Google opens Google Maps to developers seeking to produce location-based AR games

Pokemon GO was extremely popular right off the bat thanks to the popularity of the Nintendo Pokemon game. But the AR feature also makes it fun to play as users search for Pokemon hiding right by their home, or in the neighborhood playground. Wherever the Pokemon trainer is, all he needs to do is whip out his phone to search out Pokemon and try to catch them. Thanks to previous user-sourced mapping that game developer Niantic had from its Ingress game, Pokemon GO became the most popular location-based game.

While we don't see Pokemon GO players roaming the street anymore like we did nearly two-years ago, the game is still influential in that a number of new AR titles are set to launch this year including Niantic's Harry Potter based game and Sony's Ghostbusters title. Two others, Jurassic World Alive (Ludia/Universal) and The Walking Dead: Our World (Next Games) could be released this year.

Since not every game developer has access to Niantic's mapping, Google has opened up Google Map's APIs to developers of mobile games. To quote Google, "we’ve brought the richness of Google Maps to the Unity game engine. We turn buildings, roads, and parks into GameObjects in Unity, where developers can then add texture, style, and customization to match the look and feel of your game."

Google has released a video showing what can be possible when game developers use Google Map's APIs and the Unity SDK to create location based games. You can watch the clip by clicking on the video at the top of the story.

source: Google


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