Every Franchise Getting ‘Pokemon GO Clones’ From Niantic

Pokemon GO was one of the biggest video games on the planet when it released, and for a solid three months, it stayed there. Fusing nostalgia with widespread social media attention, Pokemon GO somehow managed to get everyone and their mom to go outside and catch a few iconic monsters. While Pokemon GO may have lost its mainstream luster after a few months, it’s still going fairly strong today, and its developer Niantic has been eyed by some big franchises over the last few years.

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With the unprecedented success of Pokemon GO, it only made sense that other big-name franchises would want in on the action, and it wasn’t long before Niantic was hard at work on some other titles that used the same Pokemon GO gameplay formula. On paper, these projects couldn’t fail, but in reality, some have been canceled, and the ones that have been released have faded into obscurity, not managing to capture that same once-in-a-lifetime buzz that surrounded Pokemon GO. However, that hasn’t stopped Niantic from continuing to produce Pokemon GO clones, with the latest being announced at the recent Disney and Marvel Games Showcase.

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Every Franchise Niantic Is Working On Right Now

A year after Pokemon GO‘s release in 2016, Niantic announced that it was hard at work on a Harry Potter game in a similar style. This was eventually revealed to be Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, another AR game that saw players walk around their local neighborhoods once more, but this time on a quest to learn new spells, battle magical monsters, and discover Wizarding World artifacts. While the initial month sales for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite were impressive, revenue tapered off pretty quickly and the player-base made a steep decline, eventually leading to the game’s shutdown earlier this year.

In 2019, it was announced that Niantic was working on a Catan game using its now well-known location-based gameplay. Titled Catan: World Explorers, this board game-inspired title would see players move through the real-world, building up their Catan civilizations as they went. Catan: World Explorers would be canceled in later 2021. Niantic also announced a partnership with the immensely popular Transformers franchise. Announced in June 2021, Transformers: Heavy Metal would be canceled just a year later in June 2022.

In October 2021, Nintendo announced that its Pikmin franchise would be receiving a mobile phone game. It was soon revealed that Niantic’s new Tokyo studio would be helming the project, and just a month later, in November 2021, Pikmin Bloom was released. As players walk around their neighborhoods this time, they’ll start to gather a following of little Pikmin creatures, who they’ll then be able to send on missions to gather resources out in the world. At Nintendo’s latest Direct, none other than Nintendo legend himself Shigeru Miyamoto showed up to tell fans about Pikmin Bloom. Though the announcement was a little lackluster for those expecting a different reveal, it did help to get eyes on this Niantic project, which many Nintendo fans will have completely passed over.

A week ago, at the Disney and Marvel Games Showcase, Marvel World of Heroes was announced. Once again bringing Niantic’s usual style of gameplay to the table, this project may actually be the developer’s biggest, allowing players to create their own Marvel hero, and explore the world, fighting super villains and saving their block from otherworldly threats. According to the developers, Marvel World of Heroes will also let players travel to different multiverses, where they’ll encounter even more iconic Marvel characters. With Marvel being one of the biggest franchises on the planet right now, it’s possible that this Niantic game is the one that manages to stand out from the crowd and gather a mass of players on launch just like Pokemon GO did.

Pokemon GO is available now for Android and iOS.

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