‘Pokémon Go’ is getting a social companion app

The Campfire app will allow players to view locations, enter group chats, and more

More than five years after its release, Pokémon Go is receiving a brand-new companion app that includes a myriad of helpful features.

The app, titled Campfire, comes from Pokémon Go developer Niantic, and will allow players to view each other’s locations, participate in group chats, and show active raids. While Campfire has compatibility with Niantic’s mobile hit, it has multiple other applications, and is a step in Niantic’s plan to be a “real-world metaverse.”

A post on Pokémon Blog from Niantic says that Campfire should be considered “the “homepage” of the real-world metaverse – a place where players can discover other players in their local area, message one another and share content, organize their own events and meetups, and foster the kinds of real-world social connections that have always been at the core of what Niantic does.”

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The app also has interactivity with other Niantic titles such as Ingress and will potentially heighten the popularity of its other releases. Niantic also discussed plans to allow other developers access to its Lightship game platform, which will potentially broaden Campfire’s features.

Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

Since its release in July 2016, Pokémon Go has become one of the most downloaded mobile games ever, and one of the highest-grossing games in general. Overall, the title has amassed over 1billion downloads worldwide and has grossed roughly £643million. As of the time of publication, there are currently 743 different species of Pokémon included in the game, not counting various regional forms.

Though Niantic is pushing for more metaverse content, not everyone is a fan. Recently, Final Fantasy 14’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, spoke about his disinterest in the metaverse as a part of entertainment. He feels that “It’s fun, but not entertaining. I think it’s not about creating the metaverse itself, but about playing in the digital reality and creating interesting entertainment content.”

In other news, Sony is planning to release two new live service games by March 2023, and nine more by March 2026.

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