How Niantic Might Get Involved in NFT Games
Here’s how Niantic could hypothetically get involved in NFT games if they were to continue to express interest for them in the future.
DISCLAIMER: This is a hypothetical/fictional-based article.
Niantic is a US-based mobile game developer known for the famous AR title, Pokemon Go. Initially formed as an internal startup within Google under the name Niantic Labs in 2010, the company became independent 5 years later and has gone on to create one of the most popular, if not the most successful augmented-reality mobile game ever. The game came out in 2016, and since then, the team has gone on to create other mobile titles based on renowned IP since.
As was the case with other major gaming companies, Niantic too was one of the few to show interest in the growing NFT space, acquiring a Miami-based startup called SpotX Games last year. The new studio was tasked with setting up their own NFT marketplace called the Trading Post, but that didn’t last long, as the project officially shutdown on June 9 this year, just 6 months after launch. “Trading Post was an experimentation effort to explore the world of digital collectibles, and while we believe that web3 has the potential to create meaningful experiences in the future, we plan to shift focus to other priorities,” said one member of the team in an announcement.
Despite the closure of that particular project, that certainly doesn’t mean that Niantic has given up on this space. Given the kind of games they develop, it would be fitting to see Niantic get involved in NFT games – how they manage to do that though may actually be quite simple.
One of their latest games, Peridot, could be an excellent template for the studio to use to create an engaging blockchain-based title, as the game features unique AR pets that are all 100% genetically unique. Players can adopt their own pet referred to as a Dot and look after them by feeding, petting, and exploring with them, helping the pet grow in the process. Adding an optional feature that would allow players to mint their pets into upgradable NFTs would perhaps be an ideal way to get involved with Web3 using what the developer already knows best. The game even has its own breeding system where you work with other players to hatch new generations of Dots that are 100% genetically unique. Collaboration in Web3 is one of the key values of the industry, making this system one that would perfectly fit in an NFT title, and would be potentially a rather different take than the breeding systems we’ve so far seen in blockchain gaming. These are just some of the elements present in Peridot that could quite seamlessly transition to an NFT game, so it won’t be too surprising if we see Niantic get involved in NFT games in this way, either with an existing title such as Peridot, or a completely new one that takes their expertise in AR pet games and brings it to blockchain gaming. Finding NFT prizes as treasures scattered in real life, upgrading your pet’s attributes using certain resources, adding the ability to craft item NFTs to use for playing with your pet are just some of the many different aspects Niantic could use in potentially developing a successful Web3 title.