Pokemon Go creator Niantic is developing a social app for its games — and it’s coming soon. The developer says the app, called Campfire, will begin its global launch “in the coming days.” The campfire was originally announced in May and has been in testing with Ingress players for the past few months. The first version will be available to “select groups of Pokémon Go players this summer,” according to the developer.
At the heart of Campfire is a map containing information about nearby events and in-game activities, which theoretically makes it easier to find people to play with or meet friends. The app includes a group and private messaging tool for your in-game friends; for example, for Pokémon Go, you can create a roaming DM friend location to make it easier to meet up. You can also do things like add a “flare” to a location to encourage nearby players to come when something interesting happens. For a better idea of how the app works, check out the screenshots below:
The idea of a Niantic-focused social network may seem like a lot more than most messaging apps already out there, but it creates a level of understanding given how many games are in the works. company. In addition to Pokémon Go and Ingress, Niantic also has Pikmin Bloom in the Jungle, along with games in development such as the virtual pet Peridot and the recently announced basketball game NBA All World.
As such, the news comes just a day after the company canceled several projects – including the previously announced Transformers: Heavy Metal – while laying off more than 80 employees. This comes after major projects like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Catan: World Explorers were shut down after a less-than-stellar launch.