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Niantic raises $300 million at a $9 billion valuation as it pursues the real-world metaverse

Niantic, the maker of Pokémon Go, has raised $300 million from investor Coatue at a $9 billion value in order to build the real-world metaverse.

While Facebook/Meta is attempting to construct the metaverse on a virtual reality foundation, Niantic has had success with location-based gaming with Pokémon Go. As a result, it has a preference for developing extensions of that game for its version of the metaverse. Techcrunch broke the storey.

To put it another way, San Francisco-based Niantic believes that AR images superimposed on the real environment may be used to create the metaverse. Hanke argues that the VR-based metaverse visions depicted in Ready Player One are more akin to a dystopian nightmare. Hanke denounced dystopias in a lecture at the Augmented World Expo.

“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,” says 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 goal is to create technology that layers a virtual world on top of the actual world, similar to how it layers cute animated Pokémon creatures in the real world.

Niantic recently released their Lightship AR Developer Kit (ARDK), which makes it simple to make AR games publicly available for free to anyone who wants to create games for them.

Niantic recently shut down its Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game, but it also recently developed Pikmin Bloom, a smartphone game designed to be played while strolling about.

According to Sensor Tower, Pokémon Go will earn more than $1 billion in revenue by 2020.

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