Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter AR game, announced they’ve taken on $200 million in their Series B investment round.
As reported by Tech Crunch, the Series B investment round was lead by Spark Capital in participation with Founders Fund, Meritech, Javelin Venture Capital, You & Mr. Jones and Chinese Internet technology company NetEase, Inc.
Born out of a startup founded within Google, Niantic is best known for their GPS-based mobile games Ingress and Pokémon Go, the later being an important IP for the company that helped land them their initial $30 million Series A led by Alsop Loui Partners, Google, Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, Cyan and Scott Banister and others.
Pokémon Go is branded heavily as an augmented reality game, but due to the lack of room-mapping, it doesn’t offer some of the hallmark features of what you might call a ‘true’ AR game, namely the basic ability to position 3D objects or characters at fixed points in the world and view them from any angle. While this may be true in the short term, genuine smartphone AR support is on the horizon thanks to both Apple’s ARkit and Google’s ARCore, software developer kits that allow developers to create the sort of ‘true’ AR experiences for flagship iOS and Android devices.
It’s still uncertain if the company’s upcoming Harry Potter game will essentially be a reskinned version of Pokémon Go, offering it’s faux-AR passthrough mode or truly delve into AR proper. We’ll be following along as it launches sometime in 2018.