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Niantic adds Campfire to Pokemon Go in social gaming push

The new feature aims to draw players of their biggest game into their social ecosystem
Niantic adds Campfire to Pokemon Go in social gaming push
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Niantic, creators of Pokemon Go, have announced their newest companion app, Campfire, a new app intended to intensify the social aspect of their existing titles.

Campfire is intended to help players “connect, discover local communities, and find active raids nearby.” At the moment, Campfire is only compatible with Pokémon Go, although it seems likely that it will be rolled out to Niantic’s other AR games in the near future.

Product developer for Campfire, Ivan Zhou said on the development of the feature, “When we designed the Raids feature in Pokémon Go, we were focused on creating new gameplay that encouraged people to get together in the real world at the same time and the same place.

“To make finding and joining Raids even easier, we’re introducing Team Up, which connects Trainers with other nearby Trainers, to form a team and tackle Raid Battles together. We know a lot of our players look to disparate community tools to organise gameplay and it can be quite cumbersome, which is why we’re thrilled to make that a more connected experience. We can’t wait to see what our Trainers achieve with the new feature!”

Re-establishing the social aspect

An issue facing Niantic has been returning its Pokémon Go players to the outdoors, social-based format that they had enjoyed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Major changes made to the game during the pandemic helped to keep player numbers up and continue to keep their existing user base engaging with the game. However, as with any removal or rollback of features, the return to “normal” has generated a backlash.

Campfire is therefore an addition that will hopefully draw players back out into the world and back to using Pokémon Go far more. The main selling point of the title has, after all, been its AR features and as these advance, Niantic aim to stay ahead of the curve and enjoy the same market dominance in the eyes of the public as they have in the past.

Even with new titles such as Peridot breaking cover and making progress, the focus remains upon Niantic's biggest title and the Pokémon brand.