Pokemon Go creator Niantic buys London startup

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

Niantic, the company behind the hugely successful Pokemon Go mobile game, has acquired London-based games studio Sensible Object.

The London startup specialises in augmented reality gaming, and is responsible for the popular hybrid tabletop-and-digital game Beasts Of Balance.

The game allows users to combine custom hardware with app-based activity, and is billed by the company as "Jenga meets Pokemon".

Niantic has been making moves to expand the reach of its AR platform following the phenomenal success of Pokemon Go.

The game has reportedly made over $2.3 billion, allowing the company to go on a spree of acquisitions that most recently includes the purchase of two American augmented reality companies.

Niantic is now gearing up for the launch of its much-anticipated Harry Potter game.

In a statement, Sensible Object founder Alex Fleetwood said: "We’re honoured to have the opportunity to become Niantic London. London is a unique city; through Sensible Object and formerly Hide&Seek we have been making augmented reality games here for over a decade.

"Joining Niantic feels a bit like coming home – back to the first game I ever ran. I’d played Journey to the End of the Night (a street game by the art collective SFZero) at the Come Out and Play Festival in New York, and brought it over in May 2007. 80 intrepid runners raced across the city, starting in Wapping and finishing on the beach by the Southbank Centre. It was the start of a scene – a unique melting pot of artists, organisations, tech companies, festivals, critics… and most importantly a diverse community of game-makers, able to experiment and create together.

"There’s so much value in this network – friendship, experience, wisdom, trust – and we can’t wait to connect it with the visionary promise Niantic offers."

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