Editorial: Ingress/Niantic Labs Invite Fiasco


By now everyone's heard of Ingress right? It's that new augmented reality game from Niantic Labs which is a part of Google. Well it's still in closed beta after launching back in November. I was one of the lucky ones and got my invite on Thanksgiving. But for many out there, it's getting very frustrating trying to get an invite to play a game that's on their phone taking up space that they can't use. Since they can't play the game without an invite.

Now luckily or unluckily, we've been given a number of invites over the past few weeks to give out to our readers. And in most cases our readers are thankful, but there are those few who are upset and think that we really don't have any invites. In fact in our current giveaway which is only about halfway done, we've already gotten close to 12k entries. Now we only have 5 invites to give out. Which means there's going to be a lot of people who won't win. And many of them might just give up on trying to get an invite.


Closed-Beta could be the Downfall of Ingress

We all know about closed-beta, it's basically to test out the game and make sure everything's working right. I don't blame Niantic Labs for having Ingress as a closed-beta. When I first got my invite, the servers went down a few times, and it's better to have that happen in a beta than when it's available to everyone. But how many people do you think are actually getting an invite everyday? I'm willing to bet it's pretty low, around 200-500 people. Those numbers may be wrong, as I am just estimating from what I see on Google+. Why is the roll out so slow? You'd think it'd be much faster since they want people playing the game. And if the life span of the game is only a couple of years, by the time it comes out of beta no one will play it anymore.

Our Invites

We have gotten invites a few times from various people at Niantic, altogether around 25-30 of them. But we usually don't get any when we ask for them. We ask for them so we can help everyone get one. Not everyone is good at being creative, and that's the major way of getting an invite through Google+. Now this goes back to what we talked about in the last section. Why is Niantic being so stingy with these invites? You'd think they'd help us out since we can help them make the game even more popular, after all this is an Android blog and Ingress is an Android-only game.

The few invites we do get, we have users on Google+ calling in our integrity and credibility by saying we don't actually have invites to give out. These are probably people who have lost all hope of getting an invite. And once they get one, will probably never play the game. After dealing with these people, we should get some more invites to give out, right?


Final Thoughts

Ingress is a great game, and I really can't wait until it's in open-beta so everyone can join in the fun. But if it doesn't happen soon, I'm afraid all interest in the game may fade. In our last few posts related to Ingress, we've seen interest fading big time already. Not to many people are interested in Ingress when they can't even play it. So, yes Niantic Labs, we are calling you out! Give out more invites. There are thousands…actually closer to millions of people that want to play Ingress and cannot. If you want Ingress to succeed get more people into the game.

Have you gotten your Ingress invite yet? If not, feel free to let off some steam in the comments below. But we do ask that you keep it clean, any comments with vulgar language will be removed.