Nintendo, The Pokemon Company and Google pour an estimated $30 million combined into Niantic Labs, the developer currently working on the highly anticipated Pokemon GO.
It's not surprising in the least to have seen the immediate reaction that gamers and casual players had after seeing the reveal for Pokemon GO. Given the notoriety of the franchise across all generations of consumers, seeing a major iteration of the series – albeit not a core one – on mobile devices made all too much sense. Given the aforementioned power of the brand, it's for this reason why it's not shocking to hear that Nintendo, The Pokemon Company, and Google have thrown quite a lot of money at the studio behind the new game.
Given expectations for Pokemon GO following its initial unveiling, it doesn't come as a surprise to learn that all three of the previously mentioned companies have invested roughly $20 million in the studio developing the game, Niantic Labs. Provided certain milestones are met, however, that initial investment could climb up another $10 million, ringing in at a grand total of $30 million when all is said and done.
While this seems like a fair amount of capital for the gaming firm, apparently the funds are going to more than just the forthcoming Pocket Monster title. Instead, this money will also be applied, at least somewhat, to Niantic Labs' existing game, Ingress. That title is similar to Pokemon GO in the sense that it's an "augmented-reality massively-multiplayer online role-playing location-based game" according to its wikipedia page – which is as much a mouthful as it is the very premise that GO is based on.
The CEO of Niantic, John Hanke, spoke briefly about where the newly acquired funds would be headed.
“The Pokémon Company, Google and Nintendo are incredible investors and strategic partners to help build the next chapter for Niantic. We will be using this capital to continue the development of Pokémon GO, to evolve and grow Ingress and its thriving global community, and to build out our real-world gaming platform.”
There's still much that's unknown about Pokemon GO that should be answered in the months ahead. With word on Nintendo's first legitimate foray into mobile games also at hand, with an apparent reveal set to happen soon, it looks like the Big N is banking hard on the growth of mobile content. Time will tell if it has paid dividends for the company, but pouring cash into Pokemon GO seems like a very sound investment at this point in time.