Fresh from the launch of Alphabet, its new parent company, advertising giant Google is continuing to shuffle things around with the news that augmented reality gaming division Niantic Labs is to be spun-off.
Founded as Niantic Labs at Google in 2010 and dropping the 'at Google' portion of the name in time the the 2012 launch of its first creation, a local discovery app dubbed Field Trip, the company's most successful creation was Ingress. Launched in November 2012, the sci-fi themed augmented reality game generated a cult following thanks to its invite-only nature before opening up more widely in October 2013. Since then, the game has attracted thousands of loyal players, over twelve million downloads, and the company is hard at work on a more story-driven augmented reality title, Endgame, which will include books and a film tie-in.
It will do so, however, on its own terms: in a statement
released today, Niantic Labs confirmed that it is spinning off from Google to become an independent company, and although its former owner will remain a partner Niantic has claimed that it will 'be taking our unique blend of exploration and fun to even bigger audiences with some amazing new partners joining Google as collaborators and backers.
Neither Google nor Niantic have confirmed terms of the spin-off, nor whether the newly-formed Alphabet has a controlling share in the new company.