Nintendo and Niantic announced a new partnership, which will bring some of the former’s franchises to mobile. The first fruit of this partnership? The makers of Pokémon GO will create a new mobile AR game, this time with Pikmin. The game is set to launch later this year. The two companies are also planning other apps together, but haven’t said yet what they’ll be.
So far, neither company is saying exactly what the game will be like, but we can glean a few things from the screenshot provided by Niantic and the announcement posts. The Niantic announcement says the app will “include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful.” The screenshot shows Pikmin following someone, carrying various fruits, which sounds close to their in-game behavior in their home series.
Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo said in a statement, “Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us. “Based on the theme of making walking fun, our mission is to provide people a new experience that’s different from traditional games. We hope that the Pikmin and this app will become a partner in your life.” This makes it sound more like an exercise companion than a game, but then again they are also making a GO spinoff called Pokémon Sleep, so clearly they’re interested in their players maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Whether the Pokémon GO formula can be replicated or not, it’ll be interesting to see more Nintendo classics come to mobile. Fire Emblem Heroes was a huge hit that brought (and still brings) great visibility to one of Nintendo’s initially less well-known franchises. Perhaps Pikmin will experience a bump in popularity once the titular characters’ cuteness hits everyone’s phones. Niantic is also allegedly working on more apps with Nintendo, and anyone who’s interested can sign up at Niantic’s site.