Image copyright Niantic
With Niantic and the Pokémon Company celebrating the 2nd anniversary of former-world grabbing phenomenon that is Pokémon Go, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the mobile game developer has never done anything else.
However, back to a time when Pokémon Go wasn’t even available in beta testing, Niantic was building the foundations for an augmented reality game that would change the mobile gaming industry for the next five years.
We are, of course, referring to Ingress, which is now getting its own animated series courtesy of the Crafter animation studio.
Joining the project is noted computer-graphics artist Yukei Sakuragi, with character designs from art director Takeshi Honda, responsible for “Neon Genesis Evangelion“. The series will be produced by Fuji TV alongside Netflix, as reported by Variety.
Niantic CEO John Hanke said of the project;
“The anime peers into the Ingress universe and allows viewers to see a part of that universe that is uniquely expressed.”
The show will take place within the Ingress universe, where exotic matter is leaking into the world through portals. That matter can influence people in several ways – some of them will gain special powers, for example.
The show will follow the lives of Makoto and Sarah, who have both been affected by these portals. Makoto has become able to see the history of anything he touches, which is strange enough in itself, whilst Sarah gains the ability to see certain aspects of time and space.
After something happens to Sarah as part of the show’s plot, police officer Makoto is brought in to investigate. The pair ends up on the run from the mysterious third character, Jack.
The trio eventually gets dragged into Ingress‘ Enlightened/Resistance battle, but they are tasked with trying to figure out the motives behind a corporation that appears to be using and abusing the matter to experiment on humans, and, to quote Hanke, “do bad things.”
Now, whilst the show will feature all-new, original material, the narrative will overlap with the ongoing story of Ingress, and will help introduce Ingress Prime, the sequel to the original game. The show and new game are both set to launch alongside each other later this year.
“The story has continued uninterrupted since launch. That’s going to build to the launch of the Ingress Prime universe.”
When it comes to the characters appearing in the series, Hanke stated how;
“There will be familiar characters and situations that have become famous in the game, but they will be experienced through a fresh interpretation with new characters, new actors. Think of it like a reboot of a superhero franchise.”
And, in terms of upcoming sequel Ingress Prime, Hanke wants it to be known that Niantic is learning from their previous entries.
“We learned a lot from Ingress and now we’re continuing to learn from Pokémon Go. We’re trying to take those lessons and make Ingress more accessible.
Ingress is a deliberately obscure game. We want to make sure people can make their way through that and get to the actual gameplay. We want to make that smoother for Ingress Prime.”
In the meantime, Pokémon Go is currently celebrating its second anniversary, with increased chances of finding wild Pikachu with special hats and glasses, alongside other in-game awards, and the recently added and long-requested trading system.
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