Google’s Niantic Labs is the team behind the popular augmented reality game Ingress, which brings people from all walks of life together to form a team and carry out missions and tasks in hopes of becoming the controlling faction within the game. Coming up on March 28th, Niantic Labs is taking to the streets of Pasadena, CA for an anomaly event where they expect some 1,000 plus people to attend including “key members of the Google Niantic development team.” This won’t be the first Ingress anomaly to ever take place, but the continuation of these Anomalies as well as the growing number of people showing up at them displays that Ingress is still thriving.
In addition to the upcoming Anomaly in Pasadena Niantic is also exploring the idea of creating an Ingress convention sometime by the end of 2015, where players from all regions would be able to gather over the love of the game. Think BlizzCon, or other gamer related conventions. This is also an indication of Ingress’s continued growth and popularity, something that’s easily displayed by the number of times the game has now been downloaded, said to be at an estimated 9 million times in just two years, although it isn’t clear whether or not all those downloads still play the game.
Ingress drives passionate local players to form tight-knit groups and bonds with others in the community to achieve in-game goals, and the Pasadena event is sure to be filled with dedicated players from both factions attempting to win the day. In addition to growing the Ingress brand and legions of players through means of more anomalies and a planned Ingress convention to be held annually, Niantic Labs is also hard at work creating their second game in the augmented reality space, titled Endgame, which is slated for a launch sometime later this year. Endgame will have quite a different backstory than Ingress but will still employ the aspects of players engaging with the game though their phone screens out in the real world environments of their local areas.