you enter a performance, you become a part of it. You can move around the location and interact with the experience in different ways. Importantly, the performance doesn’t really change based on what you do, which ensures that repeat viewers can find new ways to experience the same story.

However, by partnering with one of the world’s premier AR developers, you have to assume that a more interactive experience is on the table. Punchdrunk knows how to create fully immersive worlds and Niantic’s technology seems ripe for a narrative-focused experience.

Of course, details of what the partnership will culminate are still vague. What is certain is that the two plan to “create something that has never been done before.” It’s a lofty goal. Though, if anyone can do it, it’s these two.

While you wait to see what Niantic and Punchdrunk dream up, make sure to check out Catan World Explorers. The game has a few neat ideas that might shake up the classic Niantic gameplay.

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Ricky Frech

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