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Niantic, the video game maker behind Pokemon Go, has raised $190 million as it gears up for the release of a AR new game that revolves around the Harry Potter universe called Wizards Unite. The funding is said to put a $3.9 billion valuation on the company.

Niantic Games

Niantic filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had raised the funding on Dec. 20. The filing came just after a Wall Street Journal report said it was in the process of raising a fresh round of capital. Investors were not disclosed in the filing, however the document said 26 investors had participated in the funding round in total.

The article said the round was expected to be led by late-stage focused venture capital firm IVP, with participation from Samsung and aXiomatic Gaming. The Journal also reported that the round would put Niantic's valuation at $3.9 billion.

Harry Potter Game

Niantic is currently developing a new title called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, The game is a joint venture with Warner Bros and will be an AR game, like Pokemon Go, where players are able to learn spells and explore their neighborhoods to find and battle magical beasts and other enemies. The game is slated to be launched at some time in 2019.

John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc.  said “The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”

"The mechanics of Ingress would actually translate pretty well to the fictional Harry Potter universe, and seems almost ready-made for a fantasy spell casting coat of paint to replace its science-fiction special forces veneer. Also, like Pokémon Go, it could benefit from the location database built up by Ingress originally (and expanded by the Pokémon title) to incorporate real-world locations into the in-game experience." Techcrunch




Harry Potter Wizards

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go was released in July 2016 becoming a massive hit worldwide, and became the top-grossing app on Apple's U.S. App Store shortly after its release. By 2018, Pokémon GO had been downloaded over 800 million times. The augmented reality game lets users walk around and capture creatures from the video game series Pokemon. A report published by Sensor Tower said that the game brought in nearly $800 million in revenue in 2018, a 35 percent increase from the previous year with players having spent $2.2 billion on Pokemon Go since its launch.

About Niantic 

Niantic is currently developing a new title, called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the result of a joint venture with Warner Bros. It will be an AR game — like Pokemon Go — where players are able to learn spells and explore their neighborhoods to find and battle magical beasts and other enemies. The game is slated to be launched at some point this year.

At the start of 2018 Niantic bought Escher Reality, a team focused on building persistent, cross platform, multi-user experiences and announced a collaboration with Fuji TV and Craftar Studios on an anime adaptation of Ingress Prime, slated to air later this year.

The company also Later in the year we announced the acquisition of Matrix Mill, a team focused perfecting augmented reality occlusion by building deep neural networks that can infer 3D information about the surrounding world.

"Today and in the future, augmented reality will continue to provide dynamic ways to connect digital information, objects, and experiences with the physical world in situ as you experience them. Augmented reality offers the potential to enhance our basic functions as human beings as we lead our lives in the physical world. Augmented reality can transform the mundane into something more colorful and fun, and can provide a useful nudge to go off and see new places and meet new people. At Niantic, our work represents the culmination of decades of obsessing about geospatial technology, real world gaming, and planet-scale augmented reality. We’ve been mapping reality for years, so we can augment it for the years to come." - Niantic

Niantic, Inc., builds mobile real-world experiences that foster fun, exploration, discovery and social interaction. Originally incubated within Google, Niantic, Inc., spun out in 2015, with investments from Google, The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo. The company’s immersive real-world mobile games Pokémon GO and Ingress are available on the App Store and Google Play. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is Niantic, Inc.’s third game and is being co-developed with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. For more information on Niantic. 

Source: Niantic

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