The American video game company Niantic, developer of the successful “Pokemon Go”, prepares the launch of a basketball game for mobile phones in collaboration with the NBAin which he will try to make the possibilities of the metaverse accessible to everyone.
Niantic, founded in 2010 initially as a subsidiary of Google, wants to create an experience where movement in the real world is mixed with elements of virtual reality.
He wants to bring to the world of basketball an experience similar to that offered in 2016 with “Pokemon Go”, in which players could hunt these charismatic creatures that, through their mobile screen, they saw in their living room or in a park. For it, no need for an expensive virtual reality headsetwith the smartphone screen it will be enough.
The phone is the “perfect” instrument to materialize a “metaverse in the real world” that is accessible and has a social dimension, he explains. John Hanke, the president and CEO of Niantic.
“It is important that we encourage social interactions in the real world, such as going out, going to a restaurant or meeting friends. Putting on a VR (virtual reality headset) and playing alone seems very lonely and scary to me. I trust that humanity does not go in this direction“, Add.
In “NBA All-World”, each player, with his virtual character, must walk down the street and there he will meet virtual basketball players, who will be NBA stars like Lebron James or the characters of other users. And they will play each other in one-on-one duels or in three-point contests.
“NBA All-World” will be freebut users will be able to pay to acquire virtual objects that will allow them to advance faster in the game or customize their basketball player with brand shoes like Adidas or Puma, title sponsors. Niantic’s economic model is based on microtransactions, an increasingly widespread practice in the video game industry.
In addition to being a game about the NBA, one of the most-followed sports competitions in the world, Hanke is confident that “the success of ‘Pokemon Go’ will certainly help us” attract brands “to work” with us.
After its release in July 2016, “Pokemon Go” quickly became a global phenomenon, generating an average of revenue of $1 billion per yearaccording to Sensor Tower estimates.
But since then Niantic was unable to repeat a similar success with other games that reproduced the same formula in other universes, such as Harry Potter. That title turned out to be business failure and stopped being available in January 2022 due to a lack of players.
In addition, Niantic announced in April last year the cancellation of four projects and a rreduction of 8% of its staffdue to the “economic turmoil” that affects the technology sector worldwide.