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Friday, June 14, 2024

NBA, ‘Pokémon Go’ Maker Collaborate for New Game

  • "NBA All-World" launched on Jan. 24.
  • The game allows players to compete against NBA stars and collect new gear using their locations.
NBA All World

A California-based software development company is looking to the NBA for help. 

Niantic, the creator of augmented reality gaming hit “Pokémon Go,” is expanding its reach with “NBA All-World” — an interactive gaming experience that launched on Jan. 24. The mobile game allows players to compete against NBA stars and collect new gear using their locations. 

  • “NBA All-World” comes after a surge of early success for “Pokémon Go,” which made $5 billion between its July 2016 release and July 2021, per Sensor Tower.
  • Since then, Niantic has shuttered its second AR-based gaming title, “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” only two years after launch.
  • The company laid off 8% of its workforce — roughly 85-90 employees — in June 2022 and canceled four projects. 

A gaming title featuring NBA talent arrives on the heels of record assets for the NBA players association. Earlier this month, the NBAPA reported that assets reached $428.1 million in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022 — a 9.5% increase from the previous year. However, money owed to players nearly doubled year-over-year to $199.9 million during the same period.

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Big Potential 

“NBA All-World” allows Niantic to maintain its position in a mobile gaming market projected to exceed a valuation of $215 billion by 2028, per SkyQuest Technology Consulting.

The title could be a promising venture for Niantic — the world’s five top-grossing mobile games generated $7.2 billion in revenue in 2022, an increase of $400 million from the year prior.

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