Seven years ago, the mobile game “Pokemon Go” took the world by storm, and now its developers aim to inject the same “realistic” appeal into their new basketball game.
While Pokemon Go players were instructed on their mobile phones to The real world Locations to collect magical creatures, “NBA All-World” allows players to challenge each other to games on the street.
John Hanke, president of Niantic, which produces both games, confirms that just as with Pokemon, NBA players Game It will also require only a cell phone—No expensive headphones or goggles.
It promotes this hybrid-style game as a “real-world metaverse,” setting it apart from the experience promoted by Microsoft and other users who sit at home with masks taped to their faces.
“I think it’s important to support what we do in the real world as human beings, like going out to restaurants, meeting our friends and not staying at home,” he said in an interview with Agence France-Presse.
“Wearing VR glasses alone, it’s a very lonely and scary future for me. I hope humanity doesn’t go in that direction.”
In “NBA All-World,” released this week in France and next Tuesday globally, players choose their favorite NBA star as an avatar and meet and play with others on the street.
Hanke said that the social aspect of the game made mobile phones the ideal device to play on.
“It’s a mobile phone, it’s low cost, and almost everyone has it,” he said.
Niantic hopes to take advantage of microtransactions – players can spend small amounts on virtual items that allow them to move through the game faster or customize their avatars with sneakers from brands like Adidas or Puma.
Hanke acknowledges that the success of “Pokemon Go” helped Niantic get high-profile corporate partners on board.
“The success of Pokemon Go definitely helps us,” he said.
“Pokemon Go” has become a cultural phenomenon with more than 1 billion downloads and has generated nearly $1 billion annually since its launch in July 2016, according to estimates from analytics firm Sensor Tower.
But Niantic couldn’t produce another hit until it got close to this level.
It has had notable failures.
It launched “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” in 2019, only to shut it down in January last year due to a lack of interest.
Like many other companies in the technology sector, Niantic also made massive cuts to its workforce last year, cutting eight percent of its staff and halting four video game projects.
With this in mind, Hanke plays down any suggestion that his latest game could reach Pokemon’s success levels.
“Pokemon Go is the first game of its kind, and I think it surprised the world,” said the Niantic president.
“Maybe another game we’re creating for the future will have the same kind of immediate viral success, but maybe that’s not a realistic expectation because it’s kind of an unusual case.”
© 2023 AFP
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