Pokémon Go creator Niantic has raised fresh funding of $300 million at a $9 billion valuation to invest toward its metaverse ambitions.
In contrast to Meta, which is looking to lay the foundation of its metaverse through virtual reality, Niantic is inclining towards building on the success of its location-based gaming platforms, such as Pokémon Go. The company is working on several extensions of the game within the metaverse.
Therefore, the San Francisco-based company believes that metaverse will feature more AR images overlaid in the real world. Its Founder and CEO, John Hanke, exclaimed that the VR-based visions of the metaverse, like in Ready Player One, are more like a dystopian nightmare.
“In those fictional versions of the future, the world has become such a mess that people have to escape it into some sort of virtual reality where people live, work, and play,” said Hanke. “I would ask all of you: is that the future you imagine? Is that what you want for you? For your children? That’s not the future we believe will happen at Niantic.”
Niantic’s technology will focus on applications that overlay a virtual world on top of the real world, similar to what we have already seen with Pokémon Go. Based on this vision, the company had also unveiled its Lightship AR Developer Kit (ARDK) to make it simpler for developers to build AR platforms.
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