Jan 5, 2021 - Technology

Pokémon Go creator Niantic buys online gaming startup Mayhem

Eight people mostly wearing hoodies and jackets sit in a group without face masks and wave to the camera

The Mayhem team. Photo: Niantic

Pokémon Go creator Niantic announced today the acquisition of Mayhem, a small San Francisco startup focused on online gaming communities, along the lines of the much larger Discord. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Between the lines: As it stands, the social options within Niantic games are fairly limited, and many players use Discord servers to discuss the game, plan meet-ups and share strategy.

The big picture: Niantic has a bold goal of digitally mapping in 3D the entire world and creating an augmented-reality platform that can be used for a wide range of games and other applications.

  • Mayhem is a small company with only a handful of employees, having raised $5.7 million. But it fits within Niantic's approach of using acquisitions to expand its technology and employee skill set.
  • It's the company's seventh acquisition in recent years, following last year's purchase of 3D mapping company 6D.ai.

What's next: Niantic plans to wind down Mayhem's standalone product and use the team and technology to work on social efforts specific to its own apps.

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