'Pokémon GO' Studio Partners with 'Sleep No More' Creators to Bring AR to Immersive Theater – Road to VR

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Niantic, the makers of Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, today announced what they’re calling a “multifaceted partnership” with Punchdrunk, the company behind the ‘Sleep No More’ immersive theatrical experience.

“Together we are developing multiple projects that will reinvent storytelling for a 21st century audience and further expand the horizon of interactive entertainment,” Niantic says in a blog post.

Punchdrunk are pioneers of the immersive theater genre. The UK-based theater company focuses heavily on bringing audiences a narrative experience with a unique ability to freely choose what to watch and where to go. This is achieved by adapting classic texts, physical performances, and immersive set design. How Niantic will bring AR into this isn’t certain, although it sounds exciting.

“I believe that Punchdrunk and Niantic can create something that has never been done before. They do it in AR, we do it in real life. Collide the two and I think we will blow people’s minds; bend the rules of genre and redefine the norms of mobile gaming,” says Felix Barrett, Artistic Director of Punchdrunk.

The company says it’s been experimenting with “new forms of gaming on mobile and AR glasses,” with 10 new games currently in development including prototypes for AR glasses. Niantic says each of these games, like their previous titles, will be centered around outdoor exploration, movement, and social interaction.

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