|Niantic Labs @ Google or simply Niantic Labs|
|Industry||mobile applications, mobile games, alternate reality games|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, U.S.A.|
|Products||Ingress, Field Trip, Endgame|
Niantic, Inc. is a software development company best known for the augmented reality mobile game, Ingress. It was formed by Keyhole, Inc. founder John Hanke in 2010 as Niantic Labs, an internal startup at Google. It became an independent entity in August 2015, soon after Google's announcement of its restructuring as Alphabet Inc.
The company takes its name from the whaling vessel, Niantic, that came to San Francisco during the Gold Rush. The fictional in-game investigative project that provides the narrative premise for Ingress is similarly named The Niantic Project.
Niantic's first product, published in 2012, was Field Trip, a location-based Android app. The augmented reality mobile game Ingress followed in November 2012 as an invite-only Android app. It was opened to the public in October 2013 and an iOS version was released in July 2014. Niantic's second game, Endgame, is a transmedia storytelling project consisting of an alternate reality game, Endgame: Ancient Truth, novels by James Frey starting with Endgame: The Calling, and a mobile app, Endgame: Proving Ground.
Niantic has notably taken an alternative approach to monetization, veering away from more traditional mobile application development standards such as ad placements and In-App Purchasables. Founder John Hanke has noted that Ingress is a sort of proof of concept, adding that a next step could involve packaging APIs from the Ingress application in order to entice developers. Existing partners, marketed through the narrative of Ingress rather than direct marketing techniques, include Hint Water, Vodafone, Motorola, AXA, Softbank, MUFG, and Itoen.
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- Takahashi, Dean (17 December 2014). "Google’s Niantic Labs embarks on a giant interactive transmedia project with controversial author James Frey". Venture Beat.
- Robertson, Adi (28 July 2014). "Google is helping James Frey build a multimedia sci-fi juggernaut". The Verge.
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- Hanke, John (19 August 2013). "Vodofone Germany Announcement". John Hanke Google+ Page.
- Niantic Labs, Inc. (1 August 2013). "Ultra Strike Weapon Revealed - INGRESS REPORT - EP19". Ingress Youtube Page.
- AXA Financial, Inc. (16 December 2014). "AXA and Google's Niantic Labs Partner to Integrate 20,000 Global Retail Agencies into Ingress' Interactive'Real World' Mobile Gameplay Experience". AXA Press Release.
- Softbank Group, Corp. (27 July 2015). "ソフトバンクショップがIngressに登場！". Softbank Press Release.
- The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (20 June 2015). "BTMU announces a partnership with "Ingress", using its vast network of branches and ATMs as portals in Japan!". MUFG Press Release.
- Ito En, Ltd. (31 July 2015). "スマートフォン用モバイルゲームアプリ「Ingress」（※）とコラボレーション". ITO EN Press Release.