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Pokémon GO developer Niantic announces new AR game Peridot

The developer of the smash hit mobile game Pokémon GO, Niantic, has unveiled a new AR pet game – and this time there’s no Nintendo IP in sight. In fact, Peridot is the first Niantic original in quite some time.

Peridot looks to be a Tamagotchi-style pet-caring game for your smartphone. In it you’ll be tasked with raising the titular magical creatures them from birth to adulthood, during which time you’ll explore the real world together (courtesy of Niantic’s patented AR special sauce), play together, and “work with other players to diversify their species”.

The related blog post is fairly light on details, but there is an official teaser video giving a taster of what to expect.

Peridot will be entering a soft launch testing phase in select markets soon.

In a post-lockdown world where pet ownership has spiked, it’s either perfectly timed or has just missed the boat. It’ll be fascinating to see which proves to be the case.

Following on from Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Pikmin Bloom, Niantic appeared to have turned into something of a specialist in turning major intellectual property into smartly social, AR-driven mobile games.

However, it’s easy to forget that its first two releases were original products. The first ever Niantic jam was actually a non-gaming app called Field Trip, which used your location to provide a quirky guide to the world around you.

Then there was the company’s first step into location-based and AR-enhanced gaming with the cult hit Ingress, which featured many of the ingredients that would go on to make Pokémon GO such a hit, but with a continuous sci-fi narrative in place of cute fantastical creatures.

The two following games, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Pikmin Bloom, haven’t had quite the same zeitgeisty impact, so it’ll be interesting to see how Peridot fares.

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