Nintendo Co Ltd said Tuesday that it is partnering with app developer Pokemon Go Niantic to create augmented reality (AR) titles, with a Pikmin-themed app launching this year.
The partnership could bring Nintendo’s stagnant mobile ambitions to life after the company struggled to replicate the appeal of Pokémon Go, which became a social phenomenon as players took to the streets to “catch” Pokémon using their phones. .
The first mobile adaptation of the long-running Pikmin franchise, in which users direct hordes of plant-like Pikmin creatures to complete puzzles, is being developed by Niantic’s studio in Tokyo, which was established in 2018.
“Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin were secretly living around us,” veteran Nintendo game creator Shigeru Miyamoto said in a statement.
The app “will make walking more fun with Pikmin. It’s going to be very different from Pokémon Go, ”Tatsuo Nomura, director of Niantic’s Tokyo studio, wrote on Twitter.
Nintendo’s mobile launches have underperformed and have been delayed by management’s deadline. Unusual Nintendo-backed apps with game elements include the Pokemon Smile toothbrush app and the upcoming Pokemon Sleep sleep tracker app.
The Pikmin app is unlikely to “set the world on fire like Pokémon did. All grandparents know Pokémon, but only gamers know Pikmin, ”said Serkan Toto, founder of the game industry consultancy Kantan Games.
San Francisco-based Niantic launched a Harry Potter-themed app in 2019, but it hasn’t quite reached the heights of Pokemon Go, which was developed with Nintendo affiliate The Pokemon Company, and left Nintendo with only a small proportion. of the incomes.
The Kyoto-based gaming company’s efforts to expand outside of console games were fueled last week by the late opening of the Super Nintendo World area at Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan theme park.