Pokemon GO Maker Niantic Acquires Storytelling Firm Evertoon

Pokemon GO maker Niantic Labs acquired social mechanics and storytelling startup Evertoon, the San Francisco, California-based studio announced earlier this week. Niantic Chief Executive Officer John Hanke described the small team that's now set to join the company as a group of people with significant experience in creating and managing creativity tools and general mobile products, as well as experts in community building and management. The photograph above shows the startup's entire workforce together with its founder Niniane Wang in the middle. As a result of the acquisition, the startup's only product — an iOS app called Evertoon: 3D Movies & Avatars — is set to be shut down. The app designed for making and sharing digital avatars and various videos for storytelling purposes that never made its way to Android devices will be discontinued on November 30th, Evertoon confirmed, adding that users who want to create backups of their videos and other content made with the tool will be able to do so from its "Profile" menu.

Niantic didn't go into any details regarding its plans for Evertoon which was founded in 2014 in San Francisco, with Mr. Hanke only saying that the startup's team is set to work on adding new social mechanics to the company's offerings meant to ennoble the overall user experience of its software products. The wording of the announcement suggests that Ms. Wang is set to take on some unspecified management role at Niantic. Evertoon founder worked at Google between 2003 and 2008, according to her LinkedIn profile, which labels her as the co-founder of Google Desktop and Google Lively, another avatar creation tool discontinued almost nine years ago. Ms. Wang also worked as a Gmail Ads Engineering Lead at the Mountain View, California-based tech giant, suggesting she has experience with monetizing digital offerings other than the ones created by Evertoon.

Niantic is still actively supporting Pokemon GO and repeatedly signaled it's adamant to continue doing so for many more years, though the company is already developing at least one other game. Its upcoming creation is also an augmented reality title but one that puts a heavy emphasis on audio and will likely expect players to experience it with headphones, according to the firm's previous statements on the matter. The Evertoon team will presumably contribute to both of those projects, as well as other products that Niantic has yet to announce.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]